Tag Archives: Conference Review

‘I’m not a linguist, I’m a musicologist.’

So why did you come to this conference?’

A question I heard many times this last week. The short answer: to talk about multimodality in research communication. The longer answer: to put forward the methodology of the Idélab Fellowship Project, that of researching in the middle.

‘It’s not beginnings and endings that count, but middles. Things and thoughts advance or grow out from the middle, and that’s where you have to get to work, that’s where everything enfolds’ – Deleuze, Negotiations (trans. Joughin, 1995), 161.

Researching in the middle – a phrase that can be read in a number of ways, and intentionally so. First, we stand in the middle, between the four other projects to come out of the Idélab and the ‘outside world’. Secondly, we are in the middle: our project is now in its second year of three, we are learning all the time. Thirdly, the viewpoint from the middle offers a different perspective, but one which is rarely explored: we like to publish results, results, results. Why not publish methods? Even failures? If we want to engage audiences with our work – audiences beyond the academy – then being part of things, being in the middle of things, is the attraction. Process is something many researchers publish, in one way or another, via conference papers (that well-known stalwart of conference bingo is the phrase ‘this is very much a work in progress’), blogs, twitter… We are researchers to learn, as well as to spout the fruits of our learning.

’It’s not easy to see things in the middle, rather than looking down on them from above or up at them from below, or from left to right or right to left; try it, you’ll see that everything changes.’ Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (trans. Massumi, 2004), 25.

If you want to follow a blow-by-blow account of the conference, then the storifies of the twitter tag #IPRA2015 is a good place to start (days 1-3; days 4-6 – with big thanks to Martin Siefkes aka @stilomet for making them). If you want the short version, then below are five postcards, one for each day I was able to attend, tracing the developments, inspirations, musings. They are unedited, they are brought to you from the middle.

Introductory postcard

Introductory postcard

#IPrA2015, 26th July

Monday 27th July

Tuesday 28th July

Tuesday 28th July

Wednesday 29th July

Wednesday 29th July

Thursday 30th July

Thursday 30th July

Friday 31st July

Friday 31st July

Passions, post-its, pictures, presentations, problems, personalities, paintings, projects, people. This post on the Idélab is brought to you by the letter P…

Idélab 6

P is for people. Photo: Forskningsrådet

In the last week of January I dipped below the radar somewhat; for I was part of Norway’s first ‘Idélab’. North American readers may recognise the term (idea lab); UK readers may know it as a ‘sandpit’. Whatever its name, it was an idea-generation event which was intended to produce innovative research projects seeking to pave the way for a zero-emissions society.

Twenty-seven delegates, six mentors, and representatives from Forskningsrådet (Norway’s national research council, who were behind the event) were led on a journey by Liz and Tim from the UK company Know Innovation (with help from Scotty and Paula). And what a journey it was.

Five days. Two days of defining and brainstorming the problem: what might a zero-emission society look like, and how might we achieve it? Two days of hashing out projects which could take us there. One day of presenting those projects to the panel and hearing their thoughts. Sounds simple?

Idélab 5

P is for posters

Idélab 3

P is for painting. A relaxing way to spend an evening getting creative juices flowing.








In some ways it was. Looking back, all we delegates had to do was relax and let ourselves go with the flow. That is not as easy as it sounds, for we had to place all of our trust in the leaders and mentors. Forskningsrådet, too, had to relax and let the week unfold at its pace. If that pace seemed gentle on the first day, by the Thursday the hours were flying by.

The week was a success. I say that unequivocally for one simple reason: we all cared. Leaders, mentors, delegates, organisers: we all worked together, warmly (sounds obvious? Then you’ve never lived in Scandi-land), respectfully, on equal terms.

Idélab 7

P is for personalities – questionnaire responses showed that more delegates were creative thinkers than any other category.

There was a cloud on the horizon, however. Following two days of encouraging all of us – perhaps particularly the so-called ‘hard’ scientists – to fully engage the social scientists and humanities in ideas for projects, then one day of thrashing out possible projects, the clanger was dropped: to be successful of funding in this round, projects had to advance research in two of the three areas funding the event – nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT. This was, after all, what we had all signed up to some three months previously. It was not ‘news’ per se. But it had gone against the intense working we had been doing thus far. In short, the reminder, while not unnecessary, came too late in the game. Hopes for 50/50 social/hard science collaborations were dashed. Projects had to be abandoned, as those who (for whatever reason) needed funding had to divert their energies elsewhere.

