Sitting in the same Istanbul cafe in which I wrote my first breathless post, 2 months and 1.2 terabytes of video footage later. Over the past few days we recorded every shot we had left and slept not much at all. We landed in Nairobi completely broke and wouldn't have survived without the generosity of our friend John, who fed me my last goat and ugali meal I'll have for a while. Conflicted feelings. On the one hand I wouldn't be eating goat with my friends for some time. On the other, I wouldn't be eating goat for some time...
Leaving Kisumu was a much more difficult affair for reasons spiritual and logistical. After finishing the final shot of the day and putting the camera that has been strapped to my ass for the past 2 months down for the last time, I went to CM Wine and Spirits in Kondele. CM, if you'll remember, is the tin liquor shack that serves as Rankin T's "office." I was there to pay my respects to the man largely responsible for this project and at the same time to take advantage of his "frequent buyer" discount and pick up a couple bottles of that evil Kenya King on the cheap.
Back at our home, the Raw Music family--LaFam, Sergent Blak, Vic, Jolene, Ozzy and Emma--were gathering. We ended up almost getting kicked out of our house for the last time and, after moving the party to the only club open in Kisumu at the time, the hooker haven Octopuss, stayed out til the morning hours. Naturally, we missed our 11 am flight to the great relief of half the party, who were still taking naps at our house.
In Nairobi, Angela and I spent a barely-conscious few hours with John and his work buddies, grinding it out until our 3:40 am flight out of Kenya.
It was painful leaving all these good people. I want to see Ozzy and Emma's baby and hear the next batch of bangers coming out of Urban Music and make up new ways to record crusty old traditional musicians with our limited equipment and more limited expertise. But I'll be in Chicago, freezing and planning the next episode. I don't think this "total immersion" model is very sustainable. Making a bunch of friends and then leaving them isn't fun. But the dream stays alive--Vic is planning to open "Raw Music Studios" in Kisumu in the next few months and we've been discussing a way to connect his artists with artists in other countries we visit. Plus there are a few USA plans in the works that I'll let you know about. For the time being, here are some pictures from the past 2 days. Thanks for reading and keep checking for updates, photos and videos as we enter the production stage.
Peace be unto theee ee ee eee (the Abyssinians)