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With the year 2013 now a closed chapter, here’s a short reflection….

Highlight

The highlight of the year, without any doubt, was the performance of Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees) at Glenstal Abbey. It was the happiest moment. All events leading up to that moment were also very enjoyable, and sometimes scary. It wasn’t until the day before the performance I felt confident that the eminent monks would actually perform the choral part of the score (many thanks to Wolodymyr Smishkewych for making it happen). The rehearsal with the ICO in their studio was pure magic. Something happens when a score is moved from my imagination, through the computers, to the paper, to the musicians, and they play it. The Softday Apiary Ensemble also turned out to be a real buzz, and I hope the friendships that developed over all our workshops will remain and continue to develop in some future project. Jenny Kravis readings filled the space between the sonic elements, like beeswax between cells in a honeycomb – it made all the parts stick together in its final structure. It was also amazing to work with our friends Dave Carugo, Lette and Keith Moloney and Bob Corrigan who formed a professional audio, video and photograph team documenting the performance.

SotB

The feeling that washed over me at the end of the performance made me think that THIS I have to remember and THIS is the way I would like to feel more often.

Summer

When it eventually got started, the Irish summer was beautiful. I reworked my herbal garden and we had several pleasant evenings with BBQ and watching the sun set in the west.

bbq

Then, we went for a holiday break in Sweden to visit friends and relatives, which turned into a medical and emotional frenzy with elderly parents in different hospitals.

Migration

Moving the Interaction Design Centre, from Engineering Research Building back to the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. This was not an easy move, as we didn’t want to move.

Engineering Research Building

Engineering Research Building

CSIS building

CSIS building

We lost some high-quality space and we gained some. We’re building a new design lab in the CSIS building. In the CSIS building, the heating is insufficient during winter months. My office gets to a maximum of 15 degrees C with its only radiator turned on. I know, from having spent years in the building before, that in summer it will be too hot. Apart from the lack of climate control, corridors are very narrow and we are more isolated from our research students, not by distance but by the structure of the space.

Economy

The recession continues. From my perspective the cost of living in Ireland is increasingly expensive while net salaries continue to fall. The politicians and their mates are getting top-up payments, while the rest of us are getting cuts. The only way to survive the political Fine Gael + Labour propaganda is through positive disengagement.

protest(from Softday‘s Silent Protest)

One Comment

  1. Thank you Mikael for your friendship and support and collaboration throughout the year, years previous, and I most hope for many years to come :) Song of the Bees during 2013 was an outstanding experience for us all, but I could feel the pride burning off of you when the ICO played the piece and off both you and Sean as you stood up on stage while the audience heartily and deservedly clapped. It was amazing to be a part of and we will never forget it either :) Thank you so Much Mikael and I hope 2014 and beyond brings you (&M) many more wonderful experiences and feelings :) xxx


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