To my friends at the Banff Centre from the 20th week..

Instead of the usual biography, I posted the following letter to the audience on 14th March, the last Rolston Recital of the Winter Residency.

"Tonight's performance of Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives with ACO comes at the end of my twentieth week as Artistic Associate and Collaborative Pianist of the Fall and Winter Music Residencies.  When Prokofiev first performed them for the Russian poet Konstantin Balmont, the latter improvised a lyrical response to the music on the spot, from which Prokofiev then took the title of the work.  The fleeting visions of the French title are rendered more literally by their Russian source, the word Mimolyotnosti, which translates as 'things flying past' or 'transiences'. 

‘In every fugitive vision
I see whole worlds: 
They change endlessly, 
Flashing in playful rainbow colours...’

Whilst preparing this music I have been reflecting on the time I have spent here in Banff, and how these fugitive visions of Prokofiev relate to my experiences here. I think of all the greetings and farewells. I think of the many playful, changing possibilities that have flown about me, my colleagues and friends here in the company of these beautiful, mysterious mountains, the swooping crows, silver moonlit coyotes and the elk stags digging in the ice for frozen golden grass. Beneath Rundle's monolith we have seen the winter come and now it starts to leave, melting into the mossy forest floor and revealing all the things kept safe by the snow during the long freeze. 

This Music and Sound building has welcomed artists from around the world. We invited you into our Open Studios in Rolston early in the Fall, we 'Set Sail for the Sun'  as a choir, singing from Stockhausen's Aus den Sieben Tagen, we performed a set of self-composed variations based on 'Climbing High Mountains'. Visiting artists gave inspiring recitals and masterclasses, and I have had the opportunity to perform with cellist Gavriel Lipkind, pianist Ronan O'Hora, Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew and tonight with the ACO. We have sightread and improvised, worked hard and played, hiked to the Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise and up Sulphur Mountain, walked up through the forest and soaked in the hot springs, visited an ancient Douglas Fir by the side of the steaming Bow River at -36 Celsius, sledded at Tunnel Mountain trailhead on practise breaks and made snow angels at the top of Tunnel, danced a ceilidh with the Bombadils and stayed up all night by the fire at Farrally Hall.. We have all fallen in love a little or a lot, and at the Banff Centre we have been afforded the opportunity to be artists who can say YES! 

The production and administrative staff here at Music and Sound facilitate the musicians who come here in an incredibly generous way; the air and the mountains help us see more clearly. The centre facilitates community and reminds us that we all deserve to have space and opportunity to create, and you have been a loyal, enthusiastic and open-minded audience. Because of Banff, I take visions of whole worlds with me when I leave for Australia next weekend! "