1. I am really, really tired. Three planes, four airports, 30 screaming babies (roughly) … 12 hours to ponder how others manage to get restful sleep in those evil, miniature seats. What is your secret, guy snoring loudly in the row behind me!?!
2. There are some positives to being wide awake and totally immobile – for one, you can read a book cover-to-cover. I was that guy reading the book set in the country I was traveling to: Angela’s Ashes – typical “light reading” on soul-crushing poverty to help pass the time.
3. “The Emerald Isle” – one look at Ireland from above and it’s obvious why its earned this nickname. The lush green landscape is even greener than you’d expect – it’s like someone imported the country into Photoshop and cranked up the saturation to 100%.
4. Berklee in Dublin – I’m amazed how fast students and faculty have developed a rapport. This was the second day of the improvisation workshops, but it could have just as easily been the second week. Professor Matt Glaser kept his class loose with light humor, and had each student (mostly non-singers) improvise using their voice rather than their instruments. Though some were nervous at first, all seemed grateful in the end to have been challenged to step outside their comfort zones.
I also caught up with Jim Kelly that afternoon with his ensemble, a diverse bunch that included college-age musicians on harp, bass, and violin, jamming with much older students on accordion and voice. They took turns soloing over a warm, singsongy folk tune. It was miles away from your typical jazz standard and seemed to exemplify what Berklee in Dublin is all about: improvisation for all players, not just the jazzers.