Palermo Italy RAP & Tour Wrap – NOV 2016

Hello My Friends,

I scheduled this fall Playshop tour so that I would arrive home one day before voting day. So I am home now and very invested in following the new reality show television series that is scheduled to play on all the 24-hour news television networks for the next four years. It is called “The Trump Presidency.” It should be very entertaining.

I wrote this Palermo RAP & Tour Wrap report during the Playshop. Enjoy!

Uno Due Tutti Insieme = (Phonics) Uno Doa Tutie Insema =  One two All together play
Or here is a new one; Uno Due Cominciamo A Suonare =  One two Start to Play

I am back once again in the seaside city of Palermo on the island of Sicily in the middle of the warm Mediterranean sea. It looks like Palermo, is becoming a regular last stop on my Fall European tour. That allows me to warm up from the frosty part of the tour in Germany, Scotland, etc. before heading home to California.

Once again we are holding the Italy Rhythmical Alchemy Playshop (RAP) here at the La Bottega delle Percussioni = The laboratori of Percussion. About 1/3rd of the participants are returnees from last years RAP ready for more games.

That made the community building part of the Playshop real easy as we already had a welcoming family vibe in which to absorb the “Newbies.” But my challenge was to add new rhythm games to the returnee’s repertoire while giving the newbies the basic experiences that create a playful community rhythm exploration experience. With two weeks worth of games available in my bag-o-tricks it was fun to come up with a good set list mix of something old - something new.

We had the usual suspects attend this RAP: School Teachers, Music and Drum Teachers, Music Therapists, Kids at Risk Counselors, and DCFacilitators. So we turned it into a FRAP - Facilitators Rhythmical Alchemy Playshop where the participants were taking notes and focused on how to facilitate the games with their constancy.

Santo and Claudia Vitale were my hosts, so once again I stayed in their amazing hostel full of every drum imaginable, plus a piano, guitars, a stand-up homemade box base, an accordion and a glass front cabinet full of percussion and talking drums.

Since most of the out-of-town participants stayed in the hostel, there was some sort of community jam every evening after our RAP session.

This year’s Jug band that we had here was the most wide variety of notes and song structure that I have ever experienced. It allowed me to sculpt and showcase in a way that I have never done before in a “Sound Bowl” Bottle band. The result was less the usual “Calliope” sound and much more orchestrational and song-like. I am sorry that it did not get captured in some way. OR Did It ??

The Found-sound band had Loud, Medium loud, medium soft and soft volume “Found” instruments. The Playshop kids brought a wide variety of non-instrumental tones and timbers for us to play in a very comical and light-hearted found-sound song.

On Saturday evening, Santo’s percussion group held a great song - dance & drum concert at the San Lorenzo, an indoor-outdoor multi-restaurant complex. I was impressed as to the variety of sound and song that he got out of his group and how they practically self-facilitated themselves as an entertainment troupe.

But one half an hour before the concert, Claudia had organized a Flash Mob. It was a Gorilla restaurant orchestra with a bunch of people playing plates, spoons & table tops, for instruments. The flash mob also included a body percussion dance troop on stage, belly dancers in the isles & bartenders playing upside-down Champagne buckets with spoons behind the bar.

By the end of this FRAPish RAP Playshop, Claudia & Santo Vitale had organized another successful community/family building event. It looks like I will be back next year to do a 3-day DCFacilitators Playshop.

Thanks to the help and support of REMO, GEWA, and all of the European VMC Regional Organizers, I have gathered up another colorful ball of colorful string and ribbon to bring back to the BIG ball in the VMC office. This community is now ready!

On this last European tour we have added Denmark as another country on this planet where I have done a VMC Playshop. (I also got to visit Mecca (the original LEGO Land for a second time in my life). That makes it 33 or 34 countries so far. I hope to make it to 40+ countries before I retire, IF I retire. Like my friend and mentor Babatunde Olatunji, I just might keep sharing my spirit until its time to leave this body behind.

That would be fine with me. I love my job. Job? What Job? Well, although facilitating 21 VMC Playshop programs - in 12 countries - in 7 months this year is a fulfillment of my mission, it also a job (but a GREAT one).

Life is a dance   Arthur