I might pull out
a harmonica in a bar, among friends in the Basque country. I might play
a tune just to change an atmosphere, or create a new one, to bring a moment
together in a lull, or sing a going song or play a tune as some folks
were leaving, the last crowd in the place. I remember in Bilbao, where
sessions aren't common, a few couples drinking and the staff eating their
Tapio Letura then took his button Accordion out, and we played together.
Never before had we jammed, so we led each other on melodies, Encouraging
a Basque song from all around me, something choral, they could sing together,
accappella, My Basque friends sang a kids song about peeing, and naming
Rupa, or a friend in the song. as needing to pee!
I was drunk maybe but while Tapia played, I asked a young man to danced
a polka with me. He told me he plays saxophone, amongst all of us he had
seemed distant, and not popular with people here, I think that's why I'd
asked him. anyway I danced him around the tables and chairs, teaching
him the two step and we woke ourselves up. There wasn't much room to travel
and polka because of the tables and chairs, but he started to smile and
laugh and was energized after this.
To day in Vittoria
was a Saint Prudence day. I followed many people who were walking somewhere
I didn't know where to, but they all followed a direction like lemmings,
some playing whistles together and small drums. And drinking 'copitas
de vino' or Brandy.
I got talking with a man who had seen me play the night before. He was
asking me about my music, songs and performance.
I tried to remember a few Basque words, Using mime a lot more, I told
him I had many long stories, but alas they were in English. I have none
I told the man, Jose, I said I don't have confidence to write in Spanish,
It is not my language , Gaelic or Welsh might be better for me as it is
closer to home. What does 'a dead language' mean anyway. There are English
words that are dead, and some Shetland dialect words I think should be
used instead. 'Smoorikin' instead of kiss. Some Gaelic words Humin for
half light, and water, shimmering!
We, Rupa and I got talking about "Dead Languages" and what that
might mean to those who speak it as their native tongue, Who decides ?
Is it 'ego centric, colonialists that 'it' is a dead language.
Any way I ended up interviewing Rupa and he interviewed me as we drove
two hours to Zarragoza.
How would you define a good session
How would you describe some of the best sessions you have ever been to/in/at?
It is all subjective I know, but I am wondering what people go away with
after a steaming good session and what they remember, how it was when
they were in the middle of it, how it might linger for days/weeks/ years.
Stories, how they
exist, how they never end, how they are journeys how one story is made
up of countless other tales, linked, webbed , knitted like the huge ball
of coloured Yarn Our lives are.
How gigs become sessions, and then become gigs, drunken, smoked out, andrenalyn,
that home made drug.
I haven't seen much of this town, I am only playing one night here, then,
away tomorrow, as often happens, I try to burn the candle at both ends
to catch as much as I can of the place, people and flavours. Ate Quail,
Falafel, Humus, etc. and drank beers.
Onate here the
concert was in an intimate place, a converted church/monastery. I also
played with Rupa at the end, him singing his songs in Basque. After the
concert we went to Gurlu? the favourite bar where I played one time, 8
years ago, I was told by the bar owning women there. There were guys there
who I had seen skinning up at my alcohol-free concert. They were teaching
me words in Basque for song, for Grandma, They passed me a joint.
It was good to
see Garbine again, a gap has appeared between her two front tooth or I
just forgot she had one.
Even though I was
always travelling. I have never really fallen out of Love with anyone
I have loved.
Today, every person, man and woman, I talk to, or try to talk to, in Spanish,
dance with for the crack, to wake us up, celebrate with to get the blood
going, or Andrenalyn , Joking, laughing with, jamming, and flying through
to Road Diaries