The traveling nice Guy

Photo Courtesy of Noamika

In this blog I will update my travels from London, UK to Malawi, Africa, and to Cape-Town, South Africa, Israel and hopefully back.

As I handed in my final creative project for my Master’s at Goldsmith’s, University of London, I realized that this was just the beginning of the journey. Like many things in life, once you start something and dive deep, only then you realize that you’ve gone down Alice’s rabbit hole, the road seems to open up just enough to show you the tiniest of clues as to the fabric of the research, an exploration into life, and in my case, into perceptual habits, musical conceptualization and composition, and the process of communicating with sound.  In order to dive deeper and peel away the coating of everyday life, I opened this blog, in an attempt to use the Tao (the way, in many respects) and record in the process. To keep evolving off the beaten path of localized sound and compositional practice.

Malawi is nicknamed “Nyasaland”, which translates literally to “Land of Lake”. We spent most of our time meeting local friends who could direct us to the landmarks we must see, with an emphasis on landmarks off the beaten track of overland travels through Africa. We landed in Lilongwe and spent two nights at a couchsurfing house hosted by Sisi, a young Zambian living in Malawi. We moved with an old friend, Jam Kawnda for two more nights during which he showed us around the city and took us to see a support rally for the upcoming elections. Then we journeyed from Lilongwe, the capital city, to Zomba, the old capital. Zomba is located in the southern region, and the main language is Chichewa, the most commonly used in Malawi today.

We were hosted by an old friend, and now sister, Olivia. She shared her house with us and we spent roughly 3 days with her and her newborn baby Sophie. Since my wife was volunteering in Malawi around 2011 we had to see all the places she’s been to, and so we found ourselves walking in the rural area around Zomba quite a lot. We hiked the Zomba Plateau, in search of some significant wildlife and crystals around the mountain. We found only crystals.

After that, we left for what would soon be our second home, Monkey Bay.

Monkey Bay, Lake Malawi

We stayed at the famous Mufasa Eco Lodge and enjoyed our first few days of peace and quiet, recording a lot of Cicadas at night, along with the various night crawlers around the lake. Monkey Bay is just one of those places where the rhythm of life takes you over, slowing down every small demeanor and accumulated FOMO. I could literally feel the layers of old habits, learned practice and ADD-infused concentration, peel away, slowly but surely. After meeting exceptionally grat humans at the lake, we have decided to start heading north, and to our next stop; Nkhata Bay.

We stayed at a Couchsurfing that turned out to be one of the highlights of our travels, the Uno House Gallery and open house. located in the upper part of the Nkhata Bay village, the open house is a place for children of the neighborhood to come for afternoon activities, learn sports, music, and dance, alongside theater and other programs.  The house was jam packed with kids, from the early morning till late at night, bustling with activities, dancing, singing and lots of music! I had the pleasure to record the children in a drama play they wrote and played in, instructed by the house leaders, Anton, Aneta and Nicole, with their local instructors; Lumbani “Jah Youth” and Martha “Mama Malawi”. While Jah would teach the children music, singing and playing, alongside rhythm and composition, Martha would teach them various sports activities and theater drama.

I recorded the children presenting their theater play (including songs!) to their proud parents and immediately mixed it on the spot to share the files, for all to hear. The beauty of sitting and playing back the recording to the kids was one to remember, some were surprised by the sound of their own voice, not to mention, playing and singing! The day turned into night, as we sat, drank tea, and talked about the potential these kids could have, if only there would be government funding for such activities in the touristic village of Nkhata Bay.

Recording Environmental Sound
Recording Environmental Sound
Recording Environmental Sound
Capetown Botanical Gardens
Capetown Botanical Gardens
Jah Youth recording at Machewe Falls