Thursday, May 05, 2005

May 1//Dar Ghinawa

Right after 9/11, a ghinawa music group was going from Morocco to Denmark through Belgium to play a concert. In the Belgium, airport security saw all their instruments and thought "what is this Voodoo shit". Torben points out that Belgium has had African colonies for a long time, like the Congo for example, and that they should know their “Voodoo shit.” Security confiscated the musical instruments and put them in the bomb hut for three days. After three days nothing had happened so they released the instruments. Luckily Torben is a collector of Ghinawa instruments and they succeeded in playing for five hours straight the hour they stepped off the plane on his undetonable collection. I had a crazy afternoon and evening yesterday. After sticking it out in my house until 3pm with the death-defying seagulls, because the weather was uninviting, the sky sweated it out too and we met each other outside. Then went to a great fish restaurant called Andalousi, a closet-sized room with the freshest fish and chips. There we met an enormous Danish man (shoe size 50 european=15 or so American-it is off the shoe size conversion chart I am consulting) who was sitting with four toy-sized Moroccans. Turns out they are the Ghinawa, the musical healers. We went back with them to the House of the Ghinawa: the leader's home and the place where they perform the Leilas--nights of exorcism of the bad spirits--with music, dancing and a color code for the spirits that are affecting you. There we listened to the leader play the Ghimbri, the ancestor of the Banjo, and sing along. He played in duet with his son as well, who is a tight-rope walker in Spain with a well-known German circus group (well-known in Germany anyway, I hadn't heard of it, but I'm no conoisseur of professional circuses, only circus acts.) We learned that this is extremely rare and actually against the rules to play in duet like that, but they were chill, and open. I accompanied on a pair of sticks along with a jambe player, and anybody else in the room that the music hit would in turn hit any surface available and make entrancing music. We're welcome back anytime and we will go, yes we will go.


Post a Comment

<< Home