27 March 2004

I wonder what's going on with you, in your life recently? Seems like most of the stuff I'm doing is pretty normal, though some of it is very interesting?

Also what MUSIC have you listened to in the last couple of years, that's been exiting to you, that you've gone out and bought or wished you had bought. See my last couple paragraphs below about some of the stuff I'm listening to.

We are having the Virginia Festival of the BOOK this week and week-end (24-29 March 2004). I went to readings of translated works by India and Pakistan authors yesterday afternoon, while Deej was going to hear well-known book reviews (Michael Dirda of the Washington Post for one), and I will try to see and hear Ondaatje (English Patient and Anil's Ghost) and Victoria Sanford (the model for the protaganist in Anil's Ghost) this afternoon. Garrison Keillor was another headliner, among the 100 or so authors at this 10th anniversary of this festival. You can see more about it, if you are interested at http://www.vabook.org/

Deej and I also went to a showing, with the director/producer Rajni Majumdar, of Delhi Diary, last Wed night (24 March 2004), an hour long documentary of the memories of three families and how their lives were and are personally affected by the events of the Emergency in 1976 and the 1984 Indira Gandhi assassination and the killing of 3000 Sikh men in Delhi after the assassination. Powerful stuff, and very interesting. One of her (Rajni's) 3 families was a Sikh driver, who turned out to be the EXACT same Sikh driver Professor Hauser has used in Delhi to get him from and to the Delhi airport for the last 35 years! (The film had wonderful light, disco like but clearly Indian music; wish I could get it's CD of music) The MOVIE was the first of 8 of an Indian Film Festival, Tasvir, going on from Wed through today, including Bend it Like Beckham, Lagaan, Kama Sutra, Clay Bird, Jinnah, Aparajito, etc. I had planned to go to a movie, Dil Chahta Hai (The heart wishes), last night at 10, but was too tired to drive back to the university, plus it is a 3 hour and 5 minute movie - maybe I'll check it out of the library some time later. The list of Tasvir films is at http://www.virginia.edu/soasia/symsem/BiographySpringrel04.html

Rainy this Saturday morning, but in the 'warm' low 60s, good for the flowers - wood bluebells, hyacinths, little blue star flowers, and hostas peeking out of the ground. I tried looking up the 'little blue star flowers' and I think they are Ipheion uniforum, or Wisley Blue, or just spring starflowers. I say they are purple, but Deej says that's wrong and prefers violet!

I'm listening to Indian MUSIC this morning - some tribals from Jharkhand (Bihar) (very pleasant soft, plaintive from male and female singers), some village women of the Maithili and Bhojpur areas of Bihar, raucous wedding and festival songs (very grating and whiny), and a classical Raga Bihari (is there a theme here or what?!) by a violinist, VG Jog (very pleasing with its different 'movements' and moods).

Maybe I'll listen to the Off Chants' Mussoorie Rag and Namaste pieces next (Forrest Tobey's 1995 'Sketches of India' cassette). For non-India stuff, I'm also listening to Dido's Rent CD and Norah Jones' "Feels like home" CD. I'm enjoying the re-issue on CD of Spirit's "Spirit of '76", Ron Gesin and Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd fame) "Music from The Body" (1970/1990 interesting soft pieces as well as "More than Seven Dwarfs in P-n-s Land" and "Mrs. Throat Goes Walking"), and I've been catching up on Deep Forest CD's of Picifique, Comparsa, and Music Detected, as well as the 1996 Deep Forest member Dan Lackman's Pangea, and the very interesting raggae verision "Dub side of the Moon".