I promised to post a few photos from the A 40 event yesterday, when 60 km of the main highway in our metropolitan area was closed down and turned into a party location. It was amazing and so much fun to see this. Even though I only cycled on the highway for a short distance, because it got so so crowded. Just like we are used to when we drive there in our cars :-)
I was rather busy today and will be busy tomorrow, so this is just a short post and there will be a link to a few more photos @ ipernity. I’m too lazy to put them all up here.
This is what the highway looked this morning, a rather slow day, because it’s vacation time and it was after the morning rush hour.
And this is what it looked like yesterday afternoon:
I don’t want to complain about the weather. Not that I like the temperatures at the moment, far from it. But everyone is complaining about the weather this days, that’s nothing new. And I’m blessed with a apartement where the temperatures don’t rise about 25 °C, no matter how tropical it is outside. I just can’t open the windows during the day, but who would want to do that anyway these days ;-)
But seriously, this weather is messing with my brain. I feel even less motivated to post anything here. To even think of a topic to write about. Except the weather, but… see above. I’ve got a few half-written posts on my computer or at least in my brain. Sometimes I wonder if there really is a difference between these two ;-)
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I was and still am planning to take the bike to visit the “Still-Leben A40” event of the RUHR2010 next weekend. If it’s as hot as it this weekend, I won’t go there after all, but I’m hoping it will only be moderately warm. For the sakes of everyone involved. On Sunday 18th July , the main motorway in our metropolitan area will be blocked for traffic for 6 hours and there will be “the longest banqueting table in the world”. A 60 km stretch of road will be lined with 20,000 tables to create a meeting place for different cultures, generations and nations. It sounds crazy and it actually is, but I want to see it anyway ;-) (More information in English on their website) The tables will be on northern lanes of the motorway, the soutern lanes are the ones for bikes and rollerskates and every non-motor- means of transportation. It’s won’t be allowed to take your bike with you on the trains, metro and busses that weekend, because there will be so many people using public transport. So I have to get to the motorway on bike in the first place, which is a 30 kilometre distance. I’m planning to cycle for another 20 or 30 km on the motorway, which will probably feel really weird (but that’s the whole point of it *g*) and leave the bike at my office building in Essen to take it back with me on Monday. I’m really curious how the event will turn out and what kind of groups will have organized what kind of celebratory event at their tables.
Before I reach the moment where I can’t keep my eyes open and will withdraw to some comfy place, close my eyes and resume listening to the Outlander narration, I’ll try to put up my 2nd post for the Day of Song concert. I didn’t take a lot of photos throughout the days, because I just didn’t have the time. I wasn’t there for my own entertainment, but for serious (volunteer) work! :-) I had a great time and a lot of fun, but just didn’t manage to snap a lot of pictures.
I already wrote about the preparations on the first day, on which we were told about what our jobs would be and we were assigned the various jobs. When all of a sudden I was in charge of one of the choirs who would perform on stage. When I signed up to be a volunteer during this event I actually just expected to be working in the backstage camp for the 230 choirs and their 7500 singers. Catering, answering questions, guiding them to the right facilities, exits etc. This job as special volunteer for a single choir was so much better. I helped with stocking the tables inside the tents with food and drinks in the mornings, but afterwards I had to take care of my choir. Lead them into the arena, to their seats, stay with them all throughout the first rehearsal, because it was me who had the radio unit and the earbud and the microphone to get the instructions and cues from the show’s director. Or one of his assistants or whoever.
One of the really large events of the RUHR2010 is the !Sing – Day of Song. I’m too lazy to use my own words to explain what that is, so I quote from the event’s website
The DAY OF SONG will transform the whole Ruhr Metropolis with a festival of singing. More than 670 Choirs with more than 23.000 Singers invite the citizens of the region to join them in song. On the weekend of 4th and 5th June, the message of the DAY OF SONG will be heard everywhere: Everyone is a singer, everyone can join in. The sound of singing will spread to the most unexpected of places: with !SING CITY, for instance, a singing convoy of ships steams down the Rhein-Herne-Kanal, und with !SING TWINS guests from sister cities across Europe join German choirs in Welcome concerts.
Festivities come to a climax on the evening of June 5th 2010 with !SING EUROPE, an extraordinary concert in the VELTINS Football Stadium in Gelsenkirchen, featuring Bobby McFerrin, The Wise Guys and The Bochumer Symphoniker joining up to 65,000 singers in an ambitious program ranging from folk songs to the fourth movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
There are the few mentioned singers/groups on the stage (main stage + two satellites actually), but the main artists of this concert will 230 choirs with 7500 singers, who will be sitting on the field all around the center stage and who will be singing the kind of lead vocals. They’ll be singing polyphonically, which means they have been practicing these songs for the last few months or even longer. It’s a big concert after all. And it’s going to be televised even though it’s no live TV, but a recorded broadcast on Sunday evening.
