I am going to India tomorrow, 2nd Jan. I won an Arts Council NI bursary for a month in an artist retreat with the Shruti Foundation in Rajasthan. I will be immersing myself in my music and that of Indian folk music. My work with the Orchestre des Refugies et Amis has brought me into contact with many wonderful flavours of “world music”. Thanks to Darren Ferguson from Beyond Skin I got to work with the wonderful Amita Ravikiran from India who now lives in Belfast. I’m very interested in the Indian scale of music which isn’t like our Western style so I’m in for a treat. I have that kind of mind that likes to learn and I will devour this opportunity to embed in the Indian Folk music culture.
I have been before on my way back from a gig in Hong Kong 3 years ago. I had a 4 day drop down in Dehli. I went to see Gandhi’s house and was very moved by the story of his last days. I followed his last steps before he was shot dead by a crazed individual. I was shocked by the disparity between rich and poor, as a matter of fact it made me a bit angry. But I didn’t get out of the city. I’m told this is not the real india. We shall see! My destination is Rajasthan to the famous Shruti Foundation retreat for four weeks. I’m on fire at the moment in my writing and I’m truly invigorated at this time in my life. I’ll miss Ruairi and Sophie but solitude is part of being an artist. Wish me well.