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Ethnoambient Salona, Croatia – Celebration of Cultural Diversity

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Hum, whistle, sing, dance, play and tell me of the rhythm of the waves on your beach, the shape and colour of the river that surrounds your home and the form and position of the stones in it.

Describe the paths around your neighbourhood that may have inspired the step patterns in the local dance as much as the wild animals in the region have done.

 

I will listen to you singing and imagining the mountains and hills around your hometown as your voice spreads around and I’ll know of the valley and the trees as they shaped the colour and depth of your voice. The sounds of the words and of your instrument will imitate the sounds of the Nature around you and I don’t need to know your language to perceive it.

 

Your body will tell the stories of the winds it knows from many generations back, your fingers dancing will show how your ancestors picked berries or weaved a fabric.

 

Your story is being sung and danced; you carry the wholeness of the Nature you know in you… Thank you for sharing, thank you for connecting and enhancing the beauty of diversity in which we all grow and enrich our lives.

 

Womex in Thessaloniki

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

 

If one ever doubts the necessity of nourishing cultural diversity, if one ever thinks an uniformed world would be a good idea, one may only need a visit to Womex to be reassured.

 

Where else today can in one place one experience music (culture in general) enthusiasts from all around the World in various roles – from volunteers to professionals, from artists to those who do anything that those artists have opportunity to share their message.

 

Concerts, film screenings, discussions, soul-family reunions….

From Albanian polyphonic choir whose performance brought a purifying sound shower that particular night to vivacious Polish mazurka.

 

 

 p.s. Hover over each photograph to see the name of the performer(s).

 

This year Womex was held in a unique city of Thessaloniki in Greece. How much the site matters was palpable at every step. The warmth of climate spreads the hearts wide open as well – those of the locals and us, the visitors. I’ve been going to Womex since 1999 and this was one, if not the one, of my favourite editions.

Not only for the choice of artists that were presented but also for everything else that made our stay more pleasant than usual. Starting from the helpful locals who answer every question with a dedication and go that extra bit to help you with whatever you need, the most polite and cordial security professionals, the delicious food in restaurants where we felt like eating at our aunt’s and not some “this is business” establishments. The list is much longer yet have to mention one more “group” that usually has challenging reputation anywhere – the taxi drivers. According to our own experience they deserve a special praise in Thessaloniki.

All in all, being in one city for the first time and feeling so “home” contributed to the overall experience of Womex 2012.

“Womex is a lung. It is a place that we gather in to breathe, to replenish ourselves to go back refreshed. It is about music, but it is about a lot more than that. It is a shared community of ideas, values and ideals…”. This statement from Lemez Lovas at the closing ceremony on Sunday, the last day of Womex, describes what Womex means to so many of us.

 

Here are also a few snapshots of the fair:

Photo Gallery

p.s. The song is by Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis

 

On Revelations (Naked Eye Art Gallery, Brighton & Hove)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Sometimes, someone…

Sometimes someone, I or you… we get into a silent circle, alone or in a crowd… to ponder, recuperate, or to just sit still and breathe.

However, staying long in such a position may bring forgetfulness on our true nature – the ability to rise above any challenges…

 

 

…we may forget we have the wings we do not see yet are strengthen by our faith – not any particular religion – just faith in purity of a human heart, belief that the deepest natural state is being at peace and in love.

 

The faith is nurtured in our hearts that is our eyes and ears, our source of communication, all our senses connected in a wide and creative space.

 

It is not about shutting the mind down and running headless around, on contrary, it is about directing the almighty machine to focus on what really matters and then to manifest that what we call dreams yet are just reality in a process of conception or even gestation.

 

Sometimes, someone…

 

I or you… we can just allow ourselves to trust our own goodness, enoughness in isness and…move, in stillness.

p.s. Hover over photo to see the title of the photographed piece and the name of the artist.

November in the Mediterranean

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

 

The meaning of November is different in the Mediterranean, especially this year. It’s warm, sunny and beautiful, particularly when we get to spend more time in the nature like last week.

