Friday the 22nd of July started out as a normal day. I woke up in Liverpool, pretty tired after three long and amazing days of recording, and had rehearsal with the Liverpool Phil and Carl Davis for a concert the next day. Just when I get off stage I feel my phone vibrating in my handbag, I ignore it. It rings again and I check the caller ID, my mother, I ignore it again thinking I can call her back when I get to the hotel. She call a third time, and I answer - the first thing she says is that there's been a bomb in Oslo. I think she must be joking, she has too, this can't be happening. I turn on the TV as soon as I come to my room and the pictures on SkyNews live from Oslo are just unbelievable. This isn't my city, my home, this can't be happening in Oslo - the city of peace. My mother calls again, and she assures me that all my friends are safe - good. I talk to her for a long time.
That evening I've got tickets for Harry Potter, the last film. I'm a huge fan of the books, but seeing the world collapsing on screen on a day like this? I meet up with someone from the orchestra and we go together. Everyone has heard about the bomb. My mum calls again - there is a guy shooting at the labour party's youth camp at an island. This can't be happening. I watch the movie. It's really amazing (I have to watch it again, my head wasn't there the whole time...) and I go to bed. I wake up the next morning,for a couple of minutes I'm happy - then I remember. The bomb. The shooting. I call my mother. Almost 90 people dead. Murdered. Young people. It's a bit too much, and I'm so far away. I go for a walk, every front page of every newspaper has pictures from Oslo. I decide to focus on the concert that evening. I dedicate one of the songs I play to the victims and their families and I play with a black ribbon.
Next day on the plane, the tears comes.
Monday is a strange day. Out on the streets people care for each other, even though we are total strangers. You feel the love. Around 5pm I get a phone call - two hours later I play for over 200 000 people in front of the city hall. All there to pay respect, to show the man who did this that we are stronger together, to say that we love each other no matter religion or skin color. It's like I'm not there. When I play the very opening of my piece, solo trumpet before the piano joins me, everyone lifts the roses they have in their hands. Then I just close my eyes. I'm not there. My voice is, my music is, but I have to be strong. I tell myself I can cry later - right now I have to forget I'm there and just play. It's definitely one of the strongest and most special moments in my life. I feel privileged to have felt, seen and tasted air full of so many emotions - most of all love.
There are so many other amazing things I want to tell you all about from the last month. And I will. I just needed this entry for these emotions. I'm lucky, I didn't personally know anyone who died, but I know people who did. Norway is a small country, not so many people, we are all affected by this.
We will never be the same after 22nd of July 2011.
- Tine Thing Helseth 2011 -