February 23, 2012
Holy Tour - Day ?

it’s proving a difficult task to keep track of everything. between the jet lag and the intense schedule, it is anyone’s guess what day or time it is. last night we ordered dinner at midnight.

this morning (i looked it up - thurs, feb 23) was a special morning and i hesitate to say that knowing that each day here on the holy tour brings unpredictable new highs. however, this morning was still pretty great.

for those of you who are new, antigone rising is in israel as arts envoys for the us state department playing concerts for israeli jews and arabs attempting to bring tolerance, understanding and peace through music. hence, the holy tour.

this morning we played for about 100 young teens (mostly arab christians and arab muslims) at tabeetha, an international school here in tel aviv. they all had a good grasp of the english language so we were encouraged to really interact and explain things like songwriting, instrumentation, improvisation etc..

there’s something about playing for kids that is unlike any other audience. they are so true to the moment. as the filed into their seats you could feel that they were ready for a show. the excitement in the room was palpable. they were so present that it was impossible for us to be anything but. they insisted that we give them our best and that if we did, they would give it back 10 fold. which they did.

to picture the space, imagine a long rectangle. our end was a raised stage with big double doors to the outside. the doors were behind us and wide open to the warm, sunny and gorgeous day. as we faced into the room, there were chairs and benches lined up and filled with little bodies. the walls were lined with teachers and students who couldn’t find seats.

I found a pic!
side note: notice dena’s kick drum! for some reason it wasn’t packed for this event so we made do by strapping a kick drum pedal to a road case. nice improv! sounded great!

at one point during the show we realized that there were about 10 smaller kids lined up at the doors (behind us).

side note: notice the kids in the photo!

they were part of another class that had let out early and had found their way to the music. they were younger than our “crowd” but when they showed no sign of moving on, they were invited to come in and sit along the floor at the front of the stage. their little faces could barely contain their smiles.

as i write this im realizing that while the event was incredibly special to me (us), i can’t really pinpoint a singular moment that made it so. maybe it was the feeling in the room and the way the kids reacted. i suppose i was nervous that they wouldn’t really be interested in our “stories” and that an hour of music was going to be a tough sell.. but it was quite the opposite. during the show they were eager to tell us who their favorite american pop stars were, they played air guitar and air drums, they sang when we gave them parts to sing… it was amazing.¬†

after the show the kids couldn’t be stopped. they wanted to talk about singing and music and guitars and asked 1million questions all the while asking if they could take pictures with their phones. some wanted to go on tour! it was as if we were all in a pinball machine and loving every minute of it. at one point tho, as the crowd thinned, a little girl just walked right through and gave me a huge hug. she didn’t say anything, she just came up, made eye contact, hugged and walked away. she stopped my heart mid beat.

im rambling a little. truth is, im still trying to make it out for myself. these events come and go so quickly that it is hard to sort them out before the next one is upon us.

+++

thurs feb 23, night time

tonight was a smokey, crowded, hot, rock and roll club date. it was our first yet. so far we have been in schools, community centers and beautiful theaters. don’t get me wrong, i love playing a beautiful theater but sometimes a club date is exactly what the doctor ordered. i could have done without the smoke and as it turns out, smoking in clubs is illegal but in tel aviv they take it more as a suggestion rather than law.

the show was one of the fun ones. not that they all aren’t fun but sometimes they just have a “thing” and this was one of those times. perhaps it was the size of the stage, or lack thereof¬† (i almost impaled cathy with my guitar at one point and i nearly fell into dena’s lap a few times) but we all felt really connected. the crowd was also rowdy and focused at the same time. it was the kind of night where the sound is just right and we played loud and long and didn’t want to stop. many of the faces in the crowd were from the us embassy and it was a treat for us to be able to play for them. they have worked so hard putting together these programs for us and have been incredibly supportive. we are so thankful and honored.

for those of you familiar with our show, cathy pulled out a surprising whitney houston selection during the slide song improv portion. not the one to be out done, kristen quickly followed suit and before long the sisters were battling it out trying to top one another with whitney houston songs. i almost pee’d myself.

side note: it seems strange to talk about nearly peeing myself and being an art envoy for the us embassy in the same blog. im pretty sure an art envoy should never pee oneself. im also pretty sure that and art envoy should never discuss peeing oneself.

we closed the show with springsteen - because the night - and everyone sang right along with us. such a perfect end.

unfortunately i had to put myself in a time-out after the show. no, not for peeing myself but because all the shows and the remnants of a cold are wreaking havoc on my voice. taking care of my voice is one of the most irritating of all things. truly the worst. the body feels fine and the brain says “I’D LOVE A BEER”! but the voice says “do that and i will make you sound like a toad”. or the brain says “LETS HANG OUT AT THE BAR AND TALK AND LAUGH ALL NIGHT” and the voice says “ha ha ha, if you do, i will make you sound like charlie sheen the morning after a long night at the playboy mansion”. and your new israeli friends want to take you out on the town for an after show party and the brain and body simultaneously say “HELL YES” but the voice just rolls its eyes and says “oh please, do you really think i’m going to let you do that”?

so, off the stage i went grabbing my boring hot tea with amazingly dull honey wrapping my pitiful throat in a scarf. i looked over my shoulder long enough to see the lights of the bar flickering as if to say “ARE YOU SURE”??

n