Pointwood big band in Bratislava

I just returned from a concert trip to Bratislava with the Pointwood Big Band. I became the conductor of this band in January. I have only done two concerts with this band in the past months, so this was an excellent opportunity to develop the sound and get to know the bandmembers better. And of course a great way to explore some new surroundings. Read on if you like to know a bit more about our trip:

Main Square
The program was so full that I'll need a while to digest all the impressions. To give you an example: Wednesday, after travelling all day, we arrived late in the afternoon. We had a few moments to check in to the hotel, have dinner and change clothes. After that it was off to the Dutch embassy for a reception. Back to the hotel to change into our outfits. From there on we went to the Hlavné Námestie ("Main Square", see picture) for the first of four concerts. And all days were like that. Needless to say, everyone was exhausted on the way back...

The real fun of trips like these are of course the people. The bandmembers themselves for example: usually I only see them during rehearsals and concerts, and now I got to know them privately as well. Their partners came along too, and since I had met most of them only once up until now, this was very nice. The whole trip was like a high-energy team-building experience. I think that because of the four concerts in three days, and in new surroundings, we also made a fair bit of progress in our band sound.

Robert Combas
And then there are of course the new people I got to meet. The one that requires special mention is Gerard Meulensteen of the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. A very friendly and remarkable man who contributed a lot to the success of our trip. The Dutch ambassador and his wife, the Defense attaché, well too many people have helped make this trip the success it was. Regardless of all the other things, it is always the people that make things truly memorable.

The concerts went very well. The ones that stand out in my experience are the first one at the Hlavné Námestie and the ones at the Danubiana Museum. The sound engineer at the Hlavné Námestie was awsome, even under difficult outdoor conditions. At the museum, the sound conditions were not quite as good, but the building and the art itself more than made up for that.

Enki BilalMoebius
I do wish however that there had been some more time between the various activities. I would have liked to see more of the city.and at the museum I didn't have time to check out the exhibition. A quick run-through was all I could manage and that's a shame since I really liked the works of Robert Combas. While being distinctly different, his paintings also remembered me somewhat of my favourite comics artists Enki Bilal (left) and Moebius (Jean Giraud) (right).

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