Wandering and playing in Amphawa today … once-was trading port for Siam, water worn timber houses, fragile in the sun, so close to the tidal river and canals they seem in danger at any moment of inundation. Temples necklace the viridian forest, realisation out of water and brilliant light, home of the hero-killer of the maiden stealing crocodile prince. In one a woman older than the hills sits baby-powder whitefaced in a corner, the ancient of days. Played beside the water in an old timbered place, warmed by lantern and candle light, and a bunch of honest smiles.
Back now in Bangkok after a lovely trip to Amphawa. Good times with lovely people. Music on the Khoa San Road with so many great people in the bar. Later we sat in the sultry evening heat on the upstairs terrace of the Bombay Blues, drinking Curacao and lime. In the unusually clear sky, the crescent moon and Jupiter blazed, exhorting crickets in the Rambuttri Road Temple gardens to sing for their suppers.
I was invited by Buddhist monk and Vietnam war veteran Chuan Kongsri to play at his farm. It’s a Thai house built from Teak, far along a dirt track, deep in the paddy fields and palm orchards. He’s a recluse now, with silent dogs for company. I played on the balcony in the most sublime wind, Drongo birds joining the chorus, and on a platform on an island, shrouded in mist nets. The long dead carcasses of carnivorous bats look almost alive again, swaying in the wind.
Steamy night at the lovely Jazz Happens venue, in Pra Arthit. Very friendly crowd with an obvious passion for music… Soon be leaving Asia again… been a lovely time, filled with deep blue sea, twisting worm brown rivers and a hundred manifestations of heat. Looking out at a sleeping Bangkok from my room, I feel comfortable here, but am deeply excited at the thought of home….
Lovely final gig today in the Cat’s Tower on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. The monsoon flood slid worm-brown past gilded roof tops and saffron stoled monks, as I sailed along to the tower … inside I was again humbled and excited by the intensity with which the audience listened to words they barely understood, emphathising with feelings and the universals held in the sounds and the pictures. Not long left now…I’ll go home chastened and challenged by the power within voice word and sound… such moments of potential, of something that in the sharing becomes beautiful, not to be handled flippantly, or underestimated : )