Cajón   Leave a comment

Cajón: a drummer's wonderbra

Cajón: a percussionist's wonderbra

Estimated people; ones that make a difference in this puzzle and whom as opposed to many inspiring figures, I happen, at fortunate times, to share the same floor.

Willem.

I survived adolescence without becoming a groupie, running for silly backstage passes or after old junkies rocking my world from their illustrated glossy posters hanging above my bed. First of all, I could not hang anything above my bed, for I was sharing my room with my 7-year younger brother. Seven years of age difference when you are the teenager, grants you the advantage of rendering your sibling invisible; however the furniture remains as a puzzling space minimizer. I should admit though that I did have the occasional preferences, not to be mistaken for the deep-rooted freak; alas rarely for the singer alone in a band (call it early appreciation for teamwork). I can’t really explain it; probably I am more impressed by people doing things with their hands.

Now combine the above confession with your average emancipation and feminist flare. Yeap. That’s me. Until I see Willem playing cajón. Maybe it is Willem’s possibly introvert and composed nature -rough antithesis to the sizzling tapping- or the sparkling smile, the marble-like skin tone, or the sharp yet familiar angular face. Or it could be the dark hair framing two starry eyes or maybe it is just his magical hands after seemingly endless hours of painful practicing while in reality he wanted to go out and play with his friends on the Frisian grass fields. I haven’t figure it out yet. The few words I have exchanged with him revealed uncertain conclusions about his person and the rest is observations probably biased by my impression on his talent. Willem is a percussionist and currently plays with SoulDada, a group that is apparently formed by the most beautiful people in the dutch scene. And yet, there is nothing ephemeral about SoulDada and certainly not about Willem. I mean, when was the last time you met and watched someone really enjoying what he is doing? Being there to observe the moment when he starts levitating, above us, the earthly beings trapped in the twilight zone of office work orbiting at conditions of zero creativity. When I want to see that, I go to SoulDada’s website and check their agenda.

So, Willem. Willem was sitting at the back when I first saw him, behind the drums that is, and as the songs advanced he moved from the membrane-bearing cylinders and chime circles to other comparatively minuscule sound-creating thingies, till he sat on the cajón. Casually. As if he would have a beer or tapas at some bar in sunny Barcelona. I rarely envy an object (unlike, at times, real persons, I admit this weakness), but for some minutes during the concerts I wish I were a fortunate small wooden afro-peruvian box, with my little strings and metallic bits and pieces making music under the delicate hands.

Understandably, should I have known that I would witness a miracle in the form of a waterfall of clicks and clacks and pats and ticks and tsssss and trrtrrtrr, I would have separated from my partner on time to attend the concert without the guilt of mental adultery. And mind you, I make this thought every time. For it is not just a virtuoso producing the lyrical music in its stereotypical sense, rather a fine young man playing the world’s oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments in a perfect communion of seasoning SoulDada’s songs with beats followed by the silent sighs of the ones who are’t, can’t be and can’t have.

It is surely a gratifying challenge to describe W’s cajón solos without entering in the gray zone of pink details and domestic complaints, but I know for a fact that a man who so harmonically coordinates both hands and a leg perfectly balancing on the resting foot to swiftly hug a wooden-box-soon-to-be-turned-to-magical-sound should expect really bright days and even brighter nights.

It is simple; if you see a poster of SoulDada somewhere touring your coordinates, don’t miss the chance. If not for the solos, definitely for the ensemble.


(The photo is shamelessly stolen from LexSample.nl; don’t sue me!)

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Posted Monday, 20 April, 2009 by piperi in Estimated friends, Rock 'n' Roll

A quick one…   Leave a comment

I reached the conclusion only recently that perfection should be defined as the ultimate frontier one reaches in tolerating annoying details in an often dreamed-of experience. And it so appears that it is the small –let’s call them- imperfections that contribute in reinstating the perfect experience as something earthly, as something that one really experiences and eventually owns; unlike a trip aided by substances of organic or not origin, that you vaguely remember the day after in a fog of lethargy and dismissal. And still even in those moments, the shear grasp of the mishap and the relativism will momentarily define perfection in that specific time localized event.
Simple examples. You reach Barbados, like Alain de Boton after a hectic flight. You went there in search of the immaculate white powder sand beach and you are faced with a dull dysfunctional airport, traffic, industrial monsters, you reach your destination only to discover the misconception your assumption induced, no hot water, flies, humidity, and what not. That wasn’t what you imagined when you read Barbados, is it? De Boton blames it all on oneself; ah you brought it with you, that murky pessimistic ol’ bastard and while yourself will be there, you never get a perfect moment; for it is not Barbados but you. So, do you recall those perfect moments back “at home”?

