Drone possibilities

One of the realities of modern life is the amount of time we spend waiting – for the telephone technician to come; for the traffic jam ahead of you to clear; for the part you ordered from overseas to arrive, and, particularly taxing for me, the amount of time we spend in various customer lines or waiting-rooms. 

Repetition is the key

I spent a week recently in my former stamping grounds, Grand Cayman, doing a spot in the annual stage show, Rundown, which I started there 25 years ago.

What the hell is going on

Controversy about the changes that come to popular culture are somewhat amusing in that part of the commentary is the ingredient of surprise, even shock and outrage, as expressed in the frequent “what the hell is going on” reaction. 

We come here to shine

My Artist in Residence involvement with the University of Guyana has produced some very fulfilling exchanges, some of which I had expected but there were some surprises which I’ve mentioned before.

Most memorable music

Given that I am known as someone creating music for a Caribbean audience, I am often asked by interviewers, or the general public, what kind of music I listen to.

I do not know

When I was first approached by Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, to serve for a year with the AIR (Artist in Residence) programme at UG, I wasn’t sure about what I would be taking on. 

The reach of music

Just back from four performances in Grand Cayman, I spent what was truly an exhilarating evening doing what I would have to describe as a “musical presentation” to a great audience at Moray House dealing with my contention of “No Music Like Calypso”. 

My Cayman years

For someone who grew up in modest circumstances and very limited exposure to what Guyanese in those days referred to eerily as the “outer world”, I ended up in a musical career with Tradewinds (something simply unthinkable for me when I left Guyana) which led me to spend time in a number of places in what is widely referred to as “the West”. 

Landscapes holding us home

Some time back in this space, I posed the ‘Why we stay’ question for Guyanese choosing to live here while mentioning some of the magnets that hold us to the homeland.

A reader writes

I recently submitted a So it go column entitled ‘How come?’ listing some of the oddities we encounter in daily life (some comical, some not) and, as I predicted, I heard from readers with their own “how come” submissions.

Shining at Moray

Two days ago, Moray House staged another of their arts-oriented evenings with our revered painter Bernadette Persaud. 

Berbice explosion

I have this Artist in Residence thing (AIR) going with UG via Dr Griffith the VC and as part of that, the band (Oliver Basdeo, James Jacobs, Colin Perrera) and I are doing some gigs around the place.

Passion is required

Some time in the near future I will be doing a session with arts students at the University of Guyana (as part of my Artist in Residence work with UG) as well as a Moray House talk, sometime in May, on being an artist. 

Not necessarily

From a youth with an interest in reading I was often struck by the confidence with which persons would express a thought or a position on something that sounded impressive at first but, on reflection, proved to be simplistic, if not downright wrong.

Kaiso: Stay tuned

Following two recent columns in this space touching on the decline of calypso as popular music, I have heard from several readers in some very interesting exchanges on this subject. 

Laughter as medicine

As a voracious reader going back to my school days at Saints (Stanley Greaves had introduced me to the British Council Library to my delight), I remember once being struck by a comment from then US President John Kennedy which went something like this: “Mankind has two things he can draw on to deal with life’s many problems: one is God and the other one is sense of humour.

Calypso contortions

With Mashramani in the air in Guyana and Carnival winding down in Trinidad, the subject of calypso is once again in the air. 

What will tomorrow bring?

In another time in my life, when I was domiciled in Grand Cayman, I wrote a musical about the early beginnings of development in that country (the 1950s) when the first major tourism hotel, financed by UK money, was going up on the island’s now famous Seven Mile Beach. 

A long way to go

I cannot recall who invited me, but approximately a year or so ago I was in the audience when Trinidadian Dr Keith Nurse gave a sterling presentation here dealing with regional issues relating to Caricom. 

We can’t pick and choose

More and more that’s how I feel: that the traumas besetting mankind around the globe that we complain about are not about to abate.

Bright spots in the gloom

Anywhere we live, mankind has pressing issues to deal with – it’s not just Guyana – and everywhere as well, there are bright spots in the gloom. 

More criticism, not less

There are two slants to this missive today.  The first is that over the years, starting with when I lived in Grand Cayman, I have developed a very productive connection, mostly by frequent email, with some pivotal persons in the Caribbean which has made for some interesting exchanges over time. 

Progenitors

By now you may have noticed that I am a dialect man.  I’m not sure when that emerged, but it could well have been at university in Canada where, in a linguistics class, the value of our dialect first hit home.