This morning, I visited an art installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art called Return to the Sea: Salt works by Motoi Yamamoto. This tranquil, provocative, somewhat painful, seemingly endless art is site-specific, and the installation at Spoleto is the premier for Yamamoto’s tour in the U.S.
Yamamoto became connected to salt when mourning the death of his 24-year-old sister who died from brain cancer. The works are incredibly detailed, and magical in their impermanence. As a poetic end, on July 7th the public is invited to dismantle the work, where they will collect the salt from the work and return it to the sea.
In the afternoon, the conducting master’s students (there are 10 of us here at the festival) were invited to Dr. Miller’s home to help mark orchestral scores for this summer’s chamber choir festival. We will be performing Bach’s Mass in B minor (!!!!), and today spent a good chunk of the afternoon helping to prepare the scores for the instrumentalists. When we get home, we will get to do the same to our own scores. The chamber choir holds special memories for many of us – it is for two weeks in the summer and auditions are open to anyone. There is also a festival choir, which takes place for one week, which does not require an audition, and both groups work together to produce a masterwork. Westminster in the summer is a magical place, and is where many of us met for the first time last year. The music will not be finished when we leave Charleston!
This evening we had an orchestral rehearsal at Gaillard with Dr. Flummerfelt, the Charleston Symphony Chorus, and the Spoleto Orchestra. It was lengthy, and fruitful. This concert will be very special, because it will be the last in the Gaillard before the three-year renovation begins.
After the rehearsal, a small group of us walked to the swings on the pier, off of East Bay. On this pier are many picnic tables and a handful of porch swings that look out over the water, flanked by fresh, green, beautiful marshes. We sat outside, talked about our lives, our dreams, our fears, our music. Our souls connected, and we have Charleston and Westminster to thank for that.