From Moscow to Perm - A Very Long Day
Our "hotel" in Moscow at the former Olympic Village
Vladimir shows up at 9 am, (having been locked out of the complex when he went to use the internet at the office) and we head to a dance school / theater where there will be a showcase of the Huun Huur Tu orchestral work for journalists. Braving the rush hour in the Moscow Metro, we arrive and do the hurry up and wait thing while the tech is set up and the musicians rehearse. The jetlag gets to me, and find a place in the balcony to sleep, and wind up getting locked up there. When Chad comes up with his video camera, I am finally released. At 6, the performance happens, and is very well received.
Dancers at the recital hall.
Sayan at the piano
Prepping the recital hall - taken from the balcony where I was captive for a couple of hours
The showcase - hello journalists and intelligentsia
There is a small reception where I finally meet Sasha, the head of Greenwave Records. We leave the hall around 8 pm, and Joe from the video crew and I wind up being driven back to the complex by Sasha's mother, and we hit a massive traffic jam, the likes of which I have never seen anywhere. She decides to take a short cut through Red Square, and is stopped by police, who are guarding the entrance because the President of India is visiting the Kremlin. She jumps out of her car and screams at the police, swearing in Russian, and Joe and I are sure we are going to be pulled out of the car and arrested any minute. She then grabs her purse from the car, pulls out an envelope and hands it to the police, more screaming and swearing, and then the police let us go.
Mark on the balcony
Sasha (Huun Huur Tu's manager) and Radik
We arrive back at the complex around 10, where Huun Huur Tu and the rest of our crew are waiting and wondering what happened to us. Each of them seems to have a similar story about a car ride with Sasha's mother - I guess this 70 year old woman is notorious. We have only a few minutes to pack up and head down to a van to take us to the airport.
At the Perm airport, we meet Carmen Rizzo, who has flown in from Paris and our tech assistant, Loren Khulusi, who has flown in from LA. We find out our 1 am flight is now delayed until 2 am, so we have a small reunion party in the airport. Everyone had had some kind of adventure and brush with authorities on the way here, and stories are swapped. The other thing we all have in common is that we are exhausted.
Mark and Carmen at the Moscow Airport
Airport Reunion party
Vladimir & Sayan
Loren & Celeste
Radik checks out the ubiquitous travel guitar
The plane finally takes off, and we cross yet another time zone and arrive in Perm at about 6 am. A van is waiting for us, and on the van is the poster for our "Eternal" concert, along with words in Russian that are translated for us as "Famous American Musicians and famous band from Tuva is this vehicle". So much for a low profile. On the way to the hotel we pass a billboard for the concert, and we realize this is a pretty big deal here. We arrive at the hotel at 7:30, and and decide to have breakfast before crashing - in four hours, we are scheduled to begin our first rehearsal.
The Ural Hotel in Perm, Russia
Breakfast of Champions in Perm