Today was a very special day, and unless you are an especially informed person, I'm sure you may not know what made today so special. So I'll tell you. The World Music Fest was held today in Covington! A celebration of music, dance, visual and culinary art from around the world, the world music fest brings together musicians and performers of all different styles to share the musical traditions of the globe. Last year, Eastern and Turkish influences were the highlight, and my experiences this year lead me to applaud the merits of "gypsy jazz" and the combined Russian/Turkish/French music traditions.
Of particular interest to me is that many of the acts this year were performed outside, opening themselves to the outdoor sonic atmosphere. On this particular Saturday, more than a few motorcycles, a fire truck, the rumbles of passing cars, airplanes, bicycles, and toddlers added to the music. At one point, there was a rest in a cellist's performance that was filled with a marvelous tinkling of a spoon stirring in someone's mug. The "unwrapping" of music and exposing it to the outside world -a world that may or may not be at rapt attention- allows an audience to see just how integral music can be in the world, and reciprocally, just how well the sounds of the world can fit into music.
Of note were two performers named Sasha and Sylvan who played for an hour on guitars commonly referred to as "cassaroles" (for the loud and obnoxious sound they project, like a saucepan, the French decided). A wonderfully playful duo, they men led the audience through French and Italy, Slovenia, Romania and Russia with a trip to Alabama for good measure.
Their stylings reminded me of playful banter, of a precocious dancing of these two guitars around each other, each allowing the other to lead before taking its place in the forefront once again. Several of the pieces were performed with lyrics in French, which add another level of experience, especially if you don't speak the language (and an embarrassingly exciting novelty for one, like me, who does).
verdict: 5 John Cage mushrooms for the World Music Fest! =} =} =} =} =}