Monday, 15 August 2016

14th - 15th August: Easy Life

 What a surprise, Asan tried to get in touch, mostly via my friend Miki, but at least he tried. After learning I had been to Kočani he was really worried, that I had shared any of the tunes he taught me with the Romani musicians from there. It is odd, not to say actually a bit depressing how competitive and destructive they are against each other. Both are excellent trumpeters from Romani communities, both had told me independently I should stay away from the other as I would not be taught correctly, and that the other is no good in the first place…

Anyway, I took it easy that day. Some practice in the morning, then I packed my bag heading to the big central park for a relaxing session of reading and writing, and some walk along the Vardar river.
Later, I was joined by Miki, and after my report from Kočani, he talked me into joining him playing Beach Volley Ball. Have I ever played Volley Ball? Once around 35 years ago at school, which was a kind of musical grammar school. Therefore we musicians were told to stay away from such for our fingers dangerous activities… I realized I had missed great fun in my young days…

Next day, my friend Gosia from Poland was due to arrive. She had short notice asked to join me, as she has been let down by her Balkan travel companion.

Before picking her up from the Central Bus Station, I visited my friends busking. We did have chats about musicianship in London and in Skopje, and realized that payments and fees for musicians are in relation to living costs are much higher in Skopje. Also, with busking and playing some private events and little gigs, one could make a better living than from some professional employment here in Skopje.

The evening ended with a girl’s dinner, where my friend Bojana joined us. We exchanged lots of stories from the last few months, of course we chat about the current frustrations living in Macedonia; the experiences of working with various Romani musicians was a very valuable conversation, as it helped me to understand Asan’s weird behaviour…

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