People amaze me constantly

Festival de Luminos

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 18 October 2014
Tagged with: Far East 2014 0

So many surprises today begin to make real connections in this beautiful city.

I am staying in old Macau and start my day with a walk around, to temples, street markets and to a lovely indoor/ outdoor space where you can get congee breakfast and where men come and hang their birds and sit and chat while the birds sing.


Another lovely surprise is the Fire Service museum - I can think of many friends and family who would love the displays of helmets, spouts, extinguishers and models.


Today is the first workshop in the institution for young men who have been in trouble for drug related offences and who are allowed here rather than prison. Windbox run a year round programme of arts and education activities here and the guys are totally into music so very excited about the session. Jane (one of the 3 Windbox partners) picks us up and talks to me as we drive as I ply her with questions - I really have no idea what to expect as we drive to the second island, past casinos, building works, the airport and then up steep hills past the watchtowers of the new airport.
When we get through the gates and into the hall I meet the greatest bunch of men whose open smiles and enthusiasm are a joy to work with. We talk a little, share names and interests and then start work. After rhythm work I start on a new song - it is going to focus on 'the sound of the bell' at the end of session but starts with the wake up at the start of the day. One man says he feel sad at the start of the day, others donut want this in the song - they want to keep it positive. I ask questions and discussion is lively - I work with both Jane and Sofia as translators and after a little let the song rest at the request to sing a song in english. I try Imagine and they go for it with a gusto and life that is beautiful. They want me to stay as long as possible so even though we have a gig to go to we extend the session a little more and sing and play before leaving with the promise that tomorrow when we return we will do more of 'everything'!

The evening is a portuguese treat at the Festival de Luminos where all the colonial countries are represented with food, music and colour. I change into the OMB costume at Sofias house in the village and then out we go into the crowded streets of the festival. It is a lovely gig which includes a little TV interview and a singing of a song at the Brazilian stall!
I hang out for the rest of the evening talking with Sofia's portuguese husband about the colonial past, to his step daughter about the cockling tragedy that has brought me here and to a beatboxing juggler from Sao Paulo who will be visiting the UK in January! There are many more levels to these conversations suffice it to say that what with the music (capoeira, Cape Verde band, samba, traditional Portuguese) the red wine and the grilled sardines I have good night!




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