|A typical hilltop castle on the way to El Vendrell|
|A Roman arch in the median of the highway!|
Take in case Ramón, my host in a village near El Vendrell. At 22 years old he decided he was going to learn how to play the very complicated Indian drum called the tabla. Learning something like the tabla is not the same as attending djembe workshops; it is a lifetime endeavour. In India Ramón sought out and found a tabla master who took him as a student, and for seven months he was immersed in, not only tabla techniques, but the whole of culture surrounding the instrument, from Sanskrit to Yoga to Ayurvedic medicine.
He returned to Catalunya, feeling he needed a break from this immersion, but was soon back again for more. Since then, he has been in India several times, once living on an ashram where he practiced the tabla all day, every day. He now continues his study of the tabla with a teacher in Italy whom he visits once a month.
Meeting Ramón was like meeting the personification of peace, but one might expect a person who has lived on an ashram for so long to be calm and gentle. So imagine my surprise when the local guitar-playing friend he had invited to his house was no less the personification of peace than Ramón. His friend, Enric, is in a street theater troupe (as is Ramón now) and not only a guitar player but a vocalist as well. It was his birthday that day, and their idea of a birthday party was a vegetarian dinner and a performance of their music which combines the Indian tabla's exotic sounds with the Western guitar. The birthday gift, in the end, was mine, as I listened, or rather blended with the 'peace music' my two friends produced. I gave both of them information on Masterpeace, and they may make their 'peace music' a part of Masterpeace's efforts. I hope to see them in Cairo!
|My host in El Vendrell, Ramon, on the tabla drums, cheerfully tolerating my jamming on his one-stringed Indian instrument|
|Ramon and Enric making the most sublime music I've heard in a long time|
Meanwhile, Lídia is taking a break from conflict zones by taking photoshop classes, self-defense classes (she did Brazilian jiu jitsu in the past) and cheering for FC Barcelona, or whoever opposes Real Madrid. To have a look at Lídia's reporting, see 'Canal de 2 the parrot' on Youtube. See you, Lídia!
|The amazing Lídia and her equally amazing parents|
|The Roman fort in Calafell|