It is my 5th month living in Bordeaux and it has been an amazing time. I have a weekly incredible lesson with my teacher, Marie-Bernadette Charrier. Also a weekly sonate lesson with our amazing accompanist Hilomi Sakaguchi with Marie-Bernadette. For my weekly classical chamber music class, I play with a pretty international saxophone quartet with two French, one Argentinian and me (Singaporean). We have been working on Florent Schmitt’s Quatuor de saxophones, op. 102. As for the contemporary chamber music class, I play with a mixed ensemble of two violins, clarinet, flute and soprano saxophone, we’re preparing a Bulgarian piece for the end of year exam. Together with the Orchestre d’Harmonie (Wind Symphony), we presented an interesting program:
I also had an opportunity to share Singaporean music with my class in a conference. I presented the music of Dr Zechariah Goh and had to speak about him in French!
Three weekends back we had two visiting guests, Allison Balcetis and Masanori Oishi. It was three intense days of masterclasses, conferences and performances. In the concert on the last night, our class presented french composer, Benjamin Attahir’s Nouvelle Sous Esctasy for 12 soprano saxophones, 1 soprano and 2 percussionists.
It has been interesting being in Bordeaux, I have picked up phrases of Spanish (owing to the fact that almost half my class are Spanish!) and of course my french is getting a lot better. It was a cold cold winter (-6 degrees) but now it is beautiful in spring! The food here is incredible, good red wine, cheese and bread. I am sure that the friends I have made here will be friends for life. I am so fortunate to have this experience!