My second great navigational error was in Bali, Indonesia.
Again (as in episode one) I was in the back seat. Bruce Hill and his brother were up front; Chris driving UK-style on the right hand side of the car. We had enjoyed a thrilling late night Gamelan concert in sultry Ubud, with a 30-piece Balinese orchestra, dancers and singers. We picked our way back through the town following some sort of “map.” Heading up into the countryside, the road soon began to get very thin, then disintegrated altogether into a brittle stone cattle path that was certainly not intended for the type of vehicle we were driving. The road was literally falling away under the car as shadowy trees and fields merged into complete darkness all around us. Bruce opened the door to get out, and disappeared! The ditch at the side of the road was a sheer drop and filled with murky water. After hauling Bruce back up into the car, we finally came across a house. Several of the locals came out and chatted animatedly to Chris in Bahasa Indonesia, finally coaching us in a 16-point turn to head back into town. We inched our way back to the main road with great relief.
This summer I am travelling with friends throughout Belgium and France, and then settling into the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester. We will have to try to get lost, since our maps are absolutely up to date.
Of course there can be great navigational errors in any pursuit, including music. This Spring while performing Stabat Mater with I FURIOSI baroque ensemble, we were frustrated that the three editions we were working from were often contradictory. Until we consulted the original manuscript, we had no idea that Pergolesi used a kind of short hand to indicate “piano” in his autograph scores.
You can go far down the wrong road if you base your navigation on misleading or incomplete information. Intuition isn’t necessarily enough to lead you home.
Better to have a really good map, eh?