Mission to MOLA

As I creep towards decrepitude (I'm nearly 56!) I look back at at fabulous 40 year professional life as a bass player, and I have seen some amazing places and met some incredible people, including being privileged to meet and shake hands with Ella Fitzgerald.

Since 2005 I have been in a "day job" as well, as Performance Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) where I manage all performance material and advise on copyright and associated institutions (PRS, PPL) as well as doing lots of gigs at night.

Right now, I'm pretty excited as I've flown out to New Orleans for the MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarian's Association) Conference which is happening over the weekend of 11-14th May.

It is great to get the chance to meet people doing the same job as me, as there is normally only one in any institution, so one tends to be a bit "out on a limb"! At the conference there will be many interesting sessions, on new media licensing and Latin American orchestral music, to name but two. Also as part of the agenda, I have the chance to attend various concerts taking place in the city, and one that I dare not miss is the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra - a name to be reckoned with!

I shall be doing a daily update to this blog whilst in the USA, and let you know all of the news and events as they happen. This will include any gigs I attend, especially if I get some good traditional Dixie Jazz.

The fun started when I flew into Louis Armstrong International Airport - as the great man himself said often, "and that's Jazz!"

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The high life

At the time of writing, I still have around 3-4 hours flying time left before I reach Miami, but I have a wee story to tell...... Well, since the last wee note from Heathrow Airport, things looked very iffy when I boarded the Miami flight. I had a (paid for) pre booked seat (£25!)  but was sat between 2 folk whose personal hygiene was suspect, to say the least. Fortunately, shortly before take off, the Purser/head steward/ boss/ whatever came and asked them to go with him as there was a "seating conflict".  as they retreated towards the front of the plane, I asked the "boss" if anyone was coming to replace them and he said no. So in the words of folk near me, I "lucked out" as I had a 3 seat row to myself.

So thus far it has been a great flight, and I'm chasing the daylight, which is good, because the day gets younger as you head west. Lunch/ dinner, depending upon one's personal time clock, was good - buckwheat salad (yes WingCo I did eat it except for the tomato) followed by buttered chicken curry with rice (not too spicy), and a lemon posset for pudding, and that was lovely.  Now I have watched 2 films ( Iron Lady and Johnny English Reborn) and am keeping up with my blog courtesy of my lovely brother's iPad - thank you David! By the way that's just doing the typing and certainly not breaking aviation rules by posting..... I am not, contrary to some opinions, stupid!

All being well this may be posted from Miami, where you will all be asleep, and my Thursday will have another good 6 hours to run.

PS Miami did not live up to "'Eafrow" so this will have to keep til New Orleans, where I have just reached the hotel (the Marriott in Canal St) after almost exactly 22 hours travelling. I met up with a fellow UK librarian from ENO and we shared a cab in from the airport. It's a fine hotel and my room is gorgeous!


  1. You were very lucky not to get lumbered with obnoxious travelling companions. Whenever I travel alone, my "nerd magnet" must turn itself on as I invariably attract unwanted attention. And I'm sure it's not the Mohican hairdo - or is it????
    How did you get on with the language barrier? Did you have to translate any "English" words for your fellow librarian? Sxx

  2. I'm getting the gang of this comments business now ;-) ..... Language barrier not too much of a bother although one does get a lit of questions in shops etc! L xx


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