Synergy represented by

Amy Haworth, Micaela Haslam, Amanda Morrison, Heather Cairncross

Concert poster

“We were quite intrepid (for us) when we got to Frankfurt. At the airport we bought a group travel card so that we could take a train to the central station (for our hotel) and then a tram across town to Ensemble Modern’s rehearsal place.

Ensemble Modern in action

Great as always to see Steve Reich, and doubly great to be at the stage where we can just play through Music for 18 once with Ensemble Modern, fix a few corners, then go out for dinner. Very civilised! We were delighted to find our favourite restaurant open at the Golden Leaf Hotel. Down the road from EM’s studio, the hotel is in the middle of nowhere but houses the most fantastic Italian restaurant – real Italian cooking, with the best salads and steaks in Germany!

Mandy, Heather and Amy lost in Cologne

Cologne cathedral – too big for my camera!

The following morning we took the train to Cologne. We hadn’t realised that the fast train from Frankfurt doesn’t stop in the centre of Cologne. It drops you off in the outskirts and you have to take a local train into the centre. Still, we got there in the end! Amazingly, I hadn’t been to Cologne since my school days and I had a vivid memory of the most magnificent cathedral. Although the cathedral is indeed magnificent, I confess I was very disappointed to see it looking so dirty, and surrounded by so many hideous concrete buildings. They must have been there when I visited as a child (I’m not that old!) but I just hadn’t remembered them.

Our concrete hotel

Our hotel was just around the corner from the cathedral, and seconds away from the stage door of the Philharmonie. That meant being able to change in our rooms and not having to worry about leaving valuables in dressing rooms. The concert wasn’t until 10pm so we had time for a leisurely lunch by the river and a nice afternoon nap. The sound check went without a hitch. Steve was bombarded by reporters and photographers, as usual.

Steve’s a star

I knew I’d arrived when I came across a personalised water glass just next to Steve’s on the side of the stage – classy!

Executive water glasses

At 9pm, Steve and a few of the EM players performed Drumming (Part 1) in the foyer of the art gallery next door, where there was an amazing Gerhard Richter exhibition on. Apparently the place was packed to capacity. Our concert was also sold out with over 2000 people in the audience. The place was buzzing. We all really enjoyed the concert and there was a lot of energy in the performance. An attentive, enthusiastic audience really does make a huge difference.

What better end to a great gig than a large cool beer! At the side of the stage, we were greeted by bar staff bearing many beers in ingenious circular glass holders. I think this should be compulsory at every gig – remind me to add it to our rider.”

Micaela

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