Emily writes about her trip to Hungary, where she went to perform and share insights into her specialist knowledge of early music.
After another reasonable lie-in we were lucky enough to fit in another tourist trip. We were treated to a visit to a nearby village which had a museum on weaving (with an old loom that was still in use) and another which displayed hundreds of ornate individually crafted eggs. The designs displayed patterns from all over Hungary and surrounding countries using a variety of techniques including etching, carving, wax resin, crotchet, metal wire woven around them, felted eggs - a myriad of things. Flossie, Andy’s Hungarian sheepdog, came with us and we went on a brief leg stretch around the local lake. After a lunch of delicious homemade soup and bread, we bade our fond farewells and left for the airport, where we are now sat reminiscing.
Our day to be tourists! After a long lie-in we had a lovely brunch of bread and cheeses. We then had a tour of the local area which included a lovely market (where we tried out Langos a Hungarian food which is like a deep fried pancake with cheese and sour cream), a sweet shop (where I loaded up on chocolate), a supermarket (where Victoria loaded up on wine) and a local beauty spot with a magnificent view! We also visited a violin maker who was very interested in the Vielle and took some measurements as he wanted to make his own. In the evening we had a very tasty meal of Lecsó which is onions, paprika and tomato sauce.
We woke up early in the morning to a breakfast of tea, bread, lovely homemade jams and marmalade. Notes sorted, we made our way to the university in a car to the sound of Jews Harp music. As we set up, students poured into the lecture room making quite a full house! We then delivered our talk about the Elizabethan’s and their music, between renditions of songs and tunes. For lunch we tried the local cuisine by going to the Pizzeria!! We then had a lovely afternoon collaborating with the brilliant musicians from Simply English, Andrew Rouse, Bulcsú Babarci and Zsombor Horváth. We managed to put together seven different pieces! In the evening we travelled to the local arts centre and had a lovely concert with an enthusiastic audience who were happy to join in with the choruses. At the end we were interviewed for a local radio station with a translator, which at times was quite entertaining! We were then treated to a tour of Andrew’s impressive wine cellar where we tried an amazing plum brandy and met his pet turtle. This was followed with a delicious meal of Mushroom Pörkölt, which apparently everyone outside of Hungary thinks of as Goulash!
Preparations for a gig abroad always begin with the passport hunt.
After a frenzied search in all the places it might sensibly have been stored, it was found beneath a stash of junk mail pizza flyers in the least likely drawer.
London tube journey up and out west almost as long as the flight itself, and we’re arrived in Budapest!
A smiling bearded man meets us at Arrivals, his eyes twinkling at the sight of the Vielle case. Andrew Rouse himself. And we bundle into his van, Slovenian archive tunes in the background, and the Hungarian countryside whizzing past. At 2am in the morning we then arrive at a cosy Hungarian house in Martonfa a small village just outside Pécs.