October 26, 2009

as far as one can be certain

Bardia's horn.
from the album fall europe tour 09

train from aarau, switzerland to bolzano, italy

i spent my time in switzerland nearly exclusively inside. the first two days i was recovering from the tour. the third day i was writing music. and the last two i spent in and out of headaches and upset stomach. i think i got sick from the exertion of being on the road, the 16 concerts in the past three and a half weeks, and of course the general strains that life seems to bring. (perhaps i’ll speak more of this later.) the body has a way of staving its needs for a while. and i’m thanking for being in good health throughout all of my performances.

the highlights of my time in switzerland revolve around one of my most cherished friends, bardia charaf. a man of extraordinary talent which surpasses his years, he is a deeply gifted composer and virtuosic saxophone player. bardia and i met six years ago while studying at havana’s instituto superior de arte, cuba’s national conservatory. we hadn’t seen each other since then. but after hearing some of my music, bardia sent me some pop and electronica backtracks of his own. a stellar jazz and classical musician, i was shocked to see bardia working in more contemporary styles, and a little miffed he hadn’t told me sooner! (his response was that he found “fun boyz,” and “moody,” to be so good, he didn’t want to give me just anything. :) ) the tracks possessed his usual vigour and brilliance, whilst reflecting his persian and arabic background, and intimacy with cuban music. bueníssimo! i couldn’t pass up the chance to see him in europe and hopefully develop some of these tracks with him there.
i had the pleasure of landing in baden mid-way through one of bardia’s concerts. walking into the jam-packed pub between songs, the show stopped for a moment as bardia peeled himself from the piano and walked over to give me a hug. a dramatic moment befitting us both, i think. bardia and his multi-cultural cast of musicians (venezuelan, colombian, cuban, and brasilian) expounded his triumphantly chorded tunes with über-rhythmic fire through the night. but it was bardia’s inability to stop playing hours later, long after the concert was over, that really struck me. i saw in him the same fire and delight for life that i possess, unrelenting, verging on madness. i felt a little less alone in that moment. perhaps this is the source of our strangely powerful brotherly love, i wondered.
in the end, my need for recovery made our collaboration slow-going. but as far as one can be certain in this life, we parted with the knowledge that this was just the beginning.

October 21, 2009

the psychology of beauty

"it's not very hard to tell you're back in vienna"
from the album fall europe tour 09

train from graz, austria to baden, switzerland

when i was in cuba my pack was ripped out of the window of a moving train at approximately 3:30 in the morning; in europe i leave my ipod, sennheiser headphones, mobile, and camera out in the open as i go four cars up the train for a bottle of mineral water. my laptop stays not-so-securely hidden underneath my rucksack.

in vienna i contemplated beauty and it’s role in civil development, namely through the eyes of its citizens. what kind of effect does it have on a person to see palacial buildings slathered with gold-gilt statues, or indeed real palaces, on his way to work? how does that affect the mind? what’s the difference between such sights and seeing dilapidated structures, wolfing down smoke from ancient automobiles, seeing the city you live in crumble day by day?
it would seem that there is something inherently uplifting to the vienna-type environments around the world, encouraging refinement and sophistication, perhaps a sense of the order of things: that a city should be clean, that it’s trains should run on time and be fully-functional, that it should have beautiful architecture and museums that speak to it’s history. but what about those who live in urban decay? what happens to their minds?
if order is the way of things, then why not so for cubans and the other darker-skinned people of the world? and how is it that one society establishes order while another languishes? or is order purchased? or perhaps wrested? and does not the absence of beauty perpetuate a people’s dis-ease?

as it stands humankind lives an equation that can never be balanced. when walking the streets of vienna, this is where beauty takes my mind.

October 18, 2009

so it begins

car from graz to mitterdorf, austria

first of all, thanks to tess for the inspiration--an exceptional person and a warrior in the pawo sense. being so young and so fiercely heart-centered, i hope that she will continue to flourish in this way. please follow her journey here...

my name is KID AKIMBO. i am a singer and dancer originally from brasil. i live in san francisco. it’s on stage that i feel that i really come alive, so i also consider, “performer,” as a defining part that i play.
it has been a karma year, ripe with expansion and growth. the green wind of activity blows through my life. my work now takes me across the u.s. and internationally (i’m currently on my second european tour) and it seems that this might be the way of things for me in the next years.
this blog is begun as a record of my travels as a performer, an exposure of my inner world, and a sounding board for my sanity as i cover ground mostly alone. my work is image-based and high-gloss--this is not that. this is a place for me to share the things that may not be readily apparent, or to reveal a deeper meaning to something in the fore. it is a space for my ruminations, thoughts, obsessions, and fantasies. and most of all for my passion, which is consumptive, giving as it takes. as such, i think this blog is more for me than for you; my thanks for your generously open ears.
i hope that you will take the ride with me through a subscription,
and that there is something in here that will be of benefit to us and all sentient beings.

the king of colour,