I haven't written a blog post for a while so on this drizzy Saturday morning, I thought I'd make some time to write a little update on my time in Spain, the current situation and my future plans.
In January, I set off from Liverpool for Spain to begin my studies on the Master en Interpretaction de Guitarra Clasica and, after a near heart attack due to missing the online check-in deadline, I was soon dragging my suitcase - guitar slung across my back - through Plaza del Carmen up to San Roque ready for 6 months of intense guitar study. My time in Spain was muy delicious! I met and lived with some of the sweetest and most amazing guitarists who I am sure I will remain friends with for life. I took classes with David, Russell, Ignacio Rodes, Ricardo Gallen, Victor Candia, Hopkinson Smith, Xavier Diaz-Latorre and Tanja Skok, looking at different eras and topics of guitar repertoire, learning how to practise effectively and efficiently (to make sure we had enough time for walks to our favourite beach bar), and understanding Baroque music through dance. Half way through guitarra, siesta and fiesta on our amazing course, things had to stop due to COVID and after numerous cancelled flights, long and expensive journeys, and a few lachrimae pavans, we all eventually returned home. Of course, I was gutted but left with so many amazing (and, frankly, unbelievable) memories and so much to work on and practise, so I am muyyy looking forward to going back next year to complete my studies and catch up with everyone again.
COVID has totally changed life as we know it and has had devastating effects. If we're lucky, it has been a period of reflection and a chance - as artists - to develop and be creative. The worry about when and how we will return to concert halls and the lack of motivation to work has been real, but I am trying to improve my technique, learn new repertoire and work on putting some new projects into action. Like everyone else, I feel as though I've been living a virtual life; guitar society meetings on Zoom, online concerts (including the incredible GFA virtual convention and competition), Skype classes, playing in the Virtual Guitar Orchestra, and an unhealthy amount of quizzes. But lockdown has also allowed me to spend some more quality time outdoors having long walks and bike rides and has made me realise how lucky I am living so close to the sea - I am most definitely a beach bum. In September, I will be starting another postgrad course so more about that nearer the time along with announcements for some upcoming virtual and (hopefully) real concerts later this year and in 2021.
Stay safe, ciao for now!