We’re going to spend this week getting into the groove of Eastern Europe before starting next week on a country-by-country tour. The BALKAN BRASS BAND is one of Eastern Europe’s greatest gifts to the world. Let’s find a bunch of them this week, a lot of places, and dance. We’ll start in quite a reasonable and rousing place — Serbia, with Orkestar Danijela.
This week in our online class we begin the most extraordinary adventure. For the next three months we’re going to sing songs, learn dances and explore many cultures from all over Eastern Europe and the Baltics. We’re going to start in Russia — OF COURSE — but go from there to all the smaller and equally essential parts of the region that joyously — and, sure, through long hard winters of struggle — make us clap, count and SING. Can’t wait to see where we’re going to go? You’ll find a spolier-rich overview here.
Last but not least in our “between seasons breather,” we enjoy a song from Borneo, the eastern part of Malaysia. There we visit the Temiar people, who access their deep connection with the spirit world when they dream. A lot of their dreams are both narrative and musical and result in the singing of sings. Here is our version of our favorite:
Yesterday we learned about “Arirang,” the most popular Korean folk song of all time. According to Wikipedia there are there are about 3,600 variations of 60 different versions of the song. All Around This World has done it! There are now 3601.
When you ask your friend from Korea what the most beloved Korean song is, I betcha a dollar — nah, make it ten — that your friend will say, “Arirang.” This several hundred year-old song embodies the struggles and ultimate triumphs of the Korean people, telling, in its many versions, a variety of tales of Koreans facing obstacles and (in many versions) pushing through. Want to learn more? This short documentary gets you started.
Two days ago we sang the Fijian song “Chuluchululu” with our Fijian Uncle Johnny in the backyard. Yesterday we song the Fijian song “Chuluchululu” with New Zealand buddies Bill and Boyd. Today we sing the very same song together! Just us, in class…our own way. And see? Singing the word “Chuluchululu” is still fun.
Yesterday we sang a Fijian song, “Chuluchululu,” in our back yard with uncle Johnny. Today we take it somewhere relatively nearby but, culturally, entirely different — to New Zealand, where we sing it with our uncles Bill and Boyd.
We really enjoy singing this song from Fiji, not in small part because we love singing the word “Chuluchululu.” Here we get to sing it with our Fijian family, most notably our favorite uncle. Doesn’t Uncle Johnny rock?
This week we take a literal breath — “ahhhhhhhhhh” — as we celebrate the completion of one exciting three month “season” of All Around This World classes and prepare in all ways for the next. We’re going to sing some of our favorite songs in class this week, from a Fijian party anthem to a magical Malaysian dream. Let’s go!
In our online classes we’ve spent the last three months “Connecting the Dots,” traveling in musical terms all around the world, celebrating the international fusion of cultures everywhere…and the new day has just begun. This five year-old rapper from Sweden will never know a time when he can’t instantaneously access almost the entirety of the world’s music in the super-computer in the palm of his hands. We can’t begin to fathom the where the seamless and inextricable intertwining of everything will take us — not just musically, and culturally, but beyond. Rap on, little Swedish boy! The future is now.
Next week we take a break from our heady international travels, sing a few of our favorites and get a’ready the spend the next three months to brave a whole new season.