Cambridge Busking Singer: Lucy Black

Lucy Black is certainly a musical being. When I heard her singing at the Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival I actually put my camera down (OMG this from the woman who refused to put her camera away in caves, jungles and city traffic).

I’m telling you it’s true though, after snapping a few photos though I decided I wanted to experience the grace of the voice before me without interruption.

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Cambridge Busking Band

Remember the band Still Seeking from the Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival last weekend? It was the animated, jolly band with a bizarre instrument called a lagerphone?

I contacted them to ask a few questions about what it’s like to be a band out on the streets and they were happy to reply! Here’s a run down of what they said about their experiences as a band.

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The Defection of Bidhishna 3

Surrounded by the false darkness of Bangkok the audience around me gasps as Lord Rama towers over King Ravana. Steadying his position atop a fellow performer he brings his weapon to bear. Seconds after driving a blow at Ravana, Rama lightly steps to the ground as the human structure falls away. He and the demon circle each other, seeking another moment to strike. Just behind them their two armies wait, prepared to converge in a mass of honour, strength and death. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 3”

The Defection of Bidhishna 1

Bidhishna cowers before his brother, Ravana the Demon King of ten faces, as Ravana towers over him preparing to deliver the killing blow. The audience, wide-eyed by the spectacle, releases its breath as a moment later Ravana withdraws his sword and contemplates another punishment for his brother. Overhead birds skim across the sky ignoring the drama on the ground. In the far distance clouds, as indifferent as the birds, silently roll by. The sun has already moved on to awaken another part of the world. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 1”

World Music Celebration: March 21st

They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.

But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”

Jacky Essombe: March 21st

She was forming the rhythm with the very air. Her hips, elbows, feet and hands beat an invisible series of drums surrounding her body. She was creating the rhythm of three beats. Her limbs listened to separate sounds, followed the voice of different drums and expressed themselves as individuals. The dance was wild but expressed coordination. Cooperation. She was a community in harmony.

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TRUSU Pakistan Club Launch

My fingers settled on the game piece or striker, shaped like a tiny cake, and I slowly slid it to the outlined bar before me. Eyeing the pieces scattered across the board I set up a shot. After a moment of visualization I tucked my index finger into a curl behind my thumb, my hand hovering near the striker. Straightening my finger in an instant, the striker shot across the board before me clicking and clacking as it bounced off the other game pieces and surrounding wall: click, click, click…click…click. It began to slow as it lost momentum. To my delight one of the black pieces it ricocheted off of flew into a pocket. Grinning I accepted the retrieved piece and added it to my small tower. Then I collected the striker, set the piece and wound up my finger for another shot at carrom.

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Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa

At first I was unsure about this singer, he had a smoky rough voice­–the kind my mother loves, but I don’t find appealing. Personal taste. As he kept singing though, the music’s lively beat began to catch hold of my limbs. In the beginning, Ezra Kwizera seemed detached from his singing. He stood quite still, his expression lax. Then after two songs he woke up. He began shifting his weight left and right, then his hips and guitar.  Four songs in he set his guitar gently in its stand and, turning to the audience with a cheerful gleam in his eyes, he energetically motioned for them to stand. His friendly invitation found purchase in the eager audience and with a cheer they bounced out of their seats. We had caught the music bug. Continue reading “Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa”

International Days Showcase: Kamloops

Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.

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Idle No More Round Dance

Like a heartbeat pushed to exertion. That’s what it sounded like. That moment after a long run where your breathing slows and from the quiet emerges your heartbeat pounding in your ears. The air seemed to breathe. The Sun out in all its glory gave warmth to the sky. The voices, intertwined with each other and empowered by numbers, followed the sunbeams into the blue. Thanks went to the Creator. Welcome to all and everything spread in every direction: east to the Creator, south to meet ourselves, west to meet family, friends and neighbors, and north to meet the elders’ wisdom. Continue reading “Idle No More Round Dance”