In my time living abroad, mostly in Toronto, Tradewinds gigs took me all over North America and to Mother England, and, of course, all over the Caribbean.
I wrote a column on this topic some time ago, but following some recent brouhaha in our local media over the quality of a particular artistic production, it is clearly a focus we have to keep revisiting, It’s not obvious – in fact it’s often completely overlooked – but the truth is that in every high quality performance in the arts, the writing is the key.
Lately I’ve been overrun with old memories, some of them going back decades, like my Mom passing away and my sister Celia, both in Toronto, and my first wife, Dorothy, who was from Scotland.
Memory does not tell me exactly how many years back, but several decades ago I recorded a song, IS WE OWN, with Tradewinds, essentially highlighting aspects of Guyanese culture that constitute an integral part of our way of life, and the song has now become one of the Tradewinds standards frequently heard on radio and at various public functions.
We grow up in Guyana, and the Caribbean generally, with this notion of jumbie, soucoyant, ol’ higue, etc.
Two days ago, out of the blue, I had an awful experience with the sudden death of a friend here, Colin Ming, in a traffic accident (he was on a motorbike) that just shattered me.
Coming back here to live some eleven years ago, I began writing a regular column for Stabroek News.
Learning, or more appropriately, perhaps, “awareness” is the better word, is usually a gradual, inch by inch process, building and building to finally get there as a shape you can put your mind around.
In the course of having a career in music, which led to my doing a series of columns headed SO IT GO in Sunday Stabroek, material of one sort of another comes to me in diverse ays.
Living in Guyana one has to struggle some days to look past this or that irregularity– street garbage; Exxon flaring; inhumane treatment of animals; etc–but some days the light comes on.
One of the little known stories in the Dave Martins folder would be the time I spent after graduating from Saints Stanislaus College working for B.G.
Going in, I have heard all the stories about the Pit Bull breed of dogs, with their potential to be aggressive and even dangerous, but my experience with Peppa, the Pit Bull owned by my stepson Alex Arjoon, my wife Annette’s son from her previous marriage, has been a total joy in the going on two years we’ve known her.
1.People see me living here again, and some have said to my face “You had a chance to stay outside bro, what bring you back to this place?”
You’re in Guyana for a week, or for a longer spell Let me give you some background, it will serve you well.
It occurred to me recently, after a long, rambling conversation with a young musician hopeful, that unless one has gone down that road, you have no idea of how very difficult, I would even say daunting, that path is.
We think when something ends in our life That we will be braced for it, but very often that’s not the case We only know when we get the hit.
In the midst of all the continuing malaise triggered by the COVID pandemic here, one of the lesser noted consequences is the effect on the music industry.
Going in, I admit to being rather easily astonished, so perhaps it’s not strange that I am completely bowled over by some of the actions one sees ordinary citizens in their daily lives delivering to various animals and birds in their care.
Like most people in their growing up years, I discovered early the influence music can have in our lives, ranging from birthday parties to wedding receptions to special days in the year, and in celebrations big and small in venues ranging from simple to elaborate.
Guyana is such a vast and multi-dimensional kind of country that one could a write a column about the different aspects of the place, every week for a year, and still not cover it all.