Vanessa TomlinsonAustraliaMusic2011

I came here with a fabulous to-do list; an outcome-based trip to an arts residency that could have been, well, anywhere. But Civitella is not anywhere. It is an incredibly special somewhere, and exists with a really special group of people – the fellows and the staff. Now I might be biased, but my group of fellows were particularly inspiring, and the highlight of my residency were the presentations; getting to hear indepth about fellow’s work, process, attitude, struggle, and results. It is a given that everyone here has a unique attitude toward art, and I thoroughly enjoyed these moments of sharing.

And as for the to-do list, in the last moments, I have made sure that anything possible was crossed off the list. And as a bonus, I recorded a new solo piece for objects collected around the castle, recorded my rock and ice sculpture in the chapel, made two new works inspired by the drawings of CRF Jorge Queiroz plus two pieces with guitarist CRF Marc Ducret. I got to participate in a new work of CRF Pat Oleszko, and witness the emergence of an installation by CRF Loredana Longo.

I have walked the landscape for weeks, listened to the changing environment from spring into summer, breathed my way through morning TaiChi sessions, and blissfully sipped Limoncella into the wee hours of the night. I feel privileged to have spent 6 weeks in an environment where it is totally safe to explore new directions, and ideas evolved during my time here will be central to my music for some time to come.