20 years ago I went into Sandylands school in Morecambe to
Now 3000 miles away a girl who was in the class invites me back
The school by a lake, a lovely campus inhabited by students
From at least 15 different countries
27 years ago I started drumming on chairs as a way
Of engaging and playing with mixed bunches of people
Night out with Lap, old friend from Welfare State
He takes us out for Sichuan spicy food and to 2 Live Houses
It's a small world and so huge
Waking up early at 6 am to this view of the old style housing estate below that is being destroyed to make way for new developments - wherever I travel I see the same.
A key purpose of this trip is to look at how working in the International school circuit can support working in socially challenging contexts. Today, a full day of rhythm work and performance at Utaloy school in Guangzhou is a next step in thinking about what and how we can create a package. The critical aspect will be that it is (a) value for money (b) deliverable by more than me (c) cost effective (d) a mission match for More Music. Hannah Baldwin is my host. She first saw me as a onemanband at her school in 1993, she then joined the carnival band at the start of our work in Morecambe, about 5 years after that she did her school work placement at More Music, her mother ( a piano teacher) taught 3 of our kids to play, she then studied and became a music teacher in London and now in China. Now I return to her school! Magic!
I have four back to back 50 minute workshops with year 7 children and I introduce world music and rhythm through playing and singing. Her music room is lovely, the kids up for it and enthusiastic and although hard work it is not a great challenge. This I should be able to do! Yet I am still amazed at how great the stickwork in a circle is as a method for diagnostic analysis of people and their rhythm and social abilities. At lunchtime we eat salad and watch the primary kids play by the lake.
At the end of the day all the secondary kids (500) come for assembly and I entertain them with the Fastest One man Band!
I wonder whether in 20 years one of these kids will invite me back to their school in Korea, Japan, France, Spain, Russia, China, Singapore or the Philipines!
Another old friend, cultural consultant and producer Kwong Wailap hosts us for an evening that starts with spicy Sechuan food of bamboo shoots, beans with dried fish, cucumber salad, Fish and Tofu and an amazing lettuce with hot sauce! We go to hear a heavy rock band from Beijing and then onto a cool jazz bar. I am arriving in the city.