It’s incredible to think that we are already nearing the end of Edinburgh’s International Festival and its famous Fringe Festival – just over one more week to go.
On 7 August, Mr Tracks and I joined around 10,000 other festival-goers in Edinburgh’s aptly named Festival Square to witness a unique opening to this year’s events. It was precisely the kind of thing which Edinburgh does so well, and which is the epitome of our summer extravaganzas. A marvel of creativity and wonder; a fusion of tradition and modern; an unforgettable experience.
The magnificence which is John Adams’ Harmonium was translated into a light show. This was then projected on to the outside of the Usher Hall (Edinburgh’s beautiful and iconic Concert Hall). Here is a YouTube clip to give you some idea of the nature of the event. Try to stay watching until the end, where there is a particular lump-in-the-throat moment.
Since then, we have, in the company of friends and family, seen a truly international collection of performers, including comedians from Ireland and England; drummers from Japan; musicians from Australia; a brilliant play written, directed and acted in by one of our friends, and on top of all that, participants from four continents in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – twice!! Here is one of the Tattoo’s official video releases, showing clips from this year’s show. It gives a flavour of the spectacle and sense of variety. We love this Edinburgh institution and go every year.
The only low point has been missing out on a couple of shows we had booked because I had in the middle of everything a heavy cold. In particular, we had tickets to see Juliette Binoche in a new production of Antigone. But I had seen a preview of it on TV and knew it would be full of poignant silences and dramatic exchanges. I did not think anyone would appreciate my coughing, sniffing and sweet-unwrapping, or indeed germ-spreading, so we gave it the body-swerve, so to speak.
And so we approach our final week. Now we are looking forward this week to hosting yet more friends to share a few more days of festivities with us. More plays; musicals; comedies; retrospectives; music from other lands.
Living in Edinburgh is totally wonderful at any time of year, but no more so than during August, when we have the privilege of sampling such cultural riches. And given the way time flies as it seems to, we’ll soon be doing it all again next year. 🙂