Friday, September 3, 2010

Post: Sep. 4

It has been a strange and difficult week. Classes have recommenced but it's awfully quiet, especially around our villa. Randy's funeral is Monday morning. Last Sunday Steve, David and I drove into Pondicherry and had a beautiful dinner at Sat Sanga in Randy's honour. We then raised a glass to him at the Promenade Hotel. Randy would have been happy that we ate and drank well.

Steve and David at Sat Sanga....

Sat Sanga's unique decor.

On our journey we discovered another magical store called Nilgiris. It's a supermarket that takes down Nuts and Spices a few notches. I was able to buy some snacks, toiletries and a few other items for less than $20. In Canada the purchase would have been twice as much. I even found my shampoo brand! We were all walking around with "perma-grins" for a good while after coming out of that place. Our driver was great. He took us there the scenic way and we passed through several small villages throughout the Tamil Nadu countryside before joining the main road to Pondicherry. It was a beautifully sunny day.

A typical road view while driving through the Tamil Nadu countryside.

Today we're going back to Pondicherry to play a gig at a rock festival. It's been fun rehearsing with the other faculty for this show. We've all been indulging our love of pop/rock music. We're doing tunes by Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, The Killers, and Bjork, plus we're throwing in a few high-energy fusion and contemporary jazz tunes. Hopefully we'll have some time to hang out in town before the gig.

This teaching week has been busy but fun. The students have been working on "disciplined improvisation". They've been focussing on improvising within the song form and also working out what kind of ideas to use while improvising. Again, this a great learning experience for both students and faculty. It's cool how much you can learn by explaining and demonstrating these kind of concepts.

It's hard to believe that we've been here for almost six weeks now. I hope to do more sight-seeing on the weekends. Apparently Mahabalipuram is an amazing place with ancient temples carved out of rock and it's only half an hour away. I also would like to make a trip to Ooty, which is about 7 hours away by train. Pondicherry is a great place to visit on the weekends as well. So much to do, and suddenly so little time...

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