Thursday, August 15, 2013

Grahamstown Arts Fest Day 3

Do you know what sounds like music to my ears? 
Free time to explore!

It was our third day in Grahamstown and we were wonderfully granted 3 hours to our own accord at Village Green -it was time to check the place out properly!

My first stop was to visit Jan, the artist again -this time armed with my iPhone as I put it to him. I was completely enraptured by the beauty of his art, especially his painting called Gypsy.


What's more wonderful is that Jan then gave me a gift to thank me for coming back to his stall -it was a medium sized printing proof of Gypsy! I left feeling utterly warmed.

The rest of my time was spent going around, meeting brilliant new people and thoroughly enjoying bartering with some very non-Indian vegetarian Indian food salesmen. As I passed their stall, I was affronted by their rather funny appearances. Three non-Indian men, dressed in a cross between Shaolin monk robes and Hindu saris, with a laughable attempt of a dot in the middle of their forehead, which looked suspiciously like a smearing of curry paste they had finger painted onto their foreheads. I commented to them that my mother is a vegetarian and that I was very familiar with this kind of food. They replied that she was setting a brilliant example for me, to which I replied that I don't think vegetarianism was coming my way for a good while, or ever. I was considering that I'm not sure if my scarily low blood pressure condition could take it. We debated for a few more minutes, before I decided to move on and I found myself at a stall I had walked into the day before called Home Grown Music, which sold indie South African music. Some of that stuff was honestly amazing -I even bought a CD, by a singer called Sarab Deva. 

Fabulous tunes, but what my memorable moment of the day actually was was meeting this man named Martin who was standing in the stall next to the manager. I went to ask the manager about the song he had just played, which happened to be Sarab Deva singing, and I found out that this random guy standing in the stall was the pianist for her CD! I started talking to Martin and we spiritedly bantered for a straight 45 minutes! I heard the most amazing stories and things from and about Martin, and only after my friend dragged me away because the bus was going to leave without me, was I forced to wish him goodbye. Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely love meeting amazing people? I always feel totally encapsulated with awe and zeal when in contact with the interesting and new. Ah...

I'll admit, I shouldn't realised it was going to be ridiculous. That afternoon a bunch of us decided to go and support our wunderkind clarinetist, Naledi in a show in which he was playing. Thankfully, we made it in for free. I'd rather not elaborate too far into the show, but I'll give you a few comments on it that will basically sum up it all. 

At fifty, I want that lady's body, forget about Jessica Alba!
I really can't stand Afrikaans crass humour.
My goodness, the transvestite thing, errrr....
Wow Naledi! You play the saxophone too?! You're brilliant!

I will add that Elzabe Zietsman, the lady in the show has an amazing voice, but also a heart of gold. The reason Naledi was performing in the show is that Elzabe, through a scholarship charity she started called the Doily Foundation, is actually sponsoring him, his younger brother, a pair of twin girls and another boy to go to the National School of the Arts.

After the show, we all went for lunch and then on our walk back to the dorms, we were stopped on the street by a group of actors. They offered us free tickets to go and see the final performance of their play the next night called Rituale Romanum. We happily trotted off with our plans for the early shift of the next night with our money still in our pocket. That's just it about the Grahamstown fest. Every Tom, Dick and Harry on the street is some concert pianist, jazz trumpeter, actor or performer at least, aaand, they're all carrying around tickets to their shows  
-love it!

That evening we played our first proper concert in the main cathedral. I can't say I enjoyed the first concert entirely. The acoustics in that church are awful, maybe not to listen to, but to play in, yes. Agh, it was like wading through mud and sludge, while still trying to perform Tchaikovsky's Polonaise.

We had planned to go to a hypnosis show that night, but by accident, the girl who had set the alarm to wake us up to get ready for the show -we decided to snooze a little as it was a late performance- set it for the next morning 9 and not that evening. Utterly mortified, the others decided to go out for their partying in the early hours, and I stayed in.

Note: I was the human looking one the next morning. (Chuckles)