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  • Claudia

Of gongs, steps and other worlds


Cork, on the same beautiful island that I live on, is less than a country away from my every day world. Even so what I am just leaving behind me feels like a planet away now.

I am on the train back to Sligo and starting to process the events of this past week, full of music, people, and other-wordlyness. Led by Mel’s drum, Colin Dunne’s impressive and definite masculine footsteps, Iarla’s voice from beyond and Jeff’s beautiful imagery, we lived through a week of playing Javanese gamelan in the unique tradition of Mel’s UCC orchestra.

Hours spent concentrating on hitting gongs, pots and various other metallophones, listening to everyone and feeling incredibly privileged to do something like this all day long. Diving into other worlds. Especially with Nick Roth’s saxophoning, always sounding like it’s coming directly from his soul. Duke Special, hiding behind his dread locks, uttering beautiful words and melodies that are resounding in my head now. Kate Ellis’ disco cello playing. Clare’s beautiful voice that always bring tears to my eyes.

Mel’s kind words about my own musical journey and the little gig I got to do as part of the FUAIM festival club at, the end of the night, supported by a great time of reliable guys- Eamonn, Eoin and Paul. Sad to leave Cork this time, as I don’t know for how long. What a week (that felt like a month!)

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