Lazy Luddite Log

17.7.11

Into The West

I am the historian of my own life and I find that written records help me remember who I am and what I think and feel over time. It makes it more difficult for me to edit my memory if I have a record of it. So I keep some items of correspondence across a number of media and I prepare written accounts of important events in my life. Some are private but others - like this blog entry - are public. Herein I will share some of my impressions of my first visit to Perth and of my experience as a non-singing participant in the Perth Intervarsity Choral Festival 2011.


As with my experience of Brisbane IV 2007 I attended for only part of the event as a non-singer so that I was free to explore a new city. I stayed at the City Youth Hostel and explored the city centre and Kings Park and University Of Western Australia. I travelled further away to take in Fremantle and Cottersloe Beach. It was all lovely and yet I have changed since 2007. Back then I would happily wander all day alone in a new setting. Now, while I still enjoyed it, I was more drawn to my choristers.

There were surprises both personal and non-personal in my visit to Perth. Among the non-personal surprises was my accessing of the forbidden parts of Masonic culture. Okay - some background: Ever since a wonderful New Year's Eve party held in the Oakleigh Masonic Hall I have been fascinated by the locked meeting area upstairs. The rehearsal venue however - Nedlands Hall - was a former Masonic hall and so we could go into its meeting room hidden behind a huge fake wardrobe and sit in the throne-like chairs inside!

The culture of choristers however was of much more interest to me than that of Freemasons and I fell right back into it. I noticed some fascinating effects this human setting had on me as I have at past IVs. For one thing I lost some of my independence as I grew accustomed to falling in with what the group did. For another I noticed my pattern-recognition for fellow choristers go into overdrive. On returning home I was regularly mistaking strangers for choristers whom I knew full-well live interstate.

And another thing I noticed was that my desire for tactile contact grew. On my return to Melbourne I watched videos with some non-huggy friends and found I had to actively resist giving them huge enveloping hugs. I have a hunch that the vibe of IVs taps into very ancient ways of living for humans involving extended yet intimate groups.

I try to attend IVs with an open mind but I will admit I had expectations and they were met. I must be getting better at anticipating things. I mingled with friends from home and far away... had old friendships renewed and new ones made... got closure for some aspects of my life and affirmation of some facets of who I am.

And communication! So much in so many forms. And I think this is hardly surprising if one remembers that music is a form of communication. Yes I only got to witness the end result of rehearsals but there is always singing among choristers, from the old standards sung at the post-concert party, to overhearing a friend singing in the shower, to singing-along to the radio during a lift back to the airport. And the message of all this communication? A reminder that life is rich and full and interesting. Thanks so much IV!

Update: I have indexed my seven IVs as of 2013 in this post.

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1 Comments:

  • I'm copying and pasting comments to this same post from LiveJournal (complete with messy formatting text). See below...

    From: nitedula
    Date: July 18th, 2011 01:20 pm (local)
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    (Link)
    *sends virtual hugs to ameliorate the withdrawal symptoms*
    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: July 18th, 2011 01:54 pm (local)
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    Thanks!

    We live in an interesting age, one in which we have the capacity to make friends from far away, yet also an age in which distances still very much separate us. As a result I have several awesome interstate choral friends who I cannot just jump on public transport to see. Happily the Internet assuages the feeling of distance rather well.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    By Blogger Daniel, At 09 May, 2017  

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