La Jolla, CA - Roswell, NM  (March)
Dear Readers,

Thank you for visiting my journal and welcome back. I've decided to stick with the multiple city entry again this month for two very enjoyable concerts I just did - a most interesting trip to Roswell, New Mexico, and a residency in beautiful La Jolla, California.

Of course, Roswell is the location of the famous alleged alien spaceship crash and government cover-up, perhaps the most controversial such incident in US history. It has clearly become a large part of the city (see the photos!). In fact, I think it gives the town a terrific and unique character. There's everything from alien-eye lampposts throughout the streets, to a UFO-shaped McDonald's, to inflatable aliens in the shop windows. The residents seem to be quite passionate - one way or another - about what really happened.

The orchestra consisted mostly of musicians that traveled in from surrounding states (Texas, Arizona, Colorado, throughout NM, etc) - some from as far as 5-6 hour drives (only two players were actually Roswell residents). For this concert I had the opportunity to do three concertos: Ibert's Concertino Da Camera, Debussy's Rapsodie, and my orchestration of Demersseman's Fanaisie Original. Usually the soloist performs just one or two concertos when visiting an orchestra - so something about doing three was incredibly satisfying. In fact, next month I get to do this exact same program twice (with the same conductor) in California.

The morning after I arrived, I met with a news writer at a coffee shop for a magazine interview. The 15-minute interview quickly turned into a most enjoyable and interesting hour or so. Afterwards I attended a symphony board luncheon, followed by my rehearsal with the orchestra. The concert the next day went especially well. Afterwards, we had a beautifully catered reception (though a bad shrimp and a little food poisoning can sure put a damper in a long day at the airport - but it happens, and you just try to make the best of it.)

My trip to La Jolla/San Diego this month was also a very eventful one. It started with a 3 day intensely packed outreach residency, where I visited about 8 area schools for hour-long performance/demonstrations, ranging from kindergarten through high school. It was really quite gratifying, especially the younger kid's sessions. (It's amazing how honestly curious and open-minded little kids are.) I also had the opportunity to do a live TV performance and interview on NBC San Diego - a truly must enjoyable experience. Something about live TV interviews is just an absolute blast. I really hope to do more. On air, I performed my arrangement of Morricone's Cinema Paradiso theme, which went very well.

The main purpose of my visit to Southern California was a recital on the prestigious La Jolla Music Society Series. It took place on the final evening of my 5-day stay to a packed and extremely enthusiastic audience. My program featured Rachmaninoff, Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Ibert, and more. Afterwards we all went to a local restaurant where we talked and hung out for several hours. The following day my flight didn't leave until late afternoon, so I took the opportunity to visit more of beautiful La Jolla. My pianist (who came with me from Chicago) and I took a 4 hour hike, walking through endless winding trails in the mountains and around cliffs, eventually making our way down to a very serene beach.

I'm now in a plane on my way back home to Chicago for a few days before my next trip. I'll try to post plenty of photos as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone for all your comments and for reading. Until next time...

Yours truly,
Ashu

La Jolla, California
DSC07690
Cliff in La Jolla
DSC07691
Dying tree
DSC07692
Cliff from afar
DSC07693
Moss on watery rocks
DSC07695
La Jolla Cove
DSC07698
Another view
DSC07699 DSC07701 DSC07703
Seal Rock Flat Rock White tides
DSC07704 DSC07707 DSC07712
Tide pool Seaweed on beach Squirrel on the path
DSC07719 DSC07726 DSC07729
NBC TV interview Before the interview another view of the building
DSC07730 DSC07731 DSC07732
The cameraman Performing on TV Live on NBC
DSC07737 DSC07761 DSC07766
Outside the concert hall Razor Point trail From the mountain top
DSC07767 DSC07770 DSC07785
Torrey Pines Park Protected plants Rocks against the waves
DSC07788 DSC07792 DSC07795
Natural cliffs Smooth beaches Polished stones
DSC07797 DSC07812 DSC07814
Birds watching the waves Birds on one foot
Roswell, New Mexico
DSC07605 DSC07611 DSC07612
Welcome to Roswell My hotel room Welcome basket
DSC07613 DSC07630 DSC07635
Inside the hall My dressing room View from the stage
DSC07636 DSC07645 DSC07647
Outside the concert hall Roswell lamppost Another
DSC07639 DSC07649 DSC07668
Everyone's welcome here UFO McDonald's Alien vending machine
DSC07674 DSC07675 DSC07680
How about you? "Maybe we don' t believe in you" Cover-up Cafe
DSC07690 DSC07691 DSC07692
Roswell UFO museum Leaving New Mexico Inside the little plane
- Click On Photos to Enlarge -

© Copyright Ashu Inc. All Rights Reserved
- click here for homepage -