I’d estimate that about half of the audience in the stands are choirs as well, who have performed in their hometown during the day or on the ships, and the sheet music will be handed out to everyone who wants to sing along. I’m not a singer except for rock concerts or hockey games where I can sing (or rather) shout with thousands and my off-key singing is drowned out by the rest. Or maybe I could sing if I’ve ever really learned how. I don’t know. I always feel like the timbre of my voice just doesn’t fit with the ones singing around me ;-) But I’m not there to sing anyway.
This post has been lying on my desktop for almost a week now. At least parts of this post have, because if I had actually managed to finish writing it I would have posted it as well. Which I didn’t. Obviously. I’ve been so insanely busy with work and other stuff. Mostly other stuff, I have to admit. I will be equally busy over the next few days with this other stuff, so I thought tonight it’s now or never.
4 weeks ago I wrote about the Shaft Sign Project at the RUHR2010 (European Capital of Culture). I was a volunteer at one of the sites and even thought it turned out to be different than I expected, I still had a great time. The weather could have been better though. I spent two of my four shifts sitting in the car, just guarding the balloon on the ground, because it was raining. The sun was shining for my other two shifts, so all was well. I actually expected to be helping out at a site where a club, any kind of association, a church group or any other group were responsible for the balloon and all the events on the ground. That there would be events on the ground. It turned out that there were sites where there were only volunteers, responsible for the balloon and where there would be no special events, entertainment or food stalls. Just the balloon and us. Oh well. It was still fun, because even though there wasn’t a lot too see except the balloon, there were still people visiting. Asking questions, telling stories from old times and all. On Saturday morning an old lady from the neighbourhood showed up and she was so happy that she was able to see the illuminated balloon the night before from her balcony. She even returned half an hour later and brought us some snacks from the bakery. She was such a sweet old lady. Continue reading
I spent yesterday at the volunteer training for the “Shaft Sign” event of the European Capital of Culture. There is extensive website (unfortunately only in German) www.schachtzeichen.de but there are also quite a few details in English about this project on the RUHR2010 Website.
In short: For the last week in May 350 large yellow ballons will hover high up (up till 80 metres) in the air above former mineshafts. At every mineshaft a company, an institution, a sportsclub, a churchgroup, any kind of assosicatiion will provide a stage for all different kinds of cultural program or exhibitions. But the real attraction will be the 350 yellow ballons up in the air all across 4000 square kilometres region of the Ruhr metropolitan area. These ballons will hover right above any kind of residential, business or industrial settlement, because coal mining took place everywhere in the region. It’s what made us what and who we are. And I just love the idea of bringing this back to our attention with this kind of visual image.
There have to be at least 5 persons on the ground of every ballon site all day long, because you need 5 people to get the ballon up or down, so there are a lot of volunteers needed and I gladly signed up for this. Because, like I said, I totally love this project. It’s too bad I couldn’t sign up for that many shifts during the 9 days of this project. I’ll plan to meet book232 some time on the first weekend (are we still on, by the way?), there’s the LOST finale to watch on Monday, I’ve got important work meetings on Thursday and Friday and friends of mine gave me a “Shaft Sign Picnic and Day Out” – Saturday as a birthday present. But on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday I will help to get a ballon up (and down) somewhere.
I’m pretty sure all these ballons will be a unique image to look up to in the sky. Or to just look at from any height somehwere in the Ruhr metropolitan area.
I haven’t blogged a lot lately. And even that statement might be an understatement. I was just really busy and not necessarily with stuff that’s worth writing about. I think I mentioned it once (or several times *g*) before, that I really don’t like these posts myselfs in which I just complain and whine about my life, so I refrained from blogging for a bit. But I’m determined to change that. And to keep the moaning posts to a minimum. I might even join the NaBloPoMo for April again, even though I know I won’t be able to post every day, because I’ll be in London for a few days. I might post from there as well though. Because I have already budgeted the data roaming charges for going online with my Palm Pre to use twitter and to check in on so many new and exciting locations on foursquare and all the rather unessential, but still nice things you can do with a smartphone.
My provider O2 has a 15 EUR/day cap on international data roaming, otherwise I probably wouldn’t even consider it, because it could be really really expensive. But I think I’ll allow myself that luxury this time. That reminds me that I still have to find a way how to write about a hilarious comic, I sas recently, about this whole web 2.0 stuff. I didn’t find this comic online yet and I’m hesitant to just show a pdf or jpg of it online because of the copyright.