Actually the fact that a perfect moment can be purely framed by the imperfection around it, reminds me of Aristotle’s definition of concepts through their antonym. There it goes again, someone has already thought (and written) about it. I should have posted this one centuries ago.

Posted Thursday, 16 April, 2009 by piperi in Gut feeling

When the crisis comes marching in…   Leave a comment

At the beginning you asked me to choose, and you said “you are good at this and at that, but you must choose”. And I did. You said I wouldn’t regret.

After 5 years and a motorbike accident, you said I should choose again, and you said “you are good with the new stuff and you are good with the old stuff. But you must choose”. And I did. You said I wouldn’t regret.

And two years and couple of aurora borealis sightings later, you said I should choose once again. You just would not let me be. You said “you can go here and you can go there and you can go there, but you must choose”. And I did. And you said I wouldn’t regret.

And now, 8 years, 202 pages, 11 propositions and 1.2 performances further, you say I can’t choose. Not now. And maybe not ever. That you have predecided for me. And that you were just teasing me before, and you knew I would regret. Because you brought us closer in this way. So close that I couldn’t see I couldn’t choose anymore. And all I see is drifting from the loved ones that also chose and can’t choose anymore.

But we shall prevail. Or maybe just not quite.

In any case, the learning is that once the shit hits the fan, it’s good to have your face covered. Many claim you should direct this effort to your ass, but I really doubt it. Your rear is prone to all sorts of abuses during your career that makes it futile to protect it. Actually, it seems that it is more of a when and how much, which is the real global driving forces of Life, Universe and Everything. And while your bum might facilitate great advancement, it is your face (provided you cover it up) that will allow you to keep on breathing -thus surviving- through the toughest of all. Unless, nuclear shit hits the fan, but that’s a whole different story.

Posted Wednesday, 4 March, 2009 by piperi in Gut feeling, Απλά εισαγωγικά

Ksana-mana (…yet again)   2 comments

Just because. Did you actually solve the riddle? Did you find any answers? Any other smart questions? I didn’t really think so. SOB! In the meantime, fractally a lot has happened. The commemoration of Alexis’ death (on the 40th day, according to the script), some 1500ppl died, yet again isolated events, somewhere else now, it doesn’t matter, more people die here and there, there is always someone that “screws up” and might not even admit, ah well, people perish, parish perishes, some pedophiles got arrested in Greece (major As), the SWAT has become a regular truth, I scream for ice-cream and all these niceys.

In the meantime I am back in my favourite ME, Oman this time. Sarkozy is coming today, so everything is blocked, although the policemen are more watching out for Carla than anything else, helicopters swirl and the bloody rooster next door that starts even before the morning prayer; today it will be shot at, with a plastic straw and some plastic dough. I had a great colonial experience the other day, I think we should have been beheaded, but apparently the barbwire and the wall was tall enough. Sad but true. When can I enjoy guilt-free my ride in a super car going to a 5-star hotel with my most favourite of all men, so high in spirit, they truly are, but I can’t let go sometimes, sometimes I see the waste and me, I am the waste. Hmmm.

I was really planning to talk about food. I mean, this was supposed to be a food-recipe diary. Alas. Inshallah one of the next days. I would rather go back to the sea for a night swim with all the little fluorescent plankton around and the moon going right through, silver coin on the sandy bottom.

And…cut! Ah, did I mention? You should watch Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. Don’t forget!

Posted Tuesday, 10 February, 2009 by piperi in Eid Mubarak Mr. President!, Gut feeling, Διαφήμιση

Merry Christmas HO-HO-HO!   Leave a comment

After spending some months in non-democratic countries, finally I return to be proud of my own! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

The blog has been down for a few days and will be down for some more until I manage to find once-again-conscience-relieving-not-necessarily-fact-based-yet-comfortable answers on some of the following questions:

– Will justice decide if a 15 year-old should die or will Rambo return from Afghanistan?

– Can invertebrates study law?

– Who judges a judge? No. 1? Internationally?

– Do flower pots send people to hospitals for 5 euros a day?

– Does religion own lakes?

– Is working 16 hours as allegedly mind altering as ministers demonstrate?

– Which is better travel agency; the Monastery of Vatopedion or Siemens?

– How many policemen are necessary to celebrate white Christmas in gray Athens?

– Are fascists truly elected or only deserved?

– Does the constitution protect the Orwellian equivalence of a pork-head-offering with a pork-man?

– How many known-unknowns can a closed mathematical system of one equation solve?

– Do tear gases cure spiritual flatulence?

– Will national prices for couches drop after a series of demonstrations with adult participants?

– Can you find 3 Wise Men and a Virgin in the parliament?

