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Life of a London Cellist

Music is not a profession, but a way of life.

Time Never Stops

London Life Posted on 01 Feb, 2015 01:33

Already the first of February in 2015, Christmas 2014 feels just like yesterday. Golden soil and wealth for toil, our home girt by sea, Australia I miss you from the bottom of my heart.

Winter in London can be extremely harsh. There can never be impromptu visits to the beach at 10pm, nor waking up with the sun in your face. For the first time in a very long time, I feel very home-sick. Winter blues, when will they end?

Lots of travelling plans this month will keep me occupied, and yes, there is something very charming (and European) about sitting in front of a fire place. But every part of me is aching for a little bit of sunshine and the feeling of sea water in my hair… Must I wait for another 4 months for summer to arrive in Europe?

Embrace Winter

London Life Posted on 14 Nov, 2014 04:09

I think it is fair to say that winter is finally upon us in London town. I used to get terribly depressed in the cold seasons, but having lived here for many years, I have learnt to appreciate winter, almost as much as I appreciate summer.

People tend to start getting fit in the summer, but isn’t it better to start getting in shape in the winter? You can do a whole hour of work out in the comfort of your own home without getting too hot or humid like in the summer. Days are shorter, but that just means evenings are longer. More excuses to go out at night and have a drink or two!

There is just something about wearing a sexy trench coat in London – and it doesn’t always have to be in the winter too! Blame it on Burberry.

For those of you who love food, winter is the perfect season to treat yourself to a hot curry or a roast. And even if we do put on a pound or two, no one will know. And let’s not forget those suede knee-high boots, ladies! Time to take those bad boys out for a night out. Don’t be afraid to wear a mini-skirt just because it’s cold. Keep your feet and head warm, the rest of your body will be too.

Listening to upbeat music also helps to chase those winter blues away. Be happy and keep warm. This is only the beginning. Wait till February.

London, home sweet home

London Life Posted on 27 Oct, 2014 22:55

Having been on the road for over three weeks (Switzerland – Germany – Austria), at last I am back in London, my home. Familiarity sets in the moment I land in the airport. Shops open till late, British politeness, queueing, oh how I love London. Driving on the left side, green road signs, black taxis and red buses. This is home to me.

Diluted coffee, overly-sweet cakes, bad Chinese take-away, greasy fish and chips. I love them all. Humid underground, foxes at night, police cars and ambulances every five minutes. HARRODS, SELFRIDGES, LIBERTY and WESTFIELD! Need I say more??

I miss the cosmopolitan London, the morning rush, and the massive queues in local coffee shops. I miss making dinner reservations, going to pubs and afternoon tea. God, it is good to be back. Thank you London for all that you have given me. If I could choose one city to live in for the rest of my life, this is it.

Me, Myself and I

London Life Posted on 05 Sep, 2014 18:09

Man, I love work. And I mean, all kinds of work, as long as it’s music related.

Performance aside, I absolutely love organising and managing music festivals. It’s quite a task to find the right group of artists, students, sponsors and guests, and create a professional yet wonderfully creative atmosphere for everybody. So far, we have received an enormous amount of support from our families, friends, and colleagues. And it is such a great privilege to work with so many talented and dedicated people.

I never used to be a team player back in school. Being an only child, I pretty much defined selfishness. Then when I decided to pursue music, I became crazy AND selfish. I feel, and therefore I play. I didn’t analyse much, and just followed my instinct.

Then there was chamber music. This was the one thing that taught me how real music was made. It taught me love, and patience. A lot of patience. Friendships were made. It taught me respect, dedication, and most important of all, teamwork. To this day, I will always remember the string quartet I founded back at the Royal Academy. We understood each other and never over-analyse. We were all great sight-readers and used to play through tons of quartets in one rehearsal. We always went out for dinner and drinks afterwards. We performed and travelled. We laughter and cried. They cooked for me, and I ate. Not only did we become the best of friends, we grew together as musicians and people. Since we disbanded, I couldn’t listen to quartet music for a long time.

