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  • Nicolette Andres

Europe & Purpose

Updated: May 29, 2018

20 August 2017

Hello! After settling in to Tacoma after my travels in Europe I've had some time to appreciate my pictures, memories, and realizations that have been on my mind. My pictures below are just highlights of my time abroad, and a lot of my memories have to do with sound and textures, along with these images. The more I travel the more I realize how music is such an essential, connecting force in our world. I had wonderful conversations with strangers on trains, planes, and buses because I had my violin with me. I like to remind myself when I travel to never underestimate what you can learn from someone. These small conversations were very valuable to me, and were a reminder of how connected our world can be.


Because I was in Europe during the summer, many concert cycles were at rest until the fall. Salzburg had concerts of Mozart's music that were geared towards tourists, and they were quite expensive - a profit from tourism undoubtedly. I avoided these at the time, and wandered down streets looking for places similar to those that I find welcoming in the US - small businesses where you can sit, eat, drink, and listen to local music without paying high entrance fees or reserving seats. I did manage to stumble across a pair of great musicians playing on a street near the Picasso museum in Barcelona, Spain, and surprisingly found some live jazz in Salzburg that made my evening. It was nice to get a peek into music scenes, but the season was not right for getting the complete picture. I can only speak about the few experiences I had, and I hope to go back soon.


These experiences prompted me to appreciate all of the small places that support live music in the areas I have lived. I love Tacoma for it's small cafés and bars that have live music on such a regular basis - supporting local artists and scenes that will allow new, creative music to develop in any genre! I also experienced this in the Denver area when I was in my first years of college and played with a band at different places around the city - people like to see what other musicians are up to, and what our purpose is for playing music. There is not one specific mold to fit into, or a tradition like that of the Viennese school to uphold - I have grown up and spent time in places that have such a different history.


I'll leave you with a piece of wisdom I collected today:

Just tonight, at G Donnalson's in Tacoma, a guitar player told me that to truly play music, we must each find our own voice. We can take ideas from others and be inspired by the greats - study, imitate, and develop technically - but to truly play music that fuels us we have to listen to our own voice and ideas. The beauty of the art form is in each person's unique approach. This is where we find authenticity and build community.

What purpose is the music serving - our own, or outside standards?

More to come on this topic - yet for now I think this is enough to ponder.

#music #performing #livemusic #Mozart #Salzburg #travelingmusician