Letter #11 04/30/2017
Dear Friends and Family,
The morning I left Canada for Peru, it was snowing big time and the flight was delayed to de-ice the airplane twice (first photo). The next photo is from the square in the city of Cuzco, of the old cathedrals. I stayed at a lovely hotel with a beautiful inner courtyard (pictured) Hotel Rumi Punko, and if you are ever here, I recommend this place. It includes a very good breakfast buffet, and tea made with coca leaves in case the altitude bothers you. I took the all day excursion (4:25 am-8:45 p.m.) to Machu Picchu, one of the 7 wonders of the world. This is the Inka Rail train which is part of 4 passages to get there: taxi, bus for 2 hours, train for 1, 1/2 hours and bus for 30 minutes more. Believe me the spectacular scenery and the ancient architecture are so worth it. There was no way of recording the ancient music of the 15th century for this place, but there are paintings showing musicians and their instruments they played while others built Machu Picchu, so we can only recreate our best educated guess as to the music of this Inca civilization. I performed at the ICPNA (Institute of Culture of Peru in Cuzco)” Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano of Cusco” on Monday evening April 17th. After the concert I had a private tour with a few other people of the Inca Museo by the artist, Amilcar Salomon, shown here standing beside one of his many paintings in the Museum depicting Inca History. I flew to Lima, Peru on Tuesday, April 18th. At the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in Lima, I performed a concert Wednesday evening, April 19th, presented a power point lecture with piano examples and CD examples Thursday for the Musicology students, and a different lecture and power point with piano and CD examples on Friday to the Composition students. They were so prepared for my visit with posters, translated programs, publicity, student involvement, and a very warm welcome. The students were so excited that they kept asking questions and sharing in dialogue about my research, so that the lectures planned from 12:30-1:30 each day actually lasted until past 3 pm. I had the opportunity to visit a very good museum with musical instruments on display and they took me to visit the Pacific Ocean from a Lima, Peru beach.
It looks like I will have to send a couple more photos on a separate e mail because my attachment file is too big right now. Well I guess it attached the last few in a google file so I hope you can open the last attachments.
The trip to Peru ended like it started with a lot of snow falling in Edmonton. When I left Lima, it was in the 80’s and when I stepped off the plane in Edmonton, a blast of cold air hit me and you could see snow was coming down big time outside.
PS There is more to the story. I picked up another souvenir in Cuzco. I started having intense digestive problems two days after arriving. I thought maybe it was nerves and all, but it wasn’t. I did complete all of my performances and lectures but had to cut some of the museum visits due to my health. As soon as my plane landed in Edmonton, I headed straight to the ER and they ran a bunch of tests, and gave me two bags of I V fluids The tests have to grow a culture and incubate so it took until two days ago at 3 pm, the day of my chamber music concert, to receive a call from the ER doctor that I had salmonella (from the water most likely in Cuzco, or the food) and of course, by this time, I was quite a lot worse. She insisted I start immediately on some strong antibiotics she was prescribing. I read the side effects and decided to wait until after my performance, [I was darned and determined not to have to cancel this important concert!] which I managed to pull off, then went home and collapsed. I went to the ER again last night due to weakness, and received two more bags of I V fluids. Today, I can see a better horizon and I am now heading back uphill. I will send pictures of the Chamber music group when I get the pictures from the video. The performance was great and I believe I have found my group for the recording of the Farwell Piano Quintet.