It's wonderful to be back in my quiet little valley where today the clouds are the fastest moving things in my my line of sight. But I had a great trip away too, though it was full-on the whole time.
WOMAD was wonderful... I was exposed to lots of new (to me) music that I will be seeking out more of, including Mweya, a very blonde Marimba band from Motueka (NZ). It's hard to pick out favourite acts, because I enjoyed almost everything I saw, and am regretting almost everything I missed (but I had to have some breaks from sensory overload). It was the whole atmosphere that made it a fantastic experience: the mellow diversity of the crowd, the smooth and comfortable logistics like toilets and camping, the perfect weather, the idyllic setting in New Plymouth's beautiful Brooklands Park... I knew so many people there, both those who I'd planned to meet up with, and the almost hourly encounter with some long lost friend. I very quickly started feeling like WOMAD was my whanau and I had come home.
I also had fun interviewing the wonderful Yair Dalal, an Iraqi-Israeli musician. The interview will appear in the New Zealand Jewish Chronicle (along with photos by Katrina Ching) so I won't give away the goodies here. Suffice to say I love his Jewish-Arabic music and he is a intelligent, spiritual and interesting man. Follow the title link to hear some of his sounds.