Into The West
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.