Hey y'all, a little self promotion happening on August 11 when I do a reading-chat at the SE5 branch of Words Worth. If any of you regulars wish to drop in please do. Camberwell has many fine watering holes we can retire to after. GC
PRINCES AMONGST MEN: THE CAMBERWELL EXPERIENCE
On August 11 at 6.30pm Words Worth Books in Camberwell Green present a reading and discussion from author Garth Cartwright on his recently published book Princes Amongst Men (Serpents Tail). Princes Amongst Men is the first English language book to provide a detailed overview of the lives, music, environment and history of the Balkan Roma (Gypsy) communities.
In search of Europeâ€™s sorcerers of song, the Gypsies, Cartwright undertook a monumental journey through Balkan badlands. Navigating a secret Europe, one rarely found on maps, never discussed in travel guides, places so marginalized their very existence is often denied, he found a world of love and combat, magic and loss and music, music like no other . . . the incredible sounds of a people who refuse to be silenced.
â€œHigh times and hard time in the Balkans. Outrageously good.â€
Went to the reading and it was excellent Invoked memories of my trip through the Balkans by train in 1980 on my way to Athens. In that year also my first Gipsy concert at festival in the mountains near Agrinio in Greece.
At the time I do did not know where this would take me and it was not until a few years later NME put out a tape called World At One which was my start in to music of the world till then it had been the blues, soul etc..
Now, as they say 'the world is my oyster' and I can find information and music at the stroke of a keyboard.
It was fun. And Garth made the unusual decision of interspersing clips of the music between chunks of reading, which worked very well - I really must track down some Esma Redzepova. I believe Garth played the same track he played when ping ponging a couple of months ago - really radical and challenging stuff. Perhaps someone could recommend an album?
A friend of Garth's turned out to have been the drummer for Jaly Suso who I'd seen play outside the National Theatre on Tuesday night. Garth didn't even know his pal was playing in an African band! Considering it was their first gig, there was a lot of promise there, with a great chemistry already apparent between the jazz-funky bass and the riffing kora. I look forward to seeing them again.