October 9, 2005

The marriage of Lloica and Czackis - a modern klezmer's tale

Alaskan klezmer flautist-at-large Nancy Metashvili has been wandering the world for the past few months, and when we are lucky, sends back emails of her exploits from York to Mali. She sent permission to post this missive about a wedding in Alsace to the KlezmerShack. The world is so small ... it wasn't until I was almost at the end of the vignette that I realized that this is the same Lloica who participates on the Jewish-Music mailing list, and who I have encountered online for years! How wonderful to get a report of her simkha from another virtual friend, Ferengi Nan

Subject: Fun der Chupe
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 13:21:14 +0000
Bratislava, Slovakia

Alors, mes amis- L'Chaim!

There's nothing like a big, exhuberant Jewish wedding, and when it's held in a tiny French mountain village the celebration is simply stupendous and unforgettable.

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March 29, 2005

Nan Metashvili on the road to Timbuktu

'Allo, mes amis;

In the harsh, metalic heat-sheen of a long afternoon along the Niger River, the graceful mating dance of some cranes provided a moment of beauty. They rose in the air, flapping their wings like Japanese geishas, dancing, chasing, flirting.

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March 16, 2005

Recuperating in Mopti

Alaskan Klezmer, Nancy Metashvili, continues her travels in Africa, heading south into Mali:

Mopti, Mali

Sastipen, mes amis;

Am back in Mopti regaining my stomach after a visit to the pays Dogon. Animist villages, clinging to the steep escarpment rocks, tiny thatched grannery huts on little stone Baba Yaga legs, unreachable cave dwellings high up the cliff, Anasazi style, and modern fetish-selling Dogons who have refocused their former witchcraft skills onto the newfound lucrative niche of encouraging tourists and then very competently stripping them of their money. This didn't take long in my case! and then I had to climb back up the cliff, vomiting and fighting heat prostration. Ah, don't we love travel?

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March 12, 2005

Nan Metashvili in the Sahel

Djenne, Mali

Bonjour, mes amis;

Djenne, fabled city of mud sculptures, compounds of banko with walls and pinacles and odd little spires sticking up from gates and mosques and even grain storage huts. So beautiful

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March 4, 2005

Nan Metashvili on the road to Sharawi Arab Republic

Alaskan Klezmer, Nancy Metashvili, continues her travels in Morocco

Sidi Ifni

Sastipen, mes amis;

Now perched on a red and blue tiled bench halfway down the cliffs to the Atlantic combers, your purple toed nomadic friend has been moving slowly down the coast. By tomorrow I may reach the Saharawi Arab Republic ( formerly Spanish Sahara, currently claimed and occupied by Morocco). But now I'm enjoying a little sun and the ever hypnotic crash of the surf as I contemplate the last couple of weeks...

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February 6, 2005

"Djemaa el Fna" - Nancy Metashvili reports from Marrakesh

Alaskan Klezmer Nancy Metashvili continues her trip through Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco

Cher amis;

Hammams, mikvahs, Moroccan 'hot showers' (ie. cold)—a theme develops of life on the road in Morocco; trying to stay warm! and get clean.

Warmth has happened. We spent the day of the Eidd al Kabeer—baaaa—Mouton throat slitting Day, le Grand Fète d' Maroc, the Feast of the Sacrifice of Ibrahim wandering the Roman ruins of Volubilius. Quite striking, with its ancient tilework, olive presses, a lavishly huge Arc d' Triomph, temples and baking ovens circa 2nd century AD... There was hot sun, mating storks; the massive grey stone blocks embroidered with faded lilac bulbs and blooming wild paperwhite narcissus, the colums of stone arches topped by shaggy overhanging nests, with fuzzy clacking storks inside, and tiny flitterflutter birds sharing the strawdripping sides of the behemoth nests.... bees and light and distant laughter. Peace, with the slanting winter sun turning the scene golden. Peaceful indeed, and yet

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January 16, 2005

Nancy Metashvili in Morocco

A few months ago, klezmer Nan Metashvili left her old haunts in Alaska for points east. Back in December, she wrote about Burning Bush in York, UK. She is now in Morocco and writes:

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Allo, mes amis;

Huddled Parcheesi playing ... cut throat! ... around a tiny blazing fire, freezing in the Rif Mountains—I'm wearing every layer of clothing I have, piled layer upon silken wooly fleecy layer, trying to keep warm in the Rif Kif Spliff Moroccan mountains under a yellow crescent moon. Chef - Mira! - Chaouen 'Look at the Horns of Chaouen' climbing blue cubist arched Medina alley/snickleways up the hillsides; miniscule plazas, olive trees growing up through arbours, stairways leading to balconies rooftops upper twisting lanes, and hidden courtyards, everywhere shades of blue, deep Cerulean mysterious brilliant blue fading to soft almost lavender. So beautiful! A Jewish innovation from the 1930s. sheer genius!

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