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After a six-month sabbatical from the SCO, I was due to return on 30 March when we were to be joined by the wonderful Andrew Manze and Xavier de Maistre, but suddenly we found ourselves on this diversion route, not entirely sure as to where the destination may be.

One thing I noticed pretty much straight away was, when in my garden here in the New Town of Edinburgh, how beautiful the birdsong is and how every evening we can see Venus so clearly in the sky – no airplanes, no street noise, no suitcases being dragged over the cobbles – peace and quiet. Back in late March and missing playing with fellow musicians, I discovered the Acapella App on my phone. When asked to contribute to the social media presence for the SCO I remembered I have the two volumes of all Bartók’s 44 violin duos so decided to try this app out and played a beautiful Slovakian song playing both parts myself!

It was quite a strange experiment and new experience, but I then approached a couple of colleagues to see if we could collaborate and it worked! Steph and I played a couple of Berio duos together and Siún, my wonderful desk partner, and I are working on another couple of Bartók duos this week.

Another thing I’ve discovered is lemon and rosemary polenta cake; I never bake! Looking through kitchen cupboards and discovering foods and spices I never knew we had, I’ve been having fun discovering new dishes and having the time to do it. That said, I miss performing and making live music and look forward to when we can all be together sharing music with you all again. In the meantime, take care and see you in the not too distant future.

All the best,



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