Saturday, August 6, 2011

Haunting Music from Suai

Nearly two years ago, I flew to the south coast of East Timor to participate in the opening of a media house for journalists. The organization that I worked for at the time, had opened several of these facilities across the country and this was the latest. At all of the openings, there was always traditional dance and music -- a truly wonderful time, each time.

The ceremony in Suai remains fresh in my mind because of the music and dance. It was quite haunting in some ways -- three men singing, one of them playing a traditional stringed instrument and six young girls dancing to the music -- appearing to be in a hypnotic trance.

I was fortunate to have my camera handy and captured a portion of the performance.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Storm Rollin' In

The sound of not-to-distant thunder rumbles toward the west where the clouds are dark and threatening. Lightning lights up the twilight sky as if a million camera flashes are going off all at once.  The smell of rain is in the air. A burst of wind brings the leaves on the poplar trees alive – a sound similar to the arrival of rain.  The thunder rolls on – becoming distant, the night creatures turn the forest into a cacophony of percussion-sounding instruments.  The rain is coming. Slowly. The rain drops gently tap the metal roof. The mountain air is cool and fresh.
(My first night back in the mountains of Western North Carolina after five weeks in tropical Timor-Leste)