When Summer rolls around, it can mean a lot of different things to different people: vacations, time with family, sweltering heat, or time to pursue a new hobby. For many musicians, Summer means having the opportunity to travel from one's home base to perform in various music festivals across the country and internationally.
This Summer, we traveled to San Luis Obispo, California on California's beautiful Central Coast for Festival Mozaic: one of the country's top music festivals which has been bringing in some of the best orchestral musicians from across the country since 1971. This was LC Double Reeds' co-founder Xiaodi Liu's fifth season performing with Festival Mozaic, but this season presented a new challenge that seasons past did not have: how to run a “cottage industry” style business and fulfill orders from customers while on the road and simultaneously balancing the intense demands of the music festival.
Without readily available access to WIFI or a printer, this meant daily trips during our free time to FedEx Office, the USPS office in San Luis Obispo, and many of the area's great coffee shops such as Scout Coffee and Black Horse Coffee to use WIFI and stay fueled with great espresso and lattes. Since timely order fulfillment and quality customer service are two of our top priorities, we couldn't simply “pause” business just for the festival! Many thanks to all of the employees of the USPS, FedEx, Scout and Black Horse who were so accommodating to us during our trip!
This season offered a lot of awesome performance opportunities for Xiaodi: from a solo performance of Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid (video below), to a quintet performance of Harbison's Wind Quintet with fellow bassoonist Fei Xie, to performing many great orchestral masterworks with the Festival Mozaic Orchestra led by maestro Scott Yoo.
We had a fantastic time making music, being inspired by our colleagues, catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones! As most travel goes, however, it will be nice to get back to our home and recharge in preparation for the next season.