Bluff oysters, mates and a double bass
ANTON OLIVER ON TOUR WITH THE NZSO
Former All Blacks captain Anton Oliver is on tour with the NZSO this week as their guest narrator in the classic tale "Peter and the Wolf". Check in each day for an update on where they are and what he and the band are up to.
I've managed to tick quite a few "Southern Man" boxes since I arrived in Dunedin.
When I got here, I caught up with a good friend over a few Speight's - he's coach of the Otago Rugby team.
I also took Tecwyn, our conductor, to Best Cafe where I tucked into a dozen Bluff oysters. (Tecwyn had blue cod.) Still a fantastic Dunedin icon after all these years.
Managed to catch up with a few All Black friends, they're in town at the moment. That was nice, just catching up with people.
And, my gun license needed renewal, so I've gone and done that - talk about method acting for Peter and the Wolf!
Last night's concert wasn't without a bit of stress - travel for the orchestra was a nightmare because of flights cancelled, delayed, and full. At the end of the show, flowers were brought out to me and I gave them to one of the musicians who deserves a special mention.
Our flute player on this tour, Kirstin Eade, has a very important role in Peter and the Wolf - the flute is the little bird that helps Peter try and catch the wolf. Because of difficulties with travel, she made it to the Town Hall just twenty minutes before the show! She put in a great performance and I gave her the flowers to recognise the tough day she'd had.
Then this morning, I went to King's High School with one of the NZSO musicians, Malcolm Struthers. We talked and Malcolm played to an audience of about 400 kids.
Malcolm took his double bass, and he played about four or five different pieces which represented different emotions, like anxiety, joy, and anger.
On the back of that, I asked the audience about each piece. If that first piece was an animal, what would it be? Or, if it were a colour, what colour would it represent? This next piece, if it were a type of weather, or a mode of transport? What then?
There was a lot of interaction going in the hall. I pushed the exercise a little further.
Isn't it interesting, I said, that we all heard the same piece of music, but interpreted it differently. Each of us had a story about what we thought we had heard.
Now contrast that with schoolwork - how is that different to a quadratic equation?
One guy put up his hand and hit the nail right on the head: There's an answer to a quadratic equation. There's a right and wrong. But there's not right or wrong with music, or with the arts. Your own response to a piece of music, or a painting or a sculpture or a poem isn't right or wrong. Your feelings, your experience of something - that's your own. It's real, and it's valid, and it's yours.
These are very powerful ideas. And, unlike maths, none of us get graded on our responses.
We did a whole bunch of other things with the kids, but in essence this is what my trip to King's High School with Malcolm was about.
Now, I've finished an amazing whitebait omelette down in St Clair next to the sea, then we're picking up a member of the NZSO team at the airport and getting on the road to Gore for tonight's gig.
I'll try to drag them past my old house in Milton on the way and regale them with stories of my childhood. And I might try and get out for a run when I get to Gore - haven't done much training in the last few days.
It's great to be back.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with the city council's cut back on meals?Related story: Shadbolt bemused by 'prince of gluttony' tag