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Indonesia

Workshop Week Part One

After all of that practice a week of workshops was to unfold and what a magical experience that was. I’m writing retrospectively because it was simply so jam-packed with beautiful people and sounds that turning on the laptop would be sacrilege. 

For me, the pinnacle of what I’ve now entitled ‘the workshop week’ was the workshop and performances with Kamila, Glenn Fredly and my good friends Kunokini and She Makes War. This workshop was in May Bhismo’s studio (where we are spending most of our time) a beautiful space where nature knows no bounds.

The workshop began with performances from Kunokini followed by a performance and question and answer session with Kamila. A trio of wonderfully talented violinists who, of course, also harbour enriching vocals. The group come from different Indonesian backgrounds with Arabic influences and I especially enjoyed hearing Mia sing - when she was younger she went to a school to learn the Quran through song and it was such a treat to hear this.

I performed after Kamila and was overjoyed to have my guitar back and sounding exactly the same as before the plane incident! I played ‘The Magpie’, ‘Samson and Goliath’ and a new song entitled ‘Console Me’. I was delighted to be able to do what I do best with my instrument back in hand. I gave a workshop on my style of guitar playing and chatted about how my style is rooted in Irish traditional rhythms but with a percussive twist.

She Makes War performed next and dazzled us with tracks that showcase her ear-catching vocals. Questions came in the form of loop pedal talk of which I don’t really understand but am certainly beginning to!

Glenn Fredly performed next and hosted an interesting question and answer session that turned towards current global politics including Brexit and the interesting political situation in Indonesia. Even here in the haven of the Indonesian countryside and the welcoming arms of Kunokini the state of global politics is felt.  

Following this we were treated to traditional Sumatran food by world-renowned chef Rahung Nasution. I have never had my tastebuds tingled quite so much. Wow. I had jack fruit and young bamboo and it was a beautiful experience to be surrounded by wonderful people including Mas Bhismo’s son just two months old. I can only compare it to Christmas at home when there is joy and coming together.

danielle carr