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I think I'll be clever and remain stupid..

Greetings from the cooler southern hemisphere where the wintery freshness has resulted in rummaging for them pirate woolies....Long Johns...nabbed while his one eye was distracted! Anyway this is the time of the year when I do most of my recording, studio work and touring outside SA, with this season producing some exciting work with some great musicians.

On the recording thing... the collaboration with DJ Chresos and his amazing production team is now nearing completion. This is a remix project (with resultant live band!) of the STRINGS & SKINS 'Passages in Time' album. The album will be out in September and it has aspects of house, lounge, kitchen, garden, shed... and veld!....  sure gonna kick up some dust with fresh feetmovers all over the place.

Next up is a brand new album and project called IN THE CLOUDS featuring the outstanding Steve Newman on nylon string acoustic guitar, nylon string soprano guitar and mbiratar, together with percussionist extraordinaire Ashish Joshi (tabla, darbuka, zarb, santoor, bongos and more..) and myself on oudtar, nylon string acoustic guitar and bouzouki. The music is organic and energetic....cool yet hot......hot but cool! The album was released at the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa during early July where we played five concerts between the 7th and 10th after returning from shows in the Seychelles. Ashish and I also played two concerts with VIVID AFRIKA at this festival. This group features award winning McCoy Mrubata (tenor sax, saxello, flute), Wynand van der Walt (drums), Mlungisi Gegana (double bass),Siya Makuzeni (trombone, vocals). The group played material from the popular 'McCoy Mrubata & Greg Hadjiyorki Georgiades -VIVID AFRIKA' album. A new album is in the pipeline for release later this year. At this point we (VIVID AFRIKA) have just returned from a week in Algeria where we performed concerts for the 'Pan African Cultural Festival of Algiers' between the 12th and 20th July. The shows went down really well with the large and enthusiastic crowds instantly in tune with our music... I suppose it was the sound of the north, done in our funky southern manner, that got 'em going.
 
This festival was really an eye opener, largely due to the fact that every country in Africa was represented. There were 3000 artists all housed in a large artists village where we could all meet, chat and jam... and besides going out to play our 'official' shows, we also had nightly presentations from different countries within the village itself, where we could experience what our great continent has to offer.

One thing that really stood out for me was the rich diversity in musical tradition and the variety of ingenius indigenous music instruments. There were harp, violin and guitar type instruments played by musicians that produced inspirational beautifully told stories... not to mention the absolutely awesome drumming traditions of central, western and northern Africa.

This was definitely the place to be if you were tired of that western commercial approach....there was hardly a trace of the mundane....only surprises... even the band from Swaziland with a manic lanky dreadlocked guitarist, dressed as a schoolboy with shorts, blaser, shoddy school tie and pulling off Angus AC/DC moves...that sure stopped us in our tracks... manic Afro Rock.. enough to make any ancestor shake his head in disbelief ! ...the exuberance of youth!
 
One of the things I enjoy the most about a musicians life is the meeting of so many different people from all over the world who understand this universal instinctual language called music. Not all talk it that well.. but ALL understand it. This language is not the exclusive domain of the musician but is also the language of the audience... some musicians forget this simple truth... especially those who eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and then get so smart that few can understand what they're saying. Which reminds me that one primarily hears and feels music... both as a player and listener ---'thinking' does not seem to be that important... so if one has chomped the fruit of this tree of knowledge and one starts to exhibit symptoms of 'smart'... relax... that's ok, cos all you've got to do is chop the damn thing down to balance things out! There are many more out there, in fact true wisdom may entail endless orchards of chomping and chopping..

Well ..gotta go and look for one of them trees....just to see what it looks like... I think i'll be clever and remain stupid.. but just in case, i'll be carrying a little axe cos the words of the great South African guitarist legend, Johnny Fourie, says it all,-- " The ear is king!"

Hey ho Silver!
FUN&SPIRIT!