Today’s musical styles couldn’t have con­trasted more. The after­noon was upbeat reggae and African rhythms in one room, West Papuan and pacific in another and smells of cooking wafting through. This evening was ser­ious young men (and they were all men), black-rimmed glasses on struc­tured white faces, hunched over laptops or elec­tric gui­tars, cre­ating squirls and beeps against a back­drop of exper­i­mental art, cigar­ette smoke and scotch and dry.

I loved both of them.

The best of the afternoon’s music all seemed to fea­ture Nicky Bomba on per­cus­sion some­where in the band while the evening’s best were Amp­li­fier Machine and Because of Ghosts, the first a dreamy ambient excer­cise is sparse­ness with violin and guitar and a real drum kit, the violin dragged gently across the cym­bals every so often as it wailed, then held close to the speaker for some feed­back, loops and pedals and dis­tor­tion as far as it could be pushed; the second reminded me of God­speed You, Black Emperor, quiet, drawn-out begin­nings leading to walls of guitar and drum, crashing cres­cendos of sound and then back to looped tink­ling from brandy bal­loons filled with water, their rims rubbed into a mic. 

As for the art, it’s harder to remember which bits were which as I wasn’t taking notes. I thought the birds of Zero Dol­lars piece was great, espe­cially when filled with manu­scripts in Latin and red ink. The begin­ning and middle sec­tion of Cor­nelius Wilczek’s work was amazing: the rus­sian anim­ated car­riage racing through the snow and the boy in the jungle with the animals who is then trans­fixed by the mirage of the dan­cing fifties’ stripper in the heat of the dry grasses. I’m not sure whose work it was because the pro­gramme lists two names, but the 60s footage of Aus­tralian chil­dren playing during Becuase of Ghost’s set was great too.

And of course, I had great com­pany: first fizit, where we caught up on our lives and talked of work and other stuff, and then James Geurts, my artist friend, where we spoke of art and life and politics and being driven.

One thing I’ve real­ised from today is how much I enjoy having pur­pose. I love having this magazine com­pany starting and organ­ising the picnic again because I love being able to say to people, “so, I’m doing this thing, can I get you involved in some way?” Teaching wasn’t like that. It didn’t have the same external focus and engage­ment that is ener­gising me now.