Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music is the language that permits me to converse with the beyond.

Robert Schumann

Basel Ballet

I’m just coming to the end of two weeks in Basel working with the ballet company here. We’ve been doing Jiri Kylian’s extrordinary piece, One of a Kind, with Brett Dean’s two hour score for solo on-stage cello and electronics. the dancers are magnificent – so passionate and dedicated to their art – and Kylian is my favourite choreographer – everything so flowing, and always seems to have an emotional expression that tells a story of some kind. It’s a huge challenge to play, as of course it all has to be memorised, and if I make a mistake the dancers are in big trouble! But it’s great fun – particularly in the second act where dancers come very close to where I am playing, and we get to improvise together a bit. It was the first major piece that Brett wrote before he decided to be a full time composer, having been a viola players in the Berlin Philharmonic before that.

Back to London for some rehearsals and meetings tomorrow, then back here for the final show on Sunday.

And Basel is great – such a beautiful old town, and the cheese and chocolate – lots of fondues and raclettes followed by chocolate truffles. Mmmmmm