One delegate from the social sciences summed up the frustration brilliantly: in Norway, all subjects are well funded by the research council. The ‘soft’ sciences don’t have to go cap in hand to team up with the ‘hard’ sciences in order to get funding for research. This could have been a real platform for engaging across the disciplines on equal terms, but instead – more importantly, at the last minute – the hard sciences were promoted. In practice, with soft-science-heavy projects abandoned, there were ‘floating’ delegates who found the remaining projects too far advanced to be able to accommodate them. The sage advice of the mentors (whom I do not think were entirely happy with the development, even if their professionalism gave nothing away) was to enjoy the last evening of working with wonderful people. But that is hard to do when just a few hours ago you thought you could save the world.

However, Forskningsrådet had two rabbits in their hat, and the first was pulled out at the end of day four: they would fund a ‘networking project’ to keep the contacts going from the idélab and to assess the projects and they unfold. This project had to have a PI from the social sciences or arts and humanities.

Day five was the big presentation day, and the presentations were fantastic. There were five projects which went to the final round. Of these, four received funding, for Forskningsrådet pulled their final bunny out of their hat – they’d found another 10M nok behind the sofa cushions. (As you do.)

Idélab 1

P is for projects. Delegates listening to the blurb from the leader as he prepares to announce which projects will receive financing from Forskningsrådet. (Comedy caption: ‘Get on with it, James!’)

So idélab had its ups and a down, and then more ups. The journey is not over. As a volunteer to co-PI the networking project it has not escaped my notice that we have gone entirely unmentioned by Forskningsrådet (and thus by the press) in their reports on the event. That is not to say that it is a dirty secret; indeed, for some of us it is the most important outcome of the event. Not because of the money, but because our research may show what so many delegates and mentors felt so strongly: that for real collaboration, and real change, support is needed from across the spectrum of disciplines.

Forskningsrådet, the leaders and mentors, not to mention the delegates, can congratulate themselves on a phenomenal week, and on some excellent projects. There is no shame whatsoever in seeking to improve on this success, and I hope the so-called ‘networking project’ can contribute to that, despite Forskninsrådet’s silence on it thus far. As well as excellent technological projects, what idélab showed is that Norwegian-based researchers are keen to work across disciplinary boundaries, that they understand that technology is meaningless without social change, and that they are keen to put this into practice. It is my hope that the ‘networking project’ can help to drive this change, already in the hearts of researchers, into the practice of research policy and funding.


Footnote: This review has taken me longer to write than any blogpost so far. I think this is partly because the roller-coaster journey is so difficult to capture in words. A pathetic excuse, but it is the truth. If you ever get the chance to attend one of these events, then grab it. It might just change your life.


*Update: I have now seen the following pages from the Norwegian Research Council, which clearly mentions the networking project: click here for English; click here for Norwegian (contains more details). And thanks to all for the emails sent – most reassuring. Let the change begin.

Two more blogs on Idélab (both in Norwegian):

Anja Røyne – Fysikk og Fascinasjon

André Fossen Mlonyeni on Forskningsrådet’s Idélab-blogg

Any others out there, then let me know!

Idélab 2

P is for post-its. Oh yes it is. Perhaps Idélab should have been entitled ‘101 ways to inspire ideas with post-its’. I jest, of course, but those things were useful…

Out of the Shadows conference poster

Out of the Shadows conference poster

Out of the shadows came beats from a drum,
Calling the dreamers, the lost and the just.
Promising freedom, promiscuous lust,
Wordsmiths and painters, musicians and fun.

Into the shadows went children and wives.
Broken, neglected, abandoned like fools
Sacrificed over the altar of cool;
Prey to the men who had ruined their lives.

There in the shadows they too found their art,
Glimmers of light in the benzedine haze.
Nightmares, depression, mistakes, the male gaze,
Motherhood, marriage: the price was their hearts.

Still now, the shadows stretch long over them:
Women, great artists, eclipsed by their men.

