so! crikey. . . where do I begin?

well, the beginning of this particular experience was a little disconcerting (I really must find out more about things before I go along to them)

Mini Teen and I sat with Old Acquaintance, her Teen (who makes The Teen look like a Saint) and her Smallest One (who makes Mini-Teen look like a Saint). . .

. . .we weren't exactly in The Gods, but we were far enough away from the stage to make the construction upon it look like a set of matchboxes with little red silk curtains drawn across each one

nine matchboxes wide and four high, to be exact, altho the configuration on the top row had one double width box and one triple, so there were only six curtains. . . each curtain was edged with spotlights. . . only one box worth of which was turned on, and only very dimly, before the performance as we took our seats

the auditorium lights dimmed and in the faint glow of the vaguely lit box it was just possible to see an Indian man, sitting cross legged, dressed all in white with a red turban

the lights around his box lit up and he started playing his instrument - some kind of stringed guitary thing, slung low across his body and resting in his lap

"oh no", thinks I, "I hate tuneless Indian restaurant music"

the strumming continued and the spot lights became slightly brighter illuminating the man

he was smiling a lovely smile

suddenly the curtains on a box in the next row up and about three along drew back and the spotlights turned on and another Indian man (cross legged, all in white but with a yellow turban) started singing - you know, that kind of (to a Western ear) (an ill-educated one) Indian singing that sounds out of tune and a little like a call to prayer one might hear from a Minaret?
I cast my eyes side ways at OA and the two of her brood: the small one was already asleep and the unpleasant teen was fiddling with his i-gadget, the light of which was obvious despite the fact he was trying to hide it under his jacket

Mini-Teen hugged me

gradually my ear became accustomed to the music - for gradually, I could perceive that that was indeed what it was
beautiful, soulful, hypnotic, melodic,
calming, trance inducing, tranquil. . .

"what's he singing about?" whispered Mini-Teen into my ear

I hushed her

suddenly four more boxes had their curtains withdrawn and spotlights turned on, the second box went dark: the single voice replaced by a small chorus
during the progression of the piece (a triptych, altho I couldn't tell when one part stopped and another began, lasting - apparently - an hour and a half, without an interval, altho it didn't seem that long) the boxes revealed more singers, more strummers, three different kinds of drummers - about forty musicians and singers in all - in different combinations/configurations and each set of which wearing turbans of different colours. . .
the music moved from hypnotic to engrossing, soulful to enhancing. . .
it was as if a dim distant sun had dawned into a cool peaceful day which became brighter and warmer and busier and noisier - but always in tune and rhythmic, enticing you to follow - from trance inducing to awakening and enlivening - the pale yellow sun climbing higher and higher into a sky bluer than anything blue you could conceive or imagine and turning into a glowing golden orb - beating its heat down upon you
. . .at one point, about a third of the way thru, a "conductor" chappy appeared on the stage, clacking some kind of castanet things. . . a little later he turned to the audience, his castanets copying the beating of a drum. . . . . .we realised he was inviting us to clap in time
so we did

but he was toying with us, teasing us: as the drummer beat the rhythm and the conductor clicked his clackers, we clapped an echo in response - slowly and simply at first, then faster and more complex, eventually the pattern of beats became too quick and so complicated that we could not follow in time or from memory

ripples of laughter erupted from the audience!
the conductor grinned happily and turned back to his boxes. . .
it was only in the very final part of the performance that all the boxes had opened and revealed their musicians and singers - it was becoming very very loud (but in no way deafening, which was curious)
"it's overwhelming!" whispered Mini-Teen

"but do you like it?" I asked - she nodded enthusiastically
the last few minutes were a lightshow, with the spotlights now no longer lit around the individual participants of that musical section, but flowing back and forth across the rows and columns of the grid, left and right, up and down

and then suddenly: black, silence
the greatest musical experience of my life had ended

the audience erupted - we all stood instantly - the lights came back up, the Indian gentlemen placed their palms together and raised their hands in thanks at our appreciation, the lights switched off - we kept clapping and cheering. . . the lights turned back on again

this happened five times

I have never seen a standing ovation like it

people, words simply cannot describe this experience, I have tried but I have failed you

so, from me to you. . .

if you ever ever ever EVER have the opportunity
to see
Roysten Abel's
The Manganiyar Seduction
please please do so

it will be one of the most wonderful
75+ minutes of your life

(there are a few youtube links, they do not do the evening justice)


Dave said...

I suspect they may not be coming to rural Norfolk.

dinahmow said...

Oh, but you DO tell it well. That sounds absolutely stunning. Thankyou so much for the "matchbox" explanantion - it made the finale seem so grand.
Our City's just built a whoop-de-doo concert auditorium, but I bet these chaps don't play our town. (Bit like rural Norfolk. innit!)

Christopher said...

You haven't failed us at all - you've really brought your excitement and involvement through to us. It must have been wonderful, tho' la France profonde is about as cosmopolitan as rural Norfolk as far as this expereince coming here's concerned. You are so lucky sometimes, living in the Great City.

zIggI said...

*sigh* Wonderful!

Mel said...

If what you wrote is just an ounce of the magic-- WOW!!!!!!1

Personally, I thought you wrote it well. And darn that they've not made it near here...but darn straight I'll be going to see them if they do!


Spadoman said...

That was a very good review of the concert you went to see. I would like to see it based on your recommendation. If one person thinks so highly of something, it must have been good.



Diana Morgan-Hill said...

well done hun, think you did manage to relay just some of the utter exhilaration and wonder you so obviously felt about this amazing experience..x

Mel said...

AND your kiddos looked like Saints! Nothing like isomethingorother watching imps to put things into perspective.

Dave said...

Actually, i don't need to go. You made the experience at third hand so exillerating.

I don't think the spelling's right - should there be an H in there? But who cares? I've cast pedantry aside.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you

mig said...

Well I can't see them turning up here either. But if they do, I shall certainly go - they sound wonderful.

I, Like The View said...

mig I think they might be worth travelling to somewhere for. . .

. . .if you see what I mean

you'd have loved it!

Vicus my pleasure

Dave I'm impressed (will you be taking it up again?)

Mel it was wonderful to have a glow of pride in my teen, even if only for a moment (the iwatching one was born two days after mine, and I've known his mother - OA - ever since, so it was fascinating to see how he's grown up)

DM-H wow! fab to see you over here darling!! still don't think my explanation even approaches the edges of it. . .

man look them up - someone came on stage and said they'd be travelling to the states soon (he then commented on how difficult it was going to be for 40+ Muslim men to get thru security and onto the plane. . .)

Mel nope, not even an ounce


ZiggZ yes!

Christopher I don't take advantage of it frequently enough, the Big City. . . and I miss hills, trees, fields, grass, sea, lakes, a view. . .

but, when I get my act together, I do love getting up to town!

dinah it was stunning. . . truly. . . I meant to say that the match boxes were portrait (not landscape) and only the insides (not the slip cover with the lighting strip). . . I'd quite like to find a fabric so fine that it would make good matchbox curtains and then glue some together and then make little model people to sit behind each one. . . could light them with teeny tiny fairy lights. . . hee hee hee

Dave me neither