A good friend of mine, accordionist Martynas Levickis, had organised a Summer Programme for composers and Accordionists in his home country of Lithuania, and had suggested that I attend. After returning to London from Turkey, I had about a month left in London before my visa ran out in June. Martynas' festival started in August so I decided to spend the intervening months doing my OE, visiting various friends around continental Europe. I started in Barcelona, and spent a month in Spain and Portugal before making my way across to Vilnius via, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland.
After the Papaki Tai concert in Kocaeli I met up with my friend Sebastian. We had met playing in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra years ago, but now he was studying towards a Master of Visual Anthropology in Denmark and was keep to do some preliminary work for his thesis in Turkey. The original idea had been for him to film the Papaki Tai project itself since Seb was interested in making taonga puoro a focus of his research, and to observe the residency as well as the way in which the Turkish players responded to the Maori instruments. However, shifting schedules meant that Seb would arrive too late to document the project. Nevertheless, we resolved to meet up anyway and see if we could find something to for him to film.
In April I was fortunate enough to be invited to the I:O Arts residency in Bahçecik, Turkey. I'd never been to Turkey before so this was great chance to experience the country, I found accommodation through Couchsurfing and set about exploring Istanbul. Turkish hospitality is amazing, and my host Eray was no exception he took me for a motorcycle ride around the city (a hair-raising experience!) showed me some of his favourite sights.
Hello and welcome to my new website, my previous site at simoneastwood.co.nz is no longer in working order. So I'll be posting all information about upcoming works, commissions, performances, and other events here.