Saturday, 19 June 2010

Travelling Musicians

I talked about Into The Wild before... now I will about what one can say is another of the influences in my wanderlust.

Little known even in the Basque Country, few years ago two Basque musicians who play a wooden percussion instrument called "txalaparta" travelled to some countries in Asia, Europe and Africa (namely, Mongolia, India, Lappland and Sahara) in order to learn about their cultures and their landscapes, and to mingle their musical traditions: Nomadak TX

I consider myself a travelling musician too.
I am very fond of these kind of initiatives that get to the roots of peoples' cultures and find them to share a great deal with other peoples all around the globe.

I have had my own amazing experiences in this field.

In Sardinia I met "launeddas" players, in Bulgaria "gaida" bagpipers and especially while travelling in Greece, I had the luck of spending two intense days with Yannis Pantazis, a versatile musician that played a wide range of instruments, and mainly the Greek "tsambouna", a sort of bagpipe similar to the Basque "alboka" I play.

Next week I depart to Scotland, a relatively short trip that will be my last one in Europe.
I hope I will be able to meet traditional musicians there too, and play together with them.

And of course, next year's travelling in Asia will surely widen my vision in this field too.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Violence among ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek in Kyrgyzstan's Osh province has forced Uzbekistan's government to close the border between these countries, due to the high influx of refugees.

This may endanger my whole trip back from Asia, as these countries are a keypass to Europe (given that Afganistan and Pakistan are even more dangerous).

I know I won't be there till one year from now, and that things may change a lot in the meantime, but this is just an example of sudden riots that could spread anywhere in the countries I have to travel through next year.

"Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have fled their homes in Kyrgyzstan and headed for Uzbekistan.

The violence began in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad on Thursday and has left at least 138 dead. "
BBC says.

That area is exactly the Chinese border I was going to cross (and hopefully I will do anyway), from Kashgar to Osh.
Going to Kazakhstan may be an alternative route in case the country hasn't stabilized yet when I go there, but the whole idea of the trip could be seriously damaged if I cannot get through Central Asia.

As I have said, it is just an example. I have been aware all these months of this kind of violence appearing anywhere else, like Thailand, for instance, or the warlike movements in the Korean sea.

Political unstability may put an end to my trip, but I cannot foresee any of these dangers that I may have to cope with.

Unpredictability plays hards.