In praise of Estonia: coffee, cigars, wifi, metaphysics, and early Christian music

My goodness but Estonia is a civilised place! At Talinn airport there is a shop selling fine cigars. I used up my Estonian Crowns to buy some of their more modestly priced varieties. Annexed is a café where you are invited to smoke said cigars while enjoying a cup of coffee. And this being Estonia, (as indeed applies in Helsinki also) everywhere has free wifi as a matter of principle: hence this post while my Easyjet flight is delayed - by an hour so far.

This morning after sung Lauds, I met Professor Piotr Jarosynski, a Polish metaphysician who teaches at Lublin university. Unfortunately I missed his lecture in order to get to the airport in good time (I should not have bothered!). He organises international conferences in Lublin to explore the use of media in the service of culture and I may possibly get to one such conference in the future.

Also over coffee earlier today, I quizzed my hosts on the rationale behind the extraordinarily evocative style of Gregorian chant that they use here. It turns out that one of the key players in TriaLogos has spent many years researching early Christian music, with it Jewish roots. Hence the timeless style that dispenses with the embellishments of Solesmes - they are quite vehement about that here. I am looking forward to receiving a CD with some recordings of the singing.

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