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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 28

    Thursday, October 11, 2012
    Varanasi, India

    A Hindu shrine on the Ganges river in Varanasi, India.

    Looking toward Shivala Ghat in Varanasi, India.

    Shivala Ghat in Varanasi, India.

    Another day, another walk down the ghats. But, this time, I ventured quite a bit farther than ever before–all the way to Shivala Ghat–over a mile South from the hotel. I found out later that if I’d gone a half mile further still, I would’ve reached the Southernmost ghat in Varanasi, Assi Ghat. Ah, well. Maybe next time. On the way back, I managed to nab a few field recordings of someone playing the dissonant bells at Kedar Ghat. Unfortunately, only one or two people were ringing them, so it didn’t sound quite as crazy as the other night, when at least four or five people were going off on those things. No matter, it still sounded good, and will make a nice addition to an album of field recordings I plan to make someday. Back up at Dasaswamedh Ghat, I tried to capture some audio recordings of the nightly Ganga Aarti performance, but the battery in my iPod touch drained really fast, even though I just charged it up last night, which means it won’t hold a charge anymore and will need to be replaced when I get home.

    Castles made of sand, just South of Shivala Ghat in Varanasi, India.

    One of the dining rooms at the Brown Bread Bakery in Varanasi, India.

    Dang! My camera battery only holds a charge for a few hours, too, and the flash stopped working in August. It seems like all of my gear is on the fritz. But, I’m determined to make it last through the end of this trip. If it doesn’t, I’ll just start drawing pictures of everything. I visited the Brown Bread Bakery tonight at just the right time to catch their nightly music performance, which consisted of a duo who plays traditional Indian folk tunes on sarod and tabla. They sounded really good, noodling out the complex jams in a very forceful yet graceful manner. It was quite lovely and entrancing. I had never seen anyone play tabla up close before, and it was amazing to see how the intricate patterns were played, and how different sounds were produced on the center and edges of the drum heads. After about 45 minutes, the performance was marred by a fellow diner, a European neo-hippie who insisted on sitting in with a coil-shaped didgeridoo. Frankly, it didn’t mesh well at all, and sounded terrible. Imagine someone trying to accompany Indian classical music with a deep foghorn and you get the picture. After a few minutes, I couldn’t take any more and hightailed it out of there. I’m surprised the duo even let the Didgeridude burp out one note!

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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