I was welcomed at jam after jam, it started with an almost chance encounter with Jing at Making Waves and an hour of free form jams with Raffa and others who stopped by. This netted a surprise invite the next week to jam "back at the house" on the bayou with Jing, Willie, and some excellent Adirondack folk musicians.
At Malasimbo there were three highlights: first having Louie and some other tribal Boracay stalwarts find me in the camping area the first morning and throw me some island vibes. I captured a bit of that on tape, with the amazingly pure and beautiful fire dancer Rice on harmony vocals. A ukulele-tribal flute version of Follow the Sun.
I also had the opportunity of jamming at the tribal circle, which was pretty deep. Djimbe, gongs, one guy playing sticks on his Brazilian martial arts armor. We launched some heavy jams off the template set by Malasimbo Collective ft. Laneous.
The jam as an outgrowth of the music on stage, a couple hundred yards down a steep hill. Some pretty well known on the Philippine and European tribal circuit (Jils the flute maker, who made my new long oboe-like woodwind). Filtering through mountain thickness, the music took on life its own right, became a hypnotic aural landscape. I was getting into a lot of rhythmic side, thanks to the demon chaser and the new instrument "twin-hearted bamboo stick." Unrepeatable, sick.
Then onto jams on White Beach (shout out to Coca Aroma, Delgado's). Louie, my old Boracay mentor was on hand to smooth things out. Man it was fine and the flow organic. Only regret: the reunion performance with Louie was lost for posterity when my iPhone was stolen. We can do it again, but it will be the next evolution.
Another highlight––the last night of the festival I met Jun Marieezy following a superlative set––one of the best performances I have attended since the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival (Becca Stevens' duet with Ambrose Akinmusire, two strangers passing... chills down the spine). It turned out I had met her (cemented in memory by a 1920s style hairpiece) as a musician on Boracay four months ago, not knowing who she was. I recounted the funny story of my crashing her private White Beach set with a DJ at the Casbah. She did not quite remember having stood watching me play flute for five minutes (blame it on the stuff in the hookah)––I certainly remembered her hairpiece. A few minutes later the Casbah staff mentioned that she was expected to come back to the mike and improv with the DJ. By now Ms. Marieezy was deeply engaged in hip-bearded conversation and playing checkers, shrugs all around––fool I am, I kept playing.
Though she did not remember the Dude I have become, Jun was happy to see the flute. She balanced it on her hand (surprisingly well) and played a passable run on the talaandig woodwind (surprisingly hard to do) before doing a little dance to my version of the blues. The last words I heard before she wandered off was "you're trippy." Then the mushrooms kicked in.
Let me back up as usual to a time long ago. Formative moments.
The routine was simple–– my dad would go off and play poker in the evening and I would prevaricate, washing the dishes and listening to old lps with my mom. I learned the nuances of the Beatles that way. Traffic's eponymous first lp, War's The World is a Ghetto also sounded mind-blowing in full analog stereo, as I recall. The Harder They Come. (The late 1960s to early 1970s vibe really fit my experience gardening in the Oakland Hills 6-7 days a week. I would often walk home along verdant windy streets, sweaty from helping dig post holes or set in place a dry-farm garden.** And I would try to get the same beat as on Bob Marley's Burnin' (Rastaman Chant) in my head. Or I would run through the 1970s era shaky tape version of What is (And What Should Never Be).**
And then I graduated to REM, Hendrix, Jane's, Zeppelin, many others. I was a sponge for sounds: Velvets, Pixies, the almighty Red Hot Chili Peppers.
And I realized what was wrong with a very heavy alternative scene even before grunge hit and I learned to follow no one but myself. I played the acoustic in my studio apartment, playing along to the heaviest Hendrix I could find, failing at lessons after two weeks.... To Be Continued.
It is now time to get to editing the next section of Arisugawa Park. Certain readers are starting to ken that what has been changed adds vigor and depth. I have to decide which section really belongs next and how to improve it. Jigsaw puzzle fun, working on this "letter to a future me" novel, ninja style.
** Still one of my touchstones of cool, but must be an early 70s tape that has been spooled back in with a pencil more than a few times.
SEO Alert: Damon Shulenberger, doing it again, busting rhymes, keeping it in time––EnduranceWriter style.