I love hearing different music when I travel, and often it’s the music I remember the most. One of my clearest memories of Bulgaria, for example, is an elderly woman on the streets of Sofia singing a folk song. Even though I didn’t know the words, the song stuck with me.
Here’s a video of another chance encounter with traditional music, this time in Iran. Youtube poster bornainspain was hiking in the mountains outside Iran’s capital Tehran and came across this old gentleman playing a catchy tune on a bright red violin. The caption says it’s a very old Persian melody. It sounds familiar, though, and I don’t think I heard it when I went to Iran back in 1994. Can anyone tell me the name of this tune?
Whatever it is, he plays it well and this video points out one of the best things about travel – the chance encounters that make lasting memories. Do you have any fond musical memories from your travels? Tell us about them in the comments section!
One of the best gifts travel gives you is all the great music you wouldn’t otherwise hear. Strange tunes often stick in the mind long after the memories of meals and sights have dimmed. Last week I brought you a video of a kalimba player in Malawi. Here’s a completely different tune from a completely different country, yet both tunes have gotten into my head.
This man is a sadhu, one of the countless Hindu holy men who wander the city streets and country roads of India preaching the tenets of Hinduism. He’s playing by the Ganges River in Varanasi, one of the holiest spots for Hindus. Watch how he plays two instruments and sings with ease. The camera is a bit shaky at the beginning but gets much better. Does anyone know what he’s singing?
One thing that consistently amazes me while traveling in Africa is how the people are able to create musical instruments out of just about anything. Take the kora, for example. This West African stringed instrument is made from a gourd and fishing line.
Another popular instrument is the thumb piano, or “lamellophone” for all you musicologists out there. It’s a small wooden plate or box with strips of metal of different lengths on it. These are plucked with the thumb to make different notes. A bit of scrounging in any African town can get you the parts for a thumb piano in less than an hour. Because they’re light and easy to make, they are popular with the griots, Africa’s wandering troubadours. They’re also popular with kids because it’s easy to learn the basics.
The thumb piano is called different names by different people, like kalimba or mbira. In Ethiopia, where I saw them being played, the instrument is called a tom. I bought one for my kid when he was five and he loves it. In fact, it was the first instrument he learned how to play. Unlike the recorder, which he’s learning now in school, nobody taught him how to play the tom, he simply figured it out for himself, and that’s much more fun.
Check out this video of a kalimba player in Malawi, who’s so good a bird starts singing along with him! I’d love to know the words to his song.
We’ve covered jet packs before here at Gadling. We’ve looked at water-powered versions, jet packs used for stunts and attempts to bring jet packs to the masses. However, as a viable means of transportation, jet packs still seem to fall a bit short. That said, they are perfectly suited as inspiration for an epic New Wave travel song. While we might have to wait years about we lift our feet off the ground with a jet pack, we can at least tap those feet to the beat while listening to this little ditty about a jet pack, a girl and a magical trip to space.
Want to film a catchy music video without a massive budget? Consider grabbing some of your most adventurous friends, getting them to do some outrageous outdoor activity, and then hire a talented editor to overlay some snazzy effects & motion graphics.
Madrid-based editor Jorgiatos recently posted this music video that was shot in and around Castejón De Sos, a town near the Spain-France border that’s well known amongst paragliders. It was shot with several GoPro Hero HD‘s, though the additional effects and titles make it look as if it was filmed with much more substantial equipment.
Do you know of an adventurous music video that we need to see? Send it our way! Leave a comment below and it could be our next Video of the Day.