I have not been writing that much. It always happens when I am quite uncertain. Which is often 🙂 I am about to start a road trip with my brother in Brazil. My brother and I, even though we come from the same family, are incredibly different. He works crazy hours for the financial market, I travel. We have not lived in the same country for almost 15 years. We were always somehow in different places. It only happens for us to spend time together ( lately ) when he changes jobs. Last time he came to Europe, and I felt I was actually meeting him for the first time.
I shamefully confess, I knew little of what my brother thought, and never did I imagine in my wildest dreams he was so intelligent. Capable of always pining down a flaw in an argument in a second even if he had never heard any of that stuff before. I took him everywhere I thought was interesting. And he tried his hardest to hear the stories of anthropologist, philosophers, scientists, and artist, but as he left me he confessed, though it had been an incredible experience, and though he thought the people he met worked incredibly hard to live what he considered “ economically difficult lives”, he could not wait to go back to work, and to go back to his comfortable life. I understood it. It was a nice time, but it had to end.
Now, he has changed jobs again to do something more important in some new important place in his world. And he has one week to travel. In his life, that is a lot. And so we decided on the spur of the moment to go somewhere together on a road trip. Could we even manage to accommodate both of our personalities in a road trip? Who knows, but I am looking incredibly forward to it as I wait for him to appear here in a second having signed up all papers he had to do before we go.
It is a road trip. And that is already me…It is in a fancy car, in Hotels and that is him 🙂
I spent this weekend listening to music. Music that spoke directly to my soul. In Sao Paulo some years ago started something called the “Virada Cultural”. It is 24 hours of music and art, and cultural events all over the city. For twenty-four hours people gather all over the city to do different things. It is an 18 million people place, a violent city, In that one night people go by tube (which works that day 24 hours )to places they usually don’t. Economically underprivileged citizens can afford to go to the expensive theatres they usually cant, rich kids go downtown to spend the night in the middle of all they usually don’t see.
I had never been in Brasil for a Virada Cultural. And I absolutely loved it. Though I confess I ended up joining before the virada ( which is only Saturday to Sunday) on Thursday to take part on a program called “music connections” organised by the Pianist Benjamin Taubkin. The project brought together Israeli and Brazilian musicians. For 5 days I spent time with these people which led me to feel again that I have such a strange connection to music, the middle east, and a wondering soul.
As I sat on the first night in the theatre inside of the cultural Jewish Centre I started my internal travel. It actually started when I entered the building and had to scan my things in a metal detector. It felt like I was in Israel. But back to the Music. I sat. And suddenly came together on stage Brazilian- out -of –this- world percussionists who played from traditional percussion instruments to pans and plates, with Israeli Talmudi brothers (Accordion, Sax and Clarinet) and Brazlian Tuba, Trumpet and trombone players. As I sat there and the Clarinet screamed I could see in my mind the Rajasthani musician singing the Kabelya gipsy cry. The joy and the wondering pain that comes with a wondering soul was there. I traveled in my mind from India all the way to Brazil. I saw Kashmir, Rajasthan, Mc Leod, Israel, Palestine, passing thought the Balkans, Turkey to arrive in northeast Brazil. What is it about music?
The following nights of jam sessions and concerts were stronger and stronger. Seeing the musicians who come from different worlds getting so excited, so moved recognising rhythms and melodies in music that apparently comes from another world was breathtaking. It becomes so evident this humanity that connects us all.
I sat there feeling home. In that essence. In that music. I was so moved that I wondered whether I was a Gipsy, or a Diaspora lost Jewish woman. I felt so at ease again in just being. I felt so thankful for these musicians. I then joined the Virada cultural in an unexpected concert at 6 am. In the centre with people of different social classes, listening to Beatles in the rhythm of Samba!
It ended last night for me in Jazz. I was back to New York for a while. The jazz pianist Yonathan Avishai played with a Joata, a Northeastern Trumpet player from Brazil. And then in the end back were the Talmudi brothers to end it all up in a celebration of diversity and similarity.
Yonathan told me he was moved. He had not been used to exchanging so much. Usually he just goes for a while to play but spending so many days exchanging had been amazing. I knew all too well what he meant.
Reacquiring my gypsy soul I made peace with myself. It is time to go. I am going on a road trip with my brother, and then I ll follow the cry from Rajasthan, the trumpet from Klezmer. Yes, I guess I have not written before because I was postponing confessing I am going back to the Road. And I am not sure where it will take me.