Tag Archives: radio

October 27th, 2014

Just aired another episode of Muse-Tripper Radio! This week’s theme was Irish Rebel Music. Definitely makes me want to see The Young Dubliners in concert.

I’m having trouble recording my shows; the website I’m using is a little tricky, but I’ll have recordings up when I get a chance. In any case, be sure to tune in to KZSC next Monday, November 3rd at 2 pm for the next airing. I’m going to check out Calypso music from the West Indies, mostly because I’ve been reading Captain Blood.

Advertisements

Muse-Tripper Radio – October 20th, 2014

Muse-Tripper’s taking to the airwaves! I’ve settled back into my routine as a music major at UC Santa Cruz, and though I’ll physically be here for the next nine months or so, I’ll be mentally (and aurally) touring the world once a week as a DJ on KZSC. Each week I’ll pick a new geographic location and check out the local music scene there, with a tilt towards music that’s developed as a response to political, economic, or social conflict (because happy music gets old fast). The show happens every Monday from 2 PM to 4 PM, and you can listen online at KZSC’s website. This’ll go on for about nine weeks or so, unless the station collapses before that (it’s not exactly up to earthquake code).

The first show’s today, and the location, of course, is Palestine. With last summer’s trip fresh in my mind, I thought we’d dive into Palestinian hip hop, which has become a form of protest against the Israeli occupation. Some of these artists, like DAM, Shadia Mansour, and Lowkey have gotten really big and tour all around the world.

Live Stream! Tune in here! —> http://www.kzsc.org/listen/

September 8th, 2014

This time, I have a decent excuse for the delayed entry: with only three days left in the volunteer placement, Tessa, Giulia, and I decided to pull together a concert. This means that from Saturday to Monday, every spare moment had to be dedicated to rehearsal.

On Sunday morning, Giulia and I were running through a piece on guitar and voice when we heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find a smiling young man with strawberry blonde shoulder-length hair and a bushy ginger beard, suitcase in tow. “Hey, roomie!” he bellowed, before rolling in. I stepped aside, bewildered. He introduced himself as William from Ireland, and one of the new Music Harvest volunteers who was sent to replace us. 

We took a few flurried minutes to clear a room for him and tidy up the place. All the dishes were dirty and the backyard had become a small landfill, and even though there are five beds in the flat, the extra two were covered in layers of clothes, souvenirs, and sheet music. But it only took a few hours after settling William in before we felt like he’d been living with us for weeks. Which kind of makes sense; there’s a pretty specific subset of people who would want to teach music in Palestine, so us volunteers tend to have a lot in common. William joined our jam session, and even agreed to play some Johnny Cash at our concert. 

William, with his best Johnny Cash impersonation

William, giving us his  best Johnny Cash impersonation

The next couple of days were spent trafficking the guitar, trumpet, flute between Project Hope, the flat, our friends’ houses, and the local radio station, just looking for some practice space and a piano. Nidal has a friend who works at EMP Studios, so one afternoon he had us come play and filmed the rehearsal (and here’s another recording, sans video). Later that night, we had an impromptu jam session at Habib’s apartment, with an eclectic mix of mandolin, oud, guitar, piano, flute, and tambourine. And in the gaps between practice sessions, we slowly said goodbye to Nablus by visiting our friends for a drink or grabbing lunch at our favorite restaurants. 

But the night of the performance was the official send-off. The director of Project Hope escorted us to the venue, an old stone oil press that had been renovated into an audience hall. I walked in and was immediately excited to play. The chamber was spacious and illuminated by newly installed showroom lights, yet still cozy enough that we wouldn’t feel isolated on stage. The “stage”, by the way, was the huge, wood and white-stone oil press occupying the center of the room. We set our bags beside it and started sound check. The acoustics were amazing, thanks to the stone and the high-ceiling; a solo singer could fill the room without ever needing a microphone. As we got set up, people started filling the room; there were a few strangers, but the majority of the attendees were familiar faces from around town, our group from Sama Nablus, and all of the other volunteers from Project Hope. When we stood up to begin playing, we found that we were facing an audience of friends.  
10699924_10204646846149963_2613211348013093910_o10659078_10204646840189814_4224279366634011702_o10679580_10204646921431845_666695385637962186_o

The official set list was as follows: Blackbird, Folsom Prison Blues, For Emily (Wherever I May Find Her), I Dreamed a Dream, Louis Louis, two Chopin preludes, one Hungarian flute solo, Angel Eyes, Blue Skies, Ya Leyl, and Somewhere Over the Rainbow (the version by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole). Even after three songs were cut due to technical issues, we had a full hour’s worth of music. For the encore, we just improvised and ended up with something completely new. 

Though we were constantly, sheepishly aware that by leaving all preparations for the performance to the last possible minute, we were fulfilling not one, but two stereotypes (that of the musician and that of the Palestinian), I think our first and final concert in Nablus was a success.