The last few days at the University of Agder have seen scholars of the beat world head through our doors. It is not at all incongruous that Norway’s ‘summer town’ should host a conference on beat art, literature and music: the University of Agder, together with the neighbouring Katedralskolen, is home to the world’s largest collection of beat art outside of the USA. Conference organiser and art historian Frida Forsgren gave not one but two tours of some of the highlights of this collection which includes Jay DeFeo’s ‘The Wise Virgin’ and ‘The Foolish Virgin’; the viewing of which was surely the high point of the conference. (For the Norwegian paper Aftenposten’s article on these paintings – including pictures – see here)

But when not looking at art (or taking a boat to an island for the conference dinner, or swimming), delegates were treated to a range of international scholarly papers. Keynote speaker Polina Mackay started with an assessment of Keatsian influences in Diane di Prima’s early poetry. Di Prima was also the subject of Lisa Chinn’s paper which also covered LeRoi Jones, and both Jones partners (Hettie and LeRoi) came under scrutiny from Raven See. The first day also saw papers from Jaap van der Bent on the women in John Clellon Holmes’s Go (which included a striking comparison to Jane Eyre), and Miryam Sivan on Jane Bowles as ‘proto-beat’. Finally, Anna Solonina and Estíbaliz Encarnación Pinedo investigated the genre of ‘memoir’ among female beat authors. The first day ended with a moving reading from Jan Kerouac’s memoir ‘Baby Driver’ by Rebecca Evans.

Day 2 returned to Hettie Jones, this time with Chelsea Stripe’s discussion of her editorship of the little magazine Yugen. Anette Irene Nyhagen challenged us to rethink the life, death, and work of Joan Vollmer Adams, and Eric Mortenson offered a fascinating comparison of the women beats to Turkish female underground writers of the 1990s. The day continued with Simon Warner’s location of Patti Smith within a post-beat tradition, Franca Bellarsi’s eco-poetic analysis of women beat writers, and Estíbaliz Encarnación Pinedo’s trip to travel writing, particularly that of Janine Pommy Vega.

The final day began and ended with Mary Kerr, first in a keynote, and then with the showing of her film ‘SF Wild History Groove’. This docu-film uses no voiceover, only interviews with beat artists and poets  together with a jazz soundtrack. The University of Agder’s very own Michael Prince gave an far-reaching paper on the use of Proust citations in the film version (Salles and Rivera) of On the Road, and in the final keynote A. Robert Lee combined poetry and decades of scholarship to make the valid point that women beat artists are now, thankfully, out of the shadows indeed.

It may have taken almost fifty years, but it is heartening that these women of the 1950s are now recognised for their work, and take their place in the ‘imaginary museum’ (to borrow Lydia Gehr’s term) of literary, musical and artistic talents.

I live-tweeted the conference. To see the tweets, search using the hashtag #OutShad. My twitter name is @skatemaxwell.


KMH logo 2011


Musikforskning idag 2013, Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Stockholm, 12-14 June

It is four years now since I first attended the annual conference of the Swedish Musicological Society, ‘Musikforskning idag’. (Four years is not long compared to the track records of some of the delegates, I must add, but then, I only arrived in Sweden in 2008, leaving for Norway in 2012.) Nevertheless, this is the first time I have decided to write a review of the conference.*

The conference is a relatively close-knit affair, with most of the delegates already known to each other. It has two keynote speakers, usually one from abroad (nevertheless with some connection to Sweden) and one from ‘home’. It does not particularly aim to attract international delegates (though they are of course welcome); rather it is a chance for Swedish-speaking musicologists to gather together to discuss their year’s work, to share ideas, and, importantly for some, to be able to present and talk about their research in their mother tongue. For while there are isolated papers in English, which is the conference’s second language, the principal language of the conference is of course Swedish.

So much for the background; what about Musikforskning idag 2013? Well, for a start it was the smallest of these conferences which I have attended, despite being held in the capital. Nevertheless, the conference was still large enough to require parallel sessions, so of course I was not able to attend every paper. This, then, is a personal overview of the sessions I attended, with the papers which stood out as being particularly inspiring.

It was a delight that the first paper I heard in full was actually about multimodality. Annika Falthin’s ‘Musikens mening i ständig förändring’ succeeded in being itself a multimodal presentation, with thoughtful and affective use of sound and image within her twenty-minute slot. She discussed the musical meaning in a performance by a group of high-school students. Highlights for me included the idea of youtube as a meaning-maker in itself, the idea of a ‘pojk’ (young male) community on display, that their choice of music might actually have been irritating for the audience, and the social semiotic meaning of body language, song, and music in school.

