It was said last week of the Anghiari Festival that one arrives as a friend but leaves as family. That certainly feels true, especially when you are in the midst of all that music making and all that companionship.
Nothing so complicated and so long can ever be wholly without problem, but this year’s Festival was one of the smoothest I remember, even if I had quite failed to remember just how tiring it is. I made it home on Saturday evening after a thirteen hour journey (one taxi, four trains, two tubes, one plane, my car) for a few hours, spent most of them asleep, and then came back into town on Sunday morning for my last work before the summer break.
There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, so much that is unseen, that I sometimes think that my high level of visibility is akin of one of the figures on some ornate municipal clock. I appear at the start of concert and announce things, but the intricacies and the cogs and wheels and gears all happen behind the scenes, out of sight.
Being so visible means that the Festival is just a little longer than it used to be – I was chatted to in the queue for security at Stansted on the way out and at passport control at Stansted on the way back. In between those two bookends comes a raft of engagements and duties and music, of course, and that routine of taking sleep where you can get it.
So for 2017 it is done and shortly but not quite yet thoughts will turn to 2018, to where and how the Festival will evolve. For now it is that post-rush calm, time to take a breath and remember the everyday rhythm of life, maybe even catch up on a blog entry or two.