Friendship over years
We drink tea and remember
Drinking tea before
This post bridges the time in HK and the new adventure here in New Zealand - a country I know very little about at all.
Before leaving the city there were a few people I really wanted to see so I pack my bags and head for the island. First stop is for Yum Cha in this great old style place with the great composer and musician Ng Yin and his wife Amanda and their new baby - whose name means 'happiness'.
Like my other friends they have also decided to not get a helper and do then looking after themselves. She is lovely baby and we pass her between us as we eat and drink tea and catch up. His music is busier than ever with shows with Siu 2 and the Vat Po singers as well as a new dance piece next week.
From there it is a short MTR ride to Hong Kong University where I am going to see the director of the GE Unit and a great cultural activist - Chi Chung. I have made a few projects with him - including 24 Hours in a Tower - and try to catch up every time I come over. He shows me the plans they have made for this terms programme which yet again tread a great balance between cultural activity, political thinking and learning. Fascinating.
Next to the airport ready for the 11 hour flight to NZ. I have work to do and also want to watch some films and start to work out what this hew country is!
'Waru' tells the stories of eight Maori women who are dealing with great trauma in their communities. A sad sad tale with at the same time a great deal of strength - truth telling powerful stuff. I am on an Air NZ flight and the attendants are particularly friendly - I get about 3 hours sleep and arrive at 10am the next day.
Skybus into the city - which reminds me much of Vancouver with it's wooden houses, harbour, large chinese community and general architecture. My air bnb is lovely and is in a house being looked after by a young Chilean couple. They are lovely and I tell them about my 4 months living in their country in 1990 as I worked with musicians, dancers and theatre people in Santiago. I am tired but decide to keep moving and so off to a great open air pool not far from the house - salt water 50m pool - amazing.
Then a meeting at the University with the key organisers to talk about the sessions that a number of us are chairing - it is great to meet some of these people again but on their home turf. Te Oti is one of my fellow commissioners for the CMA in Tbilisi and such a gentle funny man - Head of Voice here and an opera singer for most of his life.
The evening is a gathering of community musicians connected to the APCMN in the amazing Skytower restaurant. We gently revolve, chat and eat! A great way to start a conference!