The session in which I took part was the characteristic mish-mash of ‘old stuff’ in a conference with lots of – to be similarly generalising – ‘new stuff’. Mattias Lundberg was inspiring as ever, with an intelligent and sensitive analysis of recurring melodies in Swedish church music from printed books over three centuries (‘Accentus-sången i den svenska högmässan under 300 år: två av de mest frekvent melodierna i Sverige någonsin’). Johanna Ethernersson Pontara spoke in the same session about the ‘Neobarack i Lars Johan Werles tidliga operor’, in an interesting paper which the discussion showed I was not alone in thinking would benefit from some acknowledgement of the multimodality of opera.

There were two medieval papers in the session. Karin Stronnholm Lagergren introduced us to the manuscript which is the object of her research at KU Leuven: the Torstunamissalet (‘Missalet från Torstuna: En fransk medeltids.handskrifts väg till och användning i en uppländsk sockenkyrka’). She brought to life the use of this medium-sized missal with music, which contains some 150 songs in the Dominican tradition. The other medieval paper was my own, which predictably focused on the multimodality of the manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut, and I was thankful for the interest shown in the discussion afterwards. It is always a challenge to present the medieval period to those immersed in music of other times, and I was sorry that the lack of internet access meant that I was unable to actually play any music. (Serves me right for relying on youtube, I admit.)

The ‘efter-lunsj koma’, as session chair Karin Eriksson so aptly described it, was saved by Toivo Burlin’s paper ‘Tukkipoika: Some Comments on Recordings of North Swedish Folk Music’. In it, he played us a magical array of recordings, and opened up a world previously unknown to me, but one which I would now like to explore further. Some session-hopping took place for me in the last session of the day, since I was keen to hear Mårten Nerhfors again, and he didn’t disappoint. His paper ‘Shaping the Community Through Song – Idealogy in the Song Collections of Johann Friedrich Reichardt’ was a fascinating overview of Reichardt’s aims with his compositions aimed at breastfeeding mothers, their babies, and at children. Coupled with the ideals of the Enlightenment – Reichardt was a fervent supporter of the French Revolution – the re-reading of his works in the light of his ideology was fascinating indeed. The day ended with Erik Wallrup’s sage discussion on ‘Lyssningsakten i stämdhetens historia’, a philosophical paper which combined Heidegger, Stimmung, mood, and Wallrup’s own term ‘attunement’.

The final day opened with a paper from Lars Berglund which offered an overview of ‘Musikvetenskap och cultural history’. In it, he combined the Anglophone, Francophone and Germanic approaches to ‘cultural history’, and applied them to musicology, particularly as it is practised in Sweden. Following him was Christina Tobeck, whose paper traced the lives and work of two female Swedish pioneers in music and in medicine: Helena Munktell and Karolina Widerström. The final keynote by Cecilia K. Hultberg was symptomatic of one of the strengths in Swedish music research, that of music pedagogy. In her presentation ‘Musikalisk kunskapsbildning ur ett övergripande kulturpsykologiskt perspektiv’ she combined pedagogical, psychological and cultural theories to analyse specific cases of musical learning.

This has been a necessarily brief and personal overview of a conference rich in ideas and fellowship, where works-in-progress stood alongside work of international quality. As one who has not ‘grown up’ in the Swedish system, I am always entranced at how the so-called ‘Jantelov’ works in society, here to good effect. Even more so than in other conferences, there is a strong emphasis on open discussion, with strict timekeeping in order to respect the sanctity of the discussion period. It is a small community in which scholars of all levels are equally welcome, and which seeks to advance knowledge and encourage scholarship at all career stages. I’m looking forward to next year already.

* I would have also live tweeted the conference, were it not for the fact that the internet access for delegates at the venue just did not work. Such is (smartphone-less) life.

This review is also posted on the Medieval Song Network site here.

