Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nick Strange in St. Clair Shores, Indian Culture at A.A. Library, Saraswati Puja

Hello again,
  The winter is rolling right along, and the gigs seem to be coming as fast and furious as the bitter cold and blowing snow.  This is the time of year when musicians must be extra studious about keeping their instruments in a controlled climate.  Even just an hour out in the cold can cause all kinds of problems.  On top of the difficulty with playing a cold instrument, there is always the fear of tuning, cracking, tearing, snapping, and.....well....let's just keep them warm shall we!
  So the first show was on Saturday Feb. 2nd with the Nick Strange group.  We were at a place called Fishbones in St. Clair Shores.  It was a big resteraunt/bar that has a built in crowd that seemed used to having live music, but not too attached to the idea of it. The weird vibe I got was probably due in part to the fact that it was the day before the super bowl.  I did have a good time and it was fun to play in a new place.  There were a few people who really liked the music, which made it worth the drive out.
  The next day I had a fun little daytime event at the Ann Arbor Public Library put on by my friend Rohit Setty and his family.  It was an Indian cultural celebration for young families.  We had Meeta Banerjee on the sitar, Dan Piccolo and myself on tabla, with Rohit, his wife Amanda, and their young daughter Shalani telling stories and doing dances, and making crafts.  It was a nice event.  The Ann Arbor News sent out a photographer, and we got a great spread in the Saturday paper.

The following Saturday Meeta and I drove to a middle school in Saline, MI. to play at a Saraswati Puja put on by the Bengali group Mitali.  A Puja is a type of religious ceremony that, as far as I can tell, is meant to honor a god and share music, dance, and fellowship with your community.  It is the second year we have done it, and it is always a fun show to play.  We did just a 15 minute show and within the first minute, Meeta broke a string.....Ouch!  Luckily, it was not her main string, but it did throw our balance off a bit.  Like a true pro, Meeta played on as if nothing was wrong, and the crowd was very appreciative. I felt lucky to be a part of it.
Thanks for reading, and I will write again soon!



Superchai said...

awwww you called me a pro!!! I'm so excited :) Btw, all is now good with the sitar. Rajanji told me in order to fix the slippage on the peg, I need to put some chalk on it. That should take care of it. I'm going to experiment with it and see how it goes.

PLUS...I actually changed some of the strings on my mom's sitar. It was my self-imposed lesson in string changing so that I would know how to do it. Thank goodness Samar Kaku sent two sets. I'll be asking for a few more before he gets here. AND I did it correctly...with some help of course. For some reason Joy didn't trust me changing strings.


Danny said...

Superchai- insteadof using chalk, look ata product called "Peg Dope". Itis a product used by players of the violin-family of instruments, to make sure that the pegs dont slip and detune the instrument while under string tension. Yuo can buy it at Herb david's downtown A2 or at Shar Instruments on S. Industrial.
Namaskar and Salaam.

Superchai said...

Thanks Danny. I'll make sure I look into that soon :)