Tuesday, May 2

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday, Joe and I played at Café Apollonia with Mike the drummer and K on accordion. It was the first time K joined us, and it was lots of fun. We played a pretty decent set, and the place was packed. I think I need to practice more frequently though. I probably should spend less time blogging and more time practicing. That might mean fewer posts from me for a while until I can establish a regular practice regiment.

We were out of the house early on Saturday to attend a “meet and greet” adoption open house, which provided an opportunity for prospective adoptive parents to meet waiting children along with their foster parents and case workers. This one was for older children, aged 12 to 18. We also attended one last fall, right after our return from Ukraine. Many of the children have profiles available online through a partnership with the state’s adoption resource exchange and the department of social services.

That evening we attended the final concert of the Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival. The concert featured the duo of Deryan Türkan and Sokratis Sinopoulos on kemençe (πολίτικη λύρα). The two performed a mixture of Ottoman classical pieces, Aegean folk songs, and recent compositions. Some of the pieces were selections from Letters to Istanbul, a collaborative CD project of theirs from several years ago. I stumbled upon the CD by accident a while ago, and it’s become part of our regular rotation. The music was a wonderful manifestation of the common cultural inheritance that Greece and Turkey share.

I did errands on Sunday. I took a trip to Home Depot to buy some hinges for a new screen door and ended up buying a gardenia and some kind of fern (at least I think it was a fern) and a large pot to transplant the beautiful meyer lemon tree that Kate gave Joe for his birthday. Later we went for a walk in the Blue Hills. Recently we’ve been trying to take more walks. We climbed Hancock Hill, which offers the most spectacular sweeping views of the Boston skyline and Dorchester Bay. It’s an amazing spot. It’s covered in wild blueberries and lichens and would make a great picnic spot. We took a short nap up there and then headed down as the sun was setting. A group of deer ran by about forty feet away from us. Right after that we got a bit lost, but eventually found our way out.

We ended up at Ten Tables for dinner. We had a superb meal several Sundays ago after a similar hike through the Blue Hills. This time the food was just as good, and Shane, who manages the dining room with grace and ease, had us both swooning.

Tonight I taught a Greek dance class in Watertown. I haven’t done that in a while and I missed doing it. Joe and Mike the drummer came along to provide some live music. I was thrilled to see Mary Vouras there. Between the mid 1970s and the late 1980s, Mary worked with the eminent musicologist Simon Karas to produce a series of field recordings of traditional Greek music for Greece’s Society for the Dissemination of National Music. It’s a remarkable series that captured a musical tradition that has already begun to disappear since the recordings were first made. I was just listening to one of the CDs (they were originally released as LPs) in the car on Saturday. I think Mary came to the class because she heard that there was going to be live music. Whatever the reason, I was glad she was there. She’s a delight, and her love and knowledge of Greek music and dance is truly inspiring.

I taught some dances from Lesbos, the way I learned them when I was in Greece studying sandouri. I didn’t live on Lesbos, but I attended many dances hosted by native inhabitants of the island, who had migrated to Athens. I have a peculiar style of teaching. I tend to give lots of historical background and spend a lot of time dissecting the rhythms and emphasizing subtle stylistic elements. It probably drives some of the students crazy, but they keep inviting me back.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Persian said...

How incredibly talented you are!

4:16 AM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

jim-
stop, you're embarrassing me!
:)

8:31 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Great post -- I linked to it over at H2otown.info, the Watertown metroblog I run. If you're doing more classes in Watertown feel free to post a notice, I'm sure my readers would want to know about it.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous outiboy said...

you wont find me complaining about more practice and less blog :)
xoxoxo

2:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

AMAN YALA CLAIMS NO CREDIT FOR ANY IMAGES FEATURED ON THIS SITE, UNLESS EXPRESSLY STATED. ALL VISUAL CONTENT IS COPYRIGHT TO ITS RESPECTFUL OWNERS. IF YOU OWN RIGHTS TO ANY OF THE IMAGES AND DO NOT WISH THEM TO APPEAR ON THIS SITE, PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA E-MAIL, AND THEY WILL BE PROMPTLY REMOVED.