Posted tagged ‘Ladysmith Black Mambazo’

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

July 7, 2016

I am behind closed doors and shut windows. My house is a fortress against the heat and humidity. If I happen to step outside, I feel overwhelmed by the heat, but mostly by comparison to the wonderfully cool house. The breeze is stirring the oak tree leaves, but it isn’t strong enough to keep the house cool as the day becomes afternoon. The afternoons are pure misery.

Last night was a delight. I went to the Payomet Performing Arts Center, a small, perfect venue. We sat in the cheap seats, but the tent is so small you can see the stage from anywhere, and we were mostly outside so there was a lovely breeze. We saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I don’t think I stopped smiling during the whole performance. It was wonderful. Their voices mingled in the most amazing harmony as they sang a cappella. Their hand gestures helped translate the words of their native language. They danced and kicked their legs as high as their heads. They sometimes did it over and over. I figured they must be exhausted at the end of each performance. The first time I had heard them was on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Last night they sang Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes and Homeless, songs from that album. My friends were a bit hesitant to come because they had never heard of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but they were fans by the end and thanked me for suggesting they come, but I figured the ice coffee and the blueberry dessert they brought were thanks enough.

It seemed a bit strange for me to be coming home at eleven. Usually I am watching the news or a movie and thinking about going to bed but last night was different. I was glad for an evening spent listening to great music and being with my friends who made the everything even better.

Today is a quiet day.

“I like physics, but I love cartoons.”

July 5, 2016

Yesterday was a perfect July 4th. The weather was wonderful with a breeze strong enough to blow plates and napkins off the table. We had a barbecue which started with appetizers I had brought. One is a favorite, muhammara, which I learned how to make when I was in Marrakech. The other was brand new: a feta dip. It bumped the muhammara as the favorite. We played games, and I was the only one not to win a game. I got pegged the loser. Dinner was wonderful. We had chicken and sausage and pasta salad. A blueberry dessert topped off the meal. During dessert, we watched the Pops at the Hatch Shell. I think John Adams would have loved our celebration.

I woke up to the sound of rain. It was welcomed as it hasn’t rained in so long. At first it was just a few drops then it became a real rainstorm. The house was dark. My papers in double plastic got a bit wet and so did I when fetching those papers from the front yard.

Since then the rain has stopped and it is beginning to get lighter.  It is supposed to be humid today. The heat wave starts tomorrow. Here on the cape we’ll be cooler thanks to the ocean surrounding us.

This is a busy week for me. I actually have a few events on my usually empty dance card. First up is a concert to hear Ladysmith Black Mambazo. On Friday I have another play at the Cape Playhouse. It is The Music Man. I think I’m going to need a few naps!

My first play was at a theater in the round at the Melody Tent in Hyannis. It was The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Debby Reynolds. I was hooked. I found plays amazing. This led to a long time subscription seat at the Playhouse. I think it’s been twenty or twenty- five years.

I remember a Saturday entertainment night at my school in Ghana. The USAID guy had left a projector and a cartoon about food and germs. My students were so amazed by the cartoon they missed the message. They oohed and ahed that the fly looked so real. They didn’t notice it flew from the outhouse to the food on the table. They were as delighted with that cartoon as I had been with my first play. I learned that everything is indeed relative.

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