Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music is the universal language of mankind.

Longfellow

All night long in Latvia

It’s 9am on Sunday morning, and I’ve just had breakfast with lovely people who came to last night’s all night concert. I played from 11pm to 7am which left me elated and exhausted.. I had a huge collection of music: 2 Bach Suites, a Britten Suite, bits of rep by Gavin Bryars, Casals, Gabrielli, and lots of stuff for cello and electronics by John Metcalfe, Nitin Sawhney, Duncan Bridgeman, DJ Bee, and a whole heap of impros, some with drones, some with effects, some acoustic. I also put on the odd bit of music, so I could rest sometime – that was fun, too.

But what a wonderful experience – in a beautiful old manor house, in the hall, in the middle of the gentle and serene Latvian countryside, and packed with people all bringing their camping mats and sleeping bags and cushions. It somehow felt uniquely Latvian (lots of young people), and the atmosphere was so warm, I was just amazed at how many people turned up for such a crazy concert! It was the end of three days at the Introvert Music Festival, which is a concept I love. A different way of presenting and listening to music, and very inspiring – every city in the world should have one.