This Is A Workday

The sun is shining! It is an absolutely beautiful and productive day here in the Burren. Students are all working very hard on their projects. You can hear a pin drop in the studios. Projects are beginning to take shape and everyone is becoming more and more excited about their work as the uncertainties drop away. One of the most difficult tasks here is to develop work based on a fairly precise visual concept. For the musicians, the vocabulary may be different from that of the visual artists but developing an idea in a compacted space and time scenario is very challenging. It all comes together eventually but not without a fair share of angst. The universal tell-tale sign that indicates how far a student has come with their work is the size and scope of the smile on their faces. I have seen a few of those in the last couple of days.

Margaret Robe is working on a series of watercolors.  Her visual concept has recently fully come together.

Margaret Robe is working on a series of watercolors. Her visual concept has recently fully come together.

This is the tower at Newtown Castle.  It is also the rehearsal space for our music students.  Each floor has a fully functioning fireplace where peat burns to keep out the draft.

This is the tower at Newtown Castle. It is also the rehearsal space for our music students. Each floor has a fully functioning fireplace where peat burns to keep out the draft.

Our music students pose for a photograph inside the 4th floor of Newtown Castle.  The castle is their rehearsal space.

Our music students pose for a photograph inside the 4th floor of Newtown Castle. The castle is their rehearsal space.

Drew is working out a composition in the shadow of Newtown Castle.  It's a very relaxed atmosphere but still charged with creative things going on all over the campus.

Drew is working out a composition in the shadow of Newtown Castle. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere but still charged with creative things going on all over the campus.

Nesli is working out a musical composition on her auto-harp.

Nesli is working out a musical composition on her auto-harp.

In a future blog post, students will be explaining their visual concepts along with examples of their work. They will also be posting their impressions of this experience. So far, all of this has been pretty much one sided so it will be great for you to hear directly from them.

This evening, Saileog Ni Cheannabhain, a Conamara style singer, will be performing in one of our student houses. This will be a wonderful opportunity for them to broaden their exposure to a very specific style of Irish music. Somehow, everything our students see and hear finds its way into their work.

After her performance it will be time to pack for our overnight to Innishmore, the largest of the Aran islands. Much more on that on our return. We take a ferry from Doolin, Co. Clare, and students will be staying at a hostel in Mainistir. They will have two full days to explore the island before returning to Doolin for a group dinner in one of the local pubs. The trip takes approximately one hour each way and we are hoping no one falls victim to seasickness.

Back to work. Matthew and I spend our days working with individual students, confirming arrangements, double checking all the details, and making sure everyone is progressing, happy, fed and productive. This is not a difficult job as this group is a pleasure to work with.

I may not be able to post for a couple of days as we will be away but you can be sure that you will receive a full report on our return. As I stated in an earlier post, if there is anything that you want to know or if there are specific photos that you would like to see, please e-mail me at howard_andrew@ wheatoncollege.edu.

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