Our amazing adventure was made possible by the U.S. Department of State and American Music Abroad. Cathy happened upon an email notice for online applications for the program and the trio decided to go for it. We were contacted that we had been chosen our of 288 bands to audition for the next level, with 40 bands. A short NY audition led to our being chosen with 9 other ensembles to become cultural diplomats, ambassadors of music, or as Barbara has been calling it, “Yodeling for World Peace”.
We are grateful to all those involved at the State Department, American Music Abroad and all of the Embassies that worked so hard to make this trip possible. The travel was grueling, but the experience irreplaceable. With a little luck, we hope to do it again-we have been accepted to audition for the next season and will keep you posted. We are looking forward to more adventures with fiddler extraordinaire, Barbara Lamb.
Favorite quotes, moments and memories.
*In China, one of our embassy folks asked us if we were going to rent a car on our day off. We laughed hysterically. The mish-mash of thousands of bikes, walkers, cars, motorcycles and scooters would make us a danger to ourselves and to others with a rental car. Answer, NO.
* People seeing a banjo for the first time. No TV, no Beverly Hillbillies, no banjo jokes, just smiles and respect!
*Flying Fish- really, right out of the water in Vanuatu. CLICK THIS FF4 to see video clip
Musicians! Complete this sentence….I once had to stop my gig because my show was interupted by…
Here’s my list:
- A kangaroo
- An angry monkey
- Swiss Yodelers
- Hell’s Angels
- A pig
- A honey dipper cleaning out port-o-lets
- The President’s motorcade
- A snake (the snake was from this trip)
*Things we will not take for granted:
Clean, running water – Indoor heat in the winter, both at home and in concert venues – Warm, dry roof over our heads – The power of music to make friends – No matter how accomplished we are on fiddle, guitar, banjo or uke, the washboard will always become the center of attention. 2nd is the limberjack! We left washboards and limberjacks behind at every show.
Followup Missions – An experience like this is amazing, but what makes it truly cultural diplomacy is when we can find ways to share the experiences with you, get you involved and let the tour become the center spoke while other spokes reach out beyond our 30 days on the road. We’re trying and you can help out a little. Spread the blogs to your friends. Join our efforts to help the children’s library below.
- Help the Pikininy Library acquire more children’s books, music and literacy curriculums. See Travelogue # 7 http://www.cathymarcy.com/2013/travelogue-7-papua-new-guinea-part-1/ and please contribute.
- Try to arrange for some guitars and strings to get to Vanuatu for Billy’s Music Lessons and the Peace Corps working in Eratap Village.
- Work on a way for Henry to get more guitar lessons in Eratap Village, maybe even a trip to some guitar camps here.
- Visit Takoma Elementary School to show photos and videos and talk about the trip.
- Encourage Strathmore Artists in Residence to apply. AIR artist Christylez Bacon and his Washington Sound Museum with Wytold on electric cello and Nishta Raj on Indian Classical Violin have made it to the first round and will audition in March. Congrats!
- Host a few parties to spread the experiences to friends.
- Write a few more songs and tunes from the trip.
- Eat home-cooked food in our own homes and do laundry.
- We have an entire youtube playlist dedicated to our trip and you can see it HERE.
It’s a wrap, but stories, pics and anecdotes will go on!
A few folks have asked- here it is, a list of ALL of the flights!
DC – Detroit – Tokyo – Shanghai – Chengdu – Kunming – Chungdu – Kunming – Hong Kong – Kota Kinabalu – Kuala Lumpur – Syndey – Noumea – Vanuatu – Sydney – Brisbane – Port Moresby – Brisbane – Sydney – Los Angeles – Detroit – DC (and Barbara Lamb added Nashville on both ends of the trip!) THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME…..