Rooms of People
I often define myself be saying that I love being in rooms with random groups of people making music. If that is the case then these last 3 weeks have been very good!
4 cities. 23 rooms. At least that many new songs. Political and social context. Breaking new ground, reconnecting with old, sowing seeds for the future.
Saturday in Macau included a morning with 29 young people with complex needs in a centre much like the Loyne School in Morecambe. Very familiar territory and I feel comfortable and at ease and able to play - performing on various instruments, rewriting Summertime in cantonese, handing out loads of percussion and making new pieces that had a remarkable level of control, building relationships with a lovely group of staff and introducing 2 students from my Friday night course to the reality of music in the community. As we take the end group photo I notch up another positive ripple in the long walk of response to the tragedy in 2004. I cry a little as we leave the centre.
The random afternoon is in one of the two top girls schools in the city - Santa Rosa - where I go to meet Shelley and here's a little story. In Shenzen I spent and evening in a discussion with 5 international architects talking about art, protest and context. One of them grew up in Macau (lives now in Montreal) and when asked for contact connected me with her old music teacher - Shelley). We talk and then I run a 40 minutes singing session with 24 girls who are about to enter a singing competition at the school. We relax and sing, talk about community music and then I answer questions. The contrast to the morning could almost have not been greater.The day ends with a final very sweaty parade in the local park where I meet and smile with old people who have now seen me 3 times in a week ! We end with a parade of almost 30 people following me (and their kids) back to the gate.
The tour is almost over and the evening meal with the Windbox crew is friendly and we think about the future and where this work could go. It is now up to them. I end up in a cool bar run by a frenchman drinking beer and talking about storytelling with Arvin.