October 2019, was our last tour with Lucerne Festival Orchestra, where we played the Mahler 6th symphony in Shanghai. It was the last time I used these tools.
As a sign of the darkness coming over our music world in the months later on, I lost my expensive tailored earplugs after smashing my toolbox on the Shanghai stage, seeing them falling down in the tiny gap between the stage steps...
Since then, it’s either been smaller sized orchestras, or -mostly- no orchestra at all.
I never expected they would appear again after two years of silent disgrace in the rather dry acoustic of the World Conference Centre in Bonn.
Just a few reckless people on earth, mostly bassoonists, know this feeling: sitting just in front of the trumpets in a Mahler symphony - here the Mahler 2nd.
Our fantastic guest principal Martin and Noemi played so wonderful, that I sometimes had the feeling I could try to get a sound bath with naked ears... but as in forgotten times, this exceptionally sized orchestra won over my hearing abilities.