18 December 2009

today: a story.

the day we did the most walking in new york
was also the firs
t day it snowed in the city.

not only were our feet tired but we also had frozen hands from trying to take pictures of the massive snowflakes that covered us on our way to the guggenheim. it made the whole ordeal of looking at all the christmas decorations uptown that much more festive, but also impossible to forget that it was cold. after a bit of a rest at the musuem we had to trek all the way back downtown for dinner with a friend of mine. luckily our ride was parked right outside the museum entrance.

i mean, really.

this car was meant for us.

just when we were going to grab a taxi,
the driver
of the black towncar asks us if we need a ride.
clearly, we do.

what took place was the best cab ride of my life. technically i guess it wasn't a cab but for the purpose of the story it is. for about 35 minutes we sat in comfort of the perfect temperature of the black sedan listening to some of the best music i have heard in a long time. it was mellow and soulful, with intoxicating rhythms. we asked the driver what the music was and thru a bit of a language barrier we found out it was west african music from guinea. no particular name or artist. he also made sure we knew guinea has some of the best music..

..but it didn't take much convincing. this put me on the hunt for west african music in hopes of finding that same sound that made what should have been a mad traffic rush to the east village, a peaceful escape instead.

i've only scraped the surface but i found out a little history about the music that came from this part of the world.
in brief, guinea gained its independence in 1958..soon after the government started to rebuild its country paying special attention to the artists with its "authenticite" campaign and music was the focus. the music that came out of this period in time is held with such high regard by people all over. now as i'm starting to listen, i am realizing why...

arme guinenne* bembeya jazz national

sometimes you can just feel the reason, and can't quite explain it in words.
all of it starting from a chance meeting with the right towncar and now chalked up to another incredible new york moment.

1 comment:

  1. hey! this is a great story! you should do stories more often... sounds like a blast!

    I saw you were over on my end of the web today too!