However, I will be playing trio with some very talented musicians in our festival next month. Very much looking forward to it. I hope to see you all there and have a fabulous weekend!

Believe in Yourself and God

London Life Posted on 07 Aug, 2014 22:46

Sometimes life can take you by surprise. Just when you think you can never get out of that dark place, God takes you by the hand and leads you to a happy place. The last few months I have had some uncertainties, and now suddenly everything makes sense.

One must follow one’s dream. Easier said than done. Sometimes following one’s dream even isn’t enough. One must fail a million times before one can finally get up and say, ‘I’ve finally made it!’ It may take years, even decades. Be patient and stick to your vision.

I have doubted myself a thousand times. Have I made the right decision? Am I in the right profession? Am I in the right city? At the end, it is YOU who knows best. Follow your instinct and screw everything else.

Night night London. I have really missed you.

No Barrier in Music

London Life Posted on 07 Aug, 2014 22:36

Such a pleasure to return to London, my home. Being in a foreign country is something I am completely used to. But not being able to speak the language was such a barrier that I vowed to learn my French properly once and for all. But the one thing I was able to use to communicate with people, was music.

Musicians are lucky that no matter where we are, we could always speak through our instruments. Music is universal. There is no class system, no rich or poor. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world through music and concerts. It is because of the cello that I get to travel to places I have never dreamt of.

My concerts in Switzerland were wonderfully organised, and were attended by people from Europe, Asia, America and the UK. Everybody came from different background, culture and colour. And yet, we all gathered together and shared the special experience called music. That was the only time I felt that I had no barrier, that I was able to talk to people through music, rather than my broken French.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to perform in a country as beautiful as Switzerland. And be sure that I will be back before too long.

Shopping became meaningless

London Life Posted on 31 Oct, 2013 02:02

I was in Selfridges today. By chance. And for the first time in my life, I was totally BORED shopping. I mean, not to offend all you wonderful fashionistas out there – but seriously, what is so good about all the materialistic things?? Those are the stuff which you can’t take away when you pass away. Yet, another Prada bag, or another Mulberry leather jacket.. Is your life that empty that you had to fill it up with all the ‘fancy’ things? Who gives a shit if you have the latest Chanel bag or the hottest Gucci wallet?


Certainly, not I.

Money can’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard it a million times, but really, REALLY, what makes you happy?? Certainly not a Rolex watch! We as human beings are never satisfied with materialistic things, so why not give it up altogether?? Find your true dream, and pursue it. Don’t ever give up your dream because you only freakin’ live ONCE. So make it count.

Make it count.

How To Cope With Stress

London Life Posted on 29 Sep, 2013 00:21

Like a lot of people, I like to put on a smiley face even when things go badly. I like to share happy things in life with people around me, because I am an idealist, and always look on the bright side of life.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very stressed about a lot of things, music, life, the future. So I decided to get away for a few days, to clear my head. And it worked. I don´t often get stressed, but when I do, it´s usually very dramatic. There is no easy way out, just deal with it. Take some time off, assess the situation, and try to find solutions. People often say dont over think. I say, think more. There is no such thing as over thinking. How else would you find a way out? Life will not sort itself out. YOU must take control of it.

Keeping busy works for me, but not for everyone. If you are not good with working under pressure, then perhaps it is time for a break. We must prioritise. Complete the tasks which require immediate attention, rather than trying to finish a million little things at the same time.

If you are a virgo like me, then you must also find it hard to say ´no´ to people. We want to please everyone, and hate to disappoint. Sometimes, too much is too much. Just say NO. It really is that simple. Margaret Thatcher once said: ´If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.´

Luckily for musicians, when we get stressed, which happens more often than you all think, we find solace in music, the music which we play. And sometimes the best reward for a musician at the end of the day, is to play quietly to oneself. No pretence, criticism or a worry in the world. Just yourself, and the music.

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