– What does a pork head need to obtain ISO 9001 and HACCP?

– What is the energy potential of 300 representatives in joules/inch^2 during a football match or  at the night club?

– Will the Army put some order or will the Order put some army?

– How many dictionaries of greek language does it take to change an LED lamp?

– Why did the shit hit the fan left-center-right?

– Can you choose which country you betray if you have no citizenship?

– Will Christmas still be celebrated even if the mayor of Athens would place Rudolph’s nose up his rectum?

– Does spiritual masturbation evoke same physical feelings as physical masturbation provokes spiritual experiences?

Huf, so many questions to be answered, better go and buy, the market needs my financial face lifting!

Answers to the quiz here.

(If you don’t propagate these Seasonal Wishes, you are doomed to be brain-dead before you say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. This is not your usual threat; this is your usual penitence.)

Posted Sunday, 21 December, 2008 by piperi in Gut feeling, Κακώς κείμενα, Πολιτικά, Sex, Violence

From Iran: in memoriam   Leave a comment

It is very difficult to get the exact picture of what is currently happening in Greece while on move in Iran. One thing is a fact; a 16 year-old kid was shot dead by a policeman in the very center of Athens.

Just a few days ago, I saw this cartoon from Javad Alizadeh. One man shot dead, was holding a banner reading 2+2=4. The man who shot him, triumphant with one foot against the deadman’s chest, held another banner reading 2+2=5. And he had the gun.

Simple and generic and universal. Like all teenagers.

Posted Tuesday, 9 December, 2008 by piperi in Gut feeling

Go Betsy, go!   1 comment

On my nameday, I met Betsy. She is about 22 years old or so did the two Irishmen told me, and they know her pretty well. They have been on the road with her for more than a year, this time more than 4 months in a row, and they still had 10 to go. They must be getting along pretty well then; after all, they quitted their jobs to travel with her. She was treating them well, and I was of the lucky few to witness her charms and talents. Additionally she is pretty low maintenance, given what she is offering. The perfect girlfriend; only that she is running on diesel.

Des and Kev, are my heroes of the day. Two cute Irishmen in their late 20s (?), bought Betsy, quitted their jobs, and are currently driving a super van with a super sound system and a super home cinema-GPS-DVD-coffee maker, all the way from Dublin (as Des pronounced “dobln“) to Australia, with expected date of arrival Sept 2009, just to check the Coriolis force -Des is sceptical, he is considering an international scientific conspiracy.

Yesterday, the two of them, together with Guillome (a frenchman that arrived in Yazd on his way to Pakistan and who will continue with the guys) and myself, hopped on Betsy, trying to find Chak Chak, the Zoroastrian temple and Kharanaq’s mud-brick ruined old city. The landscapes we crossed, only minutes from the boring highway, nicely and securely tucked among impressive mountains of 4000m, desert and snow are preciously incomparable. They are the sort of landscape where you stop your car, pull out a chair or two, you sit, shut up and admire. And you wait. And you wait for ever, absorbing every sun ray reflected on them. And somehow, equally marvellously, the perfect music was coming from the speakers, ah, the perfect music is always the tip of the culinary side of an image, just like the most precious stimulant to fill up every little brain cell left untouched by the shear beauty of the landscape. Or maybe it was the joint. I am not sure. I will certainly listen again to the Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band. Or maybe you get to listen to it yourself first. And after you do, why not try looking for the album of Camille, Le Fil. And yes, there was travelling and politics and emancipation and cars and living and everything. I learned about Adam Curtis. I got new ideas for thinking, listening and dreaming. Isn’t this what travelling is all about?

In the meantime, Des and Kev, trusted me with an once-in-a-lifetime short movie, a single continuous shot of ~32 minutes, of pure deep philosophical thinking, coming in the form of a waterfall of direct questions from a 60+ iranian taxi driver about ethics, moral guidance, Life, Universe and Everything. You should see it, and pay a full movie ticket so that Des and Kev will keep on giving thirsty Betsy the diesel she desires! 🙂

The three of them left yesterday night for Kerman (buhuhuuuu!). They should have driven through Baluchistan today; a pretty dangerous place full of thieves and monsters and sorcerers and witches and a few kidnappings in its recent history. With some luck they must have made it to Pakistan as we speak. Their immediate next target is celebrating New Year’s Eve in Goa with friends (I should be sincere and say they want to get pissed drunk, but it would act as potential defamation, so yeah cultural touch, they want to celebrate New Year’s Eve, drink a pint of Guiness, a glass of whisky, and whatever the irish do anyway -huf, even this one looks like they are gonna get drunk!)

So long guys, and thanks a bunch!



Posted Monday, 8 December, 2008 by piperi in Uncategorized