norway post #8

this post is going to be a culmination of the previous two days. i didn’t post anything last night because i was exhausted and because i used some of my time packing. sorry for those of you who are now regular readers. anyway, let’s start with yesterday.

the best word to describe yesterday is probably “taxing”. the day started out with a 9:30am rehearsal for the christmas program we’ll be filming at the end of the tour, and it was very stressful to say the least. people were still tired/hungover from the night before, and the last thing that any of us wanted to be doing was sitting in the kristiansand domkirken for two hours rehearsing for something that none of us want to do in the first place. i will say, however, that for all the lecturing we received and all of the tension there was in the group, it was certainly a productive rehearsal.

after our rehearsal, we went up to the fortress to observe the official ceremonies for the 100th anniversary of norwegian independence from sweden. we also sang a 30 minute concert in commemoration of that anniversary before being turned loose to run errands and basically explore the city for a few hours. i spent that time exercising, showering, and catching up on email.

at about 4:00, we had another hour and a half of rehearsal, this time for the concert in the domkirken. this rehearsal was significantly better than the first one, and was a bit more fun. after we finished rehearsing, we went back to the hotel, had dinner, crashed for a little bit, and then sang the two-and-a-half-hour concert. after that concluded, i came back to the hotel, packed my suitcase, talked to nicole for entirely too short a period of time, and then crashed into bed.

today’s events started at the wonderfully early time of 7:35am, when i got up and got george into the shower. i finished packing my things, got dressed, loaded my things onto the bus, and got some breakfast before leaving at 9:00. after a 4 hour bus ride, we arrived in stavanger. i wandered around with some people for a while, exchanged some money, and meditated for about 15 minutes before we actually started rehearsing. after our rehearsal, we had pizza for dinner, and i wandered around a bit after having my fill of cheese and vegetable pizza. i bought myself a nice cardigan-style sweatshirt, and then went for a short walk before coming back to the church for the concert.

and here i am now, sitting on a bed in a homestay cataloging my thoughts before they leave my drafty brain. one observation i have been meaning to record is related to norwegian audiences and their applause. when they clap, they clap similarly to an american audience. however, when they really appreciate something or want an encore, they don’t stand or yell “encore!”. what they do is unify their applause from being a sort of pink/white noise to one unified rhythmic clap. it was a bit disconcerting at first, but the more i hear it, the cooler it becomes.

anyway, now that i’m fully caught up in my observations and record of my days in norway, i’m going to go to bed. peace, and behave.

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