January 14, 2011
Ice work if you can get it.
The cruise continues to go wonderfully, and I sense that both musicians and our audience are a little glum about leaving floating music camp tomorrow. As we gradually head back north up the wintery Atlantic, the temperature gradually heads south, yet passengers defiantly wear shorts and T-shirts hoping to stave off the inevitable for just a while longer.
What is inevitable is the somewhat rockier sea, as waves and wind reflect the month of the year. Things, and people, move and creak and bob and sway, and it’s not too hard to begin to lose one’s balance while walking down a hallway. Last night was another “formal night” in the dining room, and it was a fun spectator sport to watch some women, their center of gravity already challenged by a tad too much time at the buffet, attempt to saunter gracefully in 4 inch heels. If someone actually walked in a straight line, you knew he’d had too much too drink. When I emcee’d the evening’s chamber music concert, I found myself gripping a structural pillar on the stage with the focused glomb of a pole dancer.
Adding to this extra bouncy bonus was a friendly announcement over the ship’s PA informing passengers of a screening of a film about the Titanic showing in the ship’s theater. I’m guessing Celebrity’s programming director has a wicked sense of humor. As does the media director: when I arose this morning and flipped on the in-house TV to check our bearings, there before me blithely chatting away was a man giving a lecture on both the Titanic and that other ill-fated cruise ship, the Lusitania. But perhaps most hilariously twisted is the company’s art director, who has placed large, quite beautiful photographs of icebergs throughout the cafeteria (as seen here), as well as on the walls of some of the stairwells and hallways. Given that this ship also sails in northern Europe, I view this choice of decor to be a potential version of performance art.
This morning after an Archipelago rehearsal, I’ll get an invitation-only tour of the engine control room. Wow! Two days ago, I was excited to be given a tour of the bridge. Always good to see the redundant navigation and safety systems in place, and be reminded that there are actually people upstairs running this bobbing behemoth. This afternoon, the amazing Jimmy Lin performs the Barber Violin Concerto, and Larry Rachleff gives us an absolutely inspired Beethoven 7th. Tonight: Archipelago. Rehearsals of this tricky piece have gone really well and I’m excited to present it to the audience on this final concert of what has been an incredible journey across musical waters and new friendships. But on our way back to the snowy north, I’m on the lookout for icebergs!