Review of the conference ‘Guillaume de Machaut: Music, Image, Text in the Middle Ages’, University of Exeter, UK, 29-30 April 2013

From the Exeter project site:

From the Exeter project site:

This conference took place to mark the approach of the end of the Leverhulme-funded phase of the Machaut edition project, which will for the first time provide a comprehensive edition of Machaut’s complete works and music (see A full list of papers can be seen here, and the conference was live-tweeted by Elizabeth Eva Leach (@eeleach), with Kate Maxwell (@skatemaxwell) taking over when necessary. These tweets can be found with the hashtag #Machex13.

All domains from Machaut studies were represented, with a fair number of papers crossing interdisciplinary boundaries. In addition, a concert by Le Basile provided a rare and much-appreciated opportunity to hear Machaut’s works performed live. On the historical side of things, project co-leader Yolanda Plumley together with Uri Smilansky revealed more details about the colourful courtier whose arms adorn BnF fr. 22545-6 (ms F-G). Perhaps more importantly, their paper revealed his extensive travels and associations with other manuscripts, thereby helping to expand the picture of manuscript patronage and exchange at the time. In a similar vein, Anna Alberni offered an insight into the role of some isolated works by Machaut in Biblioteca de Catalunya 7-8 (the chansonnier Vega-Aguiló) and the presence of Machaut’s works in Aragon more generally (a paper which chimes in well with that given by Lawrence Earp at the ‘Machaut in the Book’ symposium in Virginia, reviewed here). Machaut’s presence – bodily or otherwise – in Saint-Quentin in Picardy was the focus of David Fiala’s paper, which also shed some light on another clerkly musician at the Luxemburg court. Another paper which examined both musical and religious issues was that by Thomas Neal, who argued that the triplum and motetus voices of Motet 21 can be read as tropes, since they draw so heavily on the vocabulary and structure of office hymns. Emphasising art-historical issues, Julia Drobinsky’s analysis of the placement of miniatures in BnF fr. 22545-6 revealed that the artist of this manuscript – or the person issuing artistic instructions – paid close attention to the placement of the miniatures which emphasise the steps of a story more closely than any of the other illuminated Machaut manuscripts.

Of course, Machaut’s literary output also came under scrutiny, and in the first session of the first day, project co-leader R. Barton Palmer and Helen Swift both examined authorship and identity in Machaut’s works. While Swift argued for a mutable ‘je’ in relation to the Jugement dou roi de Behaigne and its accompanying images, Palmer included the two jugement poems, the Lai de plour ‘Qui bien aimme’, and the Voir dit in his paper where he traced the idea of authenticity both from the ‘inside’ – within the works – and the ‘outside’ – in the eyes (or ears) of the readers. Tamsyn Rose-Steel’s analysis of word repetition – particularly that of the ‘sans penser’ motif – in the lyrics now commonly known as the Louange des dames traced this single motif through the entire collection, from the very first line of the first poem, thus illustrating its importance.

On the second day, there were a number of papers which were intensely musicological in nature. The first of these was by Jared Hartt, who proposed a rethinking of the accepted notion of the workings of harmonies in Machaut’s mass so that, in line with research into his other works, the roles of the tenor and contratenor are not as clear-cut as has been previously thought. Following him, Anne Stone gave a paper in which she undertook a rhythmic analysis of two ballades which focused on the order of rhythms at the breve level. Her results showed the importance of the rhetorical technique of orditorio even at this micro level. David Maw’s paper argued that Machaut’s music displays ‘a pure intransitive subjectivity’, which he illustrated though Rondeau 5. The other session which was musicological in nature offered more in the way of text-music relations. Virginia Newes’s paper on the monophonic virelais in BnF fr. 1586 (ms C) asked important questions regarding line lengths and scribal awareness of rhyme issues, and Warwick Edwards’s work on accent structures and their complicated relation to musical phrasing played its part in revealing the shift from an oral to written culture – from song to book – which was well underway by the fourteenth century.

Turning now to those papers which were more overtly interdisciplinary in nature, the jugement poems once again came into focus in Emma Cayley’s paper, which dwelt on the possible causes of damage – deliberate or not – to the miniatures in BnF fr. 1584 (ms A), relating them to the verb ‘effacier’ which appears in the Jugement dou roi de Navarre when the judge is asked to overturn the outcome of Behaigne. Another paper which combined textual and visual analysis was that of Emma Dillon, whose exploration of the circularity and function of the rondelet in the Remede de Fortune linked both to the miniature in BnF fr. 1586 (ms C) and to the layout of the page as a whole. Taking interdisciplinarity and layout issues one step further, Kate Maxwell presented some of the ‘modes’ at play on a single manuscript folio, arguing that the framework of ‘multimodality’ can be a rewarding method of manuscript analysis. Two papers combined musical and textual issues: Dmitris Kountouras’s analysis of the complainte in the Remede de Fortune – ‘Machaut’s only lament’ – offered new insights into this long and musically repetitive piece; and Jacques Boogaart’s interpretation of Motet 7 brought both David’s lament for Absalom and the story of the orgueilleuse alongside a musical analysis which suggested a ‘tantalising feeling of unobtainable perfection’.

