Archive for the ‘Myanmar/Burma’ Category

UFO Sighted!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We were lucky to be in Mandalay during a very special solar eclipse. People were out all day with their cameras and special lenses.

It just so happened that a UFO was sighted later that day while we were playing our concert…

Gilad playing the UFO

The sound is like a soft bell sound or mellow steel drum. The stage began to fill up with people curious about the unfamiliar sound. And after the concert Gilad was surrounded by people wanting a closer look…

Touching the UFO!

Check back in a few days and I’ll have a video and sound clip of this beautiful instrument. The actual name is Pan Tam or Hang. It was created by a Trinidadian who lives in Switzerland within the last ten years.

Our duo is a combination of strings and percussion…I brought three guitars on the tour: a Telecaster, a nylon string acoustic and a 12-string acoustic. Gilad brought a full bag of instruments and the UFO (sometimes also called a WOK!). But we also have our bag of tricks as you’ll see from this next clip.

I wanted to get in on the percussion jam and grabbed some Caxixi. Gilad got the audience involved and surprised me with a solo!…My debut in public!

Myanmar/Burma!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Now if you have already seen my first posts about Papua New Guinea, you may start noticing a theme here!…beautiful children and jazz interaction!

Kids at concert in Mandalay

Or maybe you can tell what’s important and exciting to me?…it is a wonderful thing to play for kids who have no preconceived ideas of jazz music! It brings you back to the purity of the musical experience–the rhythm, the melody, harmony and back to the rhythm!

They were dancing in front of the stage and then ON the stage with us–it was literally rockin’ and the thought did cross my mind that the party might be too much for the temporary stage but all ended well.

The whole audience of 500-700 were grooving–people of all ages and backgrounds. It was a free, public concert. 500 people signed the guest book and there were about 100 people looking over the walls into the green yard where the stage was set up.

Here is a picture of one of the people we connected with…she is a young poet who was inspired to give me a gift of one of her poems!

Mandalay Poet

After hearing my recitation of the poem “Alone” by Maya Angelou over my musical composition of the same name she copied her poem and presented it to me after the concert.

The poem, entitled “Man and his Responsibilities” was written in her first year of school. Here it is:

Take it or leave it, you have a choice.

Sleep it or spend it, your long cold night.

Try it or stop it, your dangerous flight.

Lose it or catch it, as you like.

But the result is responsible to you.

The things will come, you cannot refuse.

Life is a mirror, and it’s plain one, too.

Reflection will come right up to you.

Mandalay, Myanmar, 2010