International Visas? Check.
Friendly faces on whose couches we’re crashing/hotel bookings? Check.
Foreign currencies? Check . . .
Enough clean underwear? Check . . .
The list of details involved in planning a long stretch of travel is exhausting and when you combine it with an equally long list of things to do before spearheading and participating in the number of artistic endeavours that we are, it becomes downright stressful. Not only are Paromita and I going to be away from home for seven weeks, but we’re performing or studying at just about every stop along the way.
For me, this involves preparing the music for my performance in Amsterdam on June 25 as well as learning the music for Lenka Lichtenberg’s band over in the Czech Republic (June 27, 28). Paromita has a workshop to plan for June 19 and a performance to choreograph for June 21 (both in The Hague) and then she has to prepare to perform a series of dance numbers for the performances with Lenka in the Czech Republic.
Our two-week sojourn in Turkey has its own stresses, particularly with Paromita making arrangements to study Turkish Roma and Anatolian dance forms thanks to a Canada Council grant. How do you squeeze in all the studying in a number of locations in Turkey without losing the ability to actually enjoy it?
In truth, neither of us have really thought too much about our papers for the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Kazakhstan conference. Knowing that we’ll have to present academic papers in front our peers in a month’s time, with all of these other activities crammed in the interim, just adds to the gnawing feeling in the back of our minds that there’s something else that we need to get to!
And then there’s KlezFactor (which I’m sure you’ll all here to read about). That’s also weighing on my mind and it includes the logistical details of the tour, promoting the band and the Indiegogo campaign, liaising with our recording engineer, not to mention trying to compose and practice the music! The life of the artist is never dull, folks.
Speaking of the music, I’ve completed another song for the album, (tentatively) called “Cosmo Alex” that blends klezmer, Egyptian and Central Asian rhythms and melodies. Paromita will be dancing to it in at least one of our shows in the Czech Republic with Lenka Lichtenberg and we’ll do our best to post some video by the end of June to give you an idea of with this particular musical concoction sounds like!
As of now, we’re at T-minus 24 hours until departure. I’m frantically transcribing music and Paromita’s working on her dances. At this time tomorrow, we’ll be on a plane, winging our way across the Atlantic to the Netherlands where our journey begins. Stay tuned, it’s gonna be a great ride.
Have you visited KlezFactor’s Indiegogo campaign yet? Your contribution will help us record KlezFactor: Europa this summer! Lots of great perks are available including digital and physical copies of Europa, KlezFactor’s back catalogue, your name in the liner notes, a book of KlezFactor’s sheet music, and more! Contribute now to make your mark!