values shared 'cross continents
music a vehicle
This mornings conference has a focus on Pacifica and we meet in the magnificent Fale to start the day learning a dance - a Sasa. It is percussive and full of claps and simple arms movements all learnt sitting on the floor. The young dancer who leads us is fantastic in her simple joy and clear instructions as we try to get a complex set of rhythmic movements. It is delightful and has many similarities to a Samoan 'warm up' that was passed to me by Mary Keith who had in turn learnt it from a Samoan singer on tour in the UK. A funny story - I taught this to Leon Patel and some of his musicians in a workshop last year and he told me recently how they had rewritten it as a funk/hip hop version with the same actions but new words. Need to get it and send it back round.
The panel that follows has four women from the islands (Fiji, Tonga and Samoa) and is chaired by Te Oti. The conversation is lovely and touches many areas of identity, community, power and ...... It could have gone on for much longer.
Next is time for our presentation on "The success and failure of a decade of Hong Kong - British collaboration between Centre for Community Cultural Development (HK) and More Music (UK)". We have created our 20 slide show, written text and rehearsed a number of times so that the duet of the presentation works smoothly.
We share the time equally and Rebecca is clear and I believe the story comes through. It would be so good to present this in another forum - it is all over so fast! We have recorded it so maybe we can make a short filmic version for the web.Over lunch the APCMN meets again and this time we are tasked with talking about content and ideas. Brydie chairs the gathering if 20 + people and we settle on 4 themes to work on in small groups - Mapping and workforce, Wellbeing, youth pathways and a creative project. We are tasked with setting targets for the next 2 years before the n ext major gathering in Hong Kong and also deciding on responsibilities. I have a lovely time with a small group developing a consequences project that can ricochet around the region over the next 2 years - I hope it will work !
The final plenary is surprisingly good - it is so easy for the energy to fizzle out but there are four people each delivering thoughts on their responses to the 4 day conference. We hear stories about art integration and advocacy and Phil Mullen makes us laugh as he uses the concept of 'positively awkward' to frame a whole load of great things he see have taken place. We finish with a powerful tale of a project in 2 earthquake zones that creates space for children to try and heal damaged dreams.
People leave during the day, goodbyes are said, future meetings looked forward to and promises are made about digital communications and sharing.
Community musicians working together, engaging communities and an engaged community here in the Asia Pacific region.