The Invisible Page

My Musical Ventures page does not seem to be popping up in the bar at the top so for listening to what I have been working on follow THIS LINK:

Musical Ventures

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First Gesture

The Sunbeach Surf Break

The Ocean is Restless Here

The residency of Sura Medura begins in Nirigama, a locality of Hikkaduwa, one of Sri Lankas’ best known surf breaks. Our accommodation, the Sunbeach Hotel, stands sandwiched between the Jungle and the Indian Ocean. A thin line of concrete between two natural forces of equally impressive beauty.

Hotels are not my usual port of call when travelling and thus it still feels slightly odd two weeks in. The basic feeling of the building is western and it therefore provides a somewhat more collectively foreign experience when in juxtaposition with the surrounding jungle and ways of life. However, the concrete structure has no way of escaping the persistence of heavy rain for ever.

Ankle deep in rainwater after 15 mins of a tropical storm.

The Sunbeach hotel front, flooded

The closeness of the ocean provides comfort of a different sort, one of known raw energy and eternity, understood the world over.

The waves roll on.jpg

The jungle stands behind, a mix of paddy fields, papaya, jackfruit, mango, cinnamon, rubber and countless other species. The wildlife is massively varied and waiting is not required to witness a whole range of species, from peacocks to kingfishers – birdlife being the most prevalent – insects and monitor lizards. (Sounds to follow on this front). When walking through the trees in the first week we have already been welcomed into family homes and hosted with open hearts. I don’t see any signs of the Sri Lankan hospitality abating either…..

Traditional Palm Frond weaving

 

Studio set-up

Instruments of construction and deconstruction

Dholki drum head

Dholki Drum

Already the rhythm of the coming weeks has begun. After finding a percussion shop in the first two days I have acquired a Dholki, the Sri Lankan equivalent of the Indian Tabla. The learning of this instrument is proving a difficult but rewarding experience and regular practice has once again become part of my daily life. The shift from open hand and stick drumming to finger techniques is altering my practice back towards a younger self, one struggling to use my arms in differing rhythms.

Finding new sounds has been of incredible ease in such a new environment. The ever present trunk road traffic of Galle road has also given me an education on horn sounds… Over the coming weeks I aim to create at least one musical piece per week and have succeeded thus far. I will upload to the worldwideweb the sounds of my travels for your own exploration here:¬†Musical Ventures

Coconut already devoid of water, now the insects take over

Malibu dreams

Ideas float between the artistic residents of the Sunbeach during the meetings of the day, out and about in Hikkaduwa, the jungle, beach or Galle, but mainly over the excellent cuisine of Rice and Curry and variations thereof at lunch and dinner. Each of us dealing with the wholly new surroundings in their own way.

Already some collaborations are taking place across audio and physical works and I look forward to many more in the next few weeks. In my next letter to the world I will tell tale of the exploits of the residents of Sura Medura and their forays into the wide world, until then I bid you adieu…..