Such a phrase is perhaps also applicable to the edition project itself, which was the subject of a round table given by members of the project team. With so much on offer – searchable online texts, recordings, and a new edition of the music, to name but a few of the delights displayed – the appetite of delegates was certainly whet for the eagerly anticipated release of the first portions later this year. Perfection is, indeed, difficult to obtain, and with audience queries focusing on compatibility and longevity of the online sections of the project, only time will tell whether all these expectations can be met. Nevertheless, as reading Machaut only reminds us, we should banish Desire and put our trust in Hope (admittedly assisted in her duties here by the skills of the project team). What is certain is that, with two major projects flowering this year and bearing fruit in the near future, Machaut studies will never be the same again.

This review is also published on the Medieval Song Network site here.

Review of the Mellon Research Symposium ‘Machaut in the Book’, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 11-12th April 2013

This symposium marks one of the culmination points in the Mellon-funded project ‘Machaut in the Book’ led by Deborah McGrady and Benjamin Albritton. (For a list of participants and abstracts, see here) It was an intimate gathering of some eighteen invited participants, and consisted of twelve extended research papers, one round table, and much discussion over the course of two days. The project participants had enjoyed access to those digitised manuscripts containing works by Guillaume de Machaut which they required for their research. (For a full list see the Stanford portal) In addition, access had been provided to two digital tools for research: TPen, for transcription, and DM, which facilitates annotation, linking, and more. Both tools allow collaboration between scholars, and both are in advanced stages of development. It was thus no secret that the participants were in some ways ‘Guinea pigs’, testing the adaptability of the tools to their individual research. Perhaps the principal outcome of the symposium was to alter the focus of Machaut studies to the whole manuscript corpus, rather than to focus virtually exclusively on the single-author codices. Most papers addressed one or more anthology manuscripts, some exclusively, thus showing that valuable scholarship is being undertaken with regards to these sources. The research was helped – if not inspired by – the ever-increasing availability of these sources in digital form, together with the collaboration and transcription tools.

Rising manuscript stars which are starting to reveal their secrets include the Pennsylvania chansonnier (University of Pennsylvania ms 902 (formerly French 15)) and Paris, BnF naf 6221 (papers by Maureen Boulton, Liza Strakhov). Two papers discussed the presentation of a Machaut work nestled in a single anthology (Mark Cruse, Rachel Greer), and two more traced the cross-manuscript transmission of individual lyrics (Benjamin Albritton, Kate Maxwell). All three principal disciplines in Machaut studies were well represented, with Helen Swift discussing the mutability of Machaut’s ‘je’, Anna Zayaruznaya tracing the complications surrounding the use of the musical ‘introitus’, Elizabeth Voss discussing the miniature to the Prise d’Alixandrie in BnF fr. 1584, and Domenic Leo correcting some of the work of François Avril pertaining to BnF fr. 1586. Two papers brought new light to individual single-author manuscripts: that of Jennifer Bain on the ordering of BnF fr. 9221; and that of Lawrence Earp, whose work on the likely commissioner of the Ferrell manuscript (currently housed in the Parker Library, Cambridge, without shelfmark) and BnF fr. 1585 means that a plausible picture of the patrons for the magnificent single-author codices is now almost complete. The closing round-table and group discussion centred around the effects and uses of digitisation and technology, and of thoughts for future work – a future which promises more exciting developments in the field.

At the closing dinner, I proposed a toast to what I personally considered to be three of the project’s greatest witnesses: to the faith that the principal investigators showed the participants throughout; the fun that we had working with the sources and tools and above all with each other; and to the fellowship that the project had engendered among Machaut scholars. If you have a glass to hand, I hereby invite you to raise it too.