Monday, 25 May 2009

Belly Laughs, Raga and Jazz

Dave Gorman was as funny as we expected him to be. His book about travelling across America by spending nothing on big corporations is probably a must-read, when I get the chance. (I have one of Dave Gorman's books on my shelf already, along with the other twenty or so must-reads that are demanding my immediate attention.)

He wasn't just funny, though. I think that is part of his appeal. Much of what he says has a core simple truth about it that is very appealing. Why do businesses have to grow to be successful? As an accountant I know the theoretical reasons, but as a human, come on, why can't a business just be? Probably the reason is that all the other businesses are working to the must-grow-to-survive model, and maybe that is why the world is in the depth of poo that it currently finds itself.

So then we rounded off the day with a concert that, on the face of it could have been a bit weird. Amit Chaudhuri is a novellist but also a musician that has put together a band that plays a mixture of classical Indian raga, jazz, rock and blues – and anything else that might drop into the mixing bowl along the way. It really works. This is spooky stuff. An hour wasn't enough and I would have bought the CD if I hadn't already blown my wallet on coffee and ginger homemade cake. The highlights of the set, for me were a magical version of Gershwin's Summertime, and one of Chaudhuri's own compositions, Foreign Education (I may have the title wrong, but those who were there will know which one I mean.)

It was a long day. We got back to the caravan after midnight, and to cap off an excellent day the sky was clear, hardly any light pollution, and we saw the Milky Way and then… shooting stars.

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