Several joyous days in Marin and Zeljka’s garden; picking olives from the gorgeous trees that have a marvelous view to the sea on one side, hills on the other and a carpet of wild beauty under their fertile branches…

 

And each of those days, the Sun would give us a sign when it’s time to leave the garden rest for the day…

 

Golden retriever Koko in the golden garden at the golden hour of the golden day…

While writing this we are packing our bags for another trip to the North where November has different meaning and Nature is already resting, withdrawn in the state of dreams…

 

Sunday afternoon

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Only thirty km from the glittering Mediterranean sea surrounded by hot white stones and square, concrete buildings, away from the city, up the curvy road and then down the hill an amazing sight opens – a lush green planet of wide green fields and tall, large trees nourished by river Cetina.

Meeting such two different worlds in half an hour can have a tremendous effect on one’s state of mind. In one word: joy – joy for witnessing the gorgeous diversity of nature (and culture), two worlds so close to each other yet so different and each precious in its own way.

Silence. Serenity. Spaciousness.

No glossy city reflections, no urge to overtake… Here, everything has a softer, gentler, wider pace.

A few more turns, deeper into the valley, several horses found their way of connecting with other species offering lessons in gentle playfulness, patience and gracefulness.

Precious moments, a wonderful Sunday afternoon in the country.

Weekend in the countryside

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Muscle fever or DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) is probably the only painful experience that makes me smile and triggers cheerful memories because all that sweet discomfort means I spent the previous days using more of my body than usual, living more of me.

All of that is especially precious if my feet walked more and my arms lifted more weight due to doing something useful, something that made other soul’s life smoother, more relaxed and we all got richer on various levels.

Such was this weekend. Our friends needed help in their huge garden in the countryside and we needed more fresh, sun bathed air and direct contact with springing soil.

Waking up into a green horizon glittering under the mighty Sun turns concrete cityborn cape of redundant mind loops into a dust that soon disperses with the gentle morning breeze.

Everything suddenly makes more sense especially when ingredients for lunch are picked directly from the nearby meadow where wild edibles grow undisturbed from any man’s directives.

We also visited their friends who live almost completely secluded from the nearest village, on a hill, surrounded with woods and fields.

All their food comes from only few meters away from their house, fresh and organic. One of their daughters is an excellent student who doesn’t mind commuting every day to the city because the energy she gets in these surroundings contributes to the clarity of her mind, the food she eats at this home makes her body strong and energized for all she undertakes.

Her mind is probably rarely „foggy“ and I imagine that anxiety and depression is something she reads about in the books and… muscle fever? Yes, it’s the same old story about the grass being greener somewhere else yet… Well, I doubt her arms are ever this achy like mine today when lifting only a cup of coffee. Even though I exercise every day, no body position and muscle training can replace working in a garden, using muscles while breathing fresh, scented air, walking on a soil abundant with life while gazing at the springing trees buzzing with bees.

Cooperation, harmony, enoughness.

Reality, meaningfulness, contentfulness.

So now, upon return to the city, how can I consider this muscle fever anything but joyful? Every time I lift my arm, so many resourceful anchors fire up and make me smile, bringing me into a state that disables the creation of a new concrete cape and helps to find the best way of dealing with what’s in front of me, right here and right now.

Womex 2010 Awards

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Silent beaches

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Rain hushes the noises of the Indian Summer on the coast, allowing the silent wanderer to melt with the sounds of the pebbles on the beach that dance with gentle waves… back and forth… back and forth…
The colours retrieve in the houses and behind the hills…

A peaceful day…

Rainbows…

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Surreal scenery yesterday on the road towards Split. Dark, heavy clouds and rain on one side and blue, clear sky with sun almost setting on the other. And then two rainbows, one with such vivid colours… Leaving a trail behind… Amazing… We kept seeing it from different angles while driving on that really curvy and hilly road.  These photographs are almost no use in witnessing how mindbogglingly beautiful all that was but they will serve me as reminders on those moments.