Day 19-100

The King of the Groaners…a little bit of Sosatie for the ears!

Day 19 of 100 Happy Days

We are gifted with several senses…smell, sight, taste, touch, sound. If you are fortunate, you have all five; but the human body is extraordinary and adapts, and some people have super senses to compensate for a weakness in another.

Much like my post on smelling the roses, there are probably similar sayings for the other senses. Visual feasts, sound smorgasbord, the sweet smell of victory, the gentle touch of a loved one…all provide a picture of what potential your senses can achieve.

Life offers a lot of variety…and we can treat our senses to an array of spectacular experiences.  But often we get stuck in a rut.

We could be experiencing the curiosity of exotic cooking…serrano peppers, saffron, tangines, wine infused cassoulets, vindaloos, wursts, suchi….so much more than meat and potatoes and gravy (don’t get me wrong, these three have their own place in the culinary repertoire- and sometimes it is just what  you want!).

We could be experiencing the perplexity of modern art, or the bewilderment and astonishment of performance art. Maybe they are not your cup of tea, but you come away feeling something – even if it is a “WTF?” moment.

We could really pay attention to what we are touching…I mean actually pay attention and determine what it is that pleases or displeases us. Similarly, we can take in all the smells – some are offensive and need to be avoided, but some are so wonderful…a medley of smells that evoke some emotion. I can still remember the smell of Noxzema cream; it reminds me of my first few years in Canada. Sometimes I can catch the faint remnants of my wife’s perfume, on clothes, on the pillow, on a towel…and it smells wonderful and reminds me of how lucky I am.

So it is with music. I do listen to everything…but I have my favourites – my meat and potatoes stuff. Most of it is anglo-american and involves electric guitars and classic lyrics – Zeppelin, The Who, GNR, Pearl Jam, Floyd, The Stones, The Boss, blah blah blah.  Yet, while there are so many great bands and artists that I listen to, sometimes it just feels like the same old, same old.  It is the same aural menu of meat and potatoes and gravy, over and over.

And then, this Christmas I tapped into one of those music channels available with my cable package…World Music…and oh, my goodness it was like tasting bruschetta, or bourgignon, kimchi, or tandoori for the first time. I am experiencing fusions, and artists, and styles, and instruments I have never heard before.  I am listening to artists from Africa, the Maghreb, South America, the Balkans, Asia…artists I had no clue even existed: Adelaide’s Shaolin Afronauts, South Africa’s “King of the Groaners” –  Intombi Emnyama himself, Tanzania’s Vijana Jazz Band, The Poly Versal Souls from Berlin.

And though I may not understand the lyrics, I get the vibe…just like I may not know how to make butter chicken, but I enjoy the taste. (Well, actually I do know how to make butter chicken…bad analogy, but you get my drift. How ’bout Peking duck? I do not know how to make that…)

The variety, the texture,the feel, the sound  is intriguing and exciting. Music, something I love deeply, has spiced up a bit.  And how can you not be happy with that!