‘The twins will need to be fed and in bed by 7 pm, 8 at the latest’, said Saskia upon arrival, ‘and they really don’t like to nap’.
‘Of course’, I said, trying to hide two tremors of culture shock in one sentence, of the difference between Northern and Southern Europe mealtimes, and as a bachelor, what it’s like to raise two 8-year olds.
I had fallen in love with their YouTube channel, a Dutch professor and his librarian wife that had been taking advantage of the early bedtimes to record original music in their living room. With quirky choices of instruments- cardboard-thin ukuleles, glockenspiels and odd, toy organs- their music feels distinctly European but without any specific flavour from anyone one country. And that was just what I wanted.
‘New song. Uploading it now. Named it after the coffee I was drinking at the time’, a message will say. I’ll download it into my editing software and within a few hours there on the screen images will appear of my sweet Emiluccia, Her noisy little engine will be replaced with the sound of rubber mallets striking stainless steel keys and overdubbed strings, the sound file bounced off a satellite, uniting two extremes of Europe without even an audible beep.
So when I decided to make an entire 10-part television show about Southern Italian wine I sent the two a message.
1) Would they like to score it,
2) When are they coming to visit. ‘1)Yes, and 2) in a. month’, were the answers, which was how I ended up eating dinner for a week, about the time I’ve used to standing up from lunch.
As the kids ran sand dunes on the Adriatic coast, we talked music non-stop, from classical to jazz to world to sound tracks, especially those with original music. After they fell asleep, we’d continue, art and music, film and human development, it all bled together, beautifully
And the day before they were to head back, we made this little video together. I dare you to watch it without smiling. Just try.
If you’re interested in the upcoming television show (a 15 month long project) and you’d like to help shape it by becoming a beta tester, respond to this email with ‘beta tester’ as the subject.
The policy on beta-testing is simple.
1) Leave comments, anything you want to say. Could be a thought on wine, on what you see, about what I should include, edit out, etc. You can comment on the pieces or the whole. I’ll filter through these comments and make the show stronger.
2) But also please feel free to ignore each posting: no one’s feelings will be hurt. All that I ask if that you do ignore it, please feel free to do so without the need to give any excuses. Neither of us need feel guilty about the time restraints of modern life.
I’m also self-financing the show so if you’re interested in seeing your name as ‘executive producer’, send me a message.
Otherwise, expect the first few episodes to air in the early autumn. If you’re following us, you’ll hear all about it, every step along the way.