Monday, July 3, 2017

NYC Days 13 & 14: The Met Egyptian Wing, and Playing For Change

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Thursday 29, June | Expenses $0.0
Today was a rest day. I didn't even leave the apartment but instead stayed in resting and reading. Some days you just have to stop and recharge.

Friday 30, June | Expenses $103.95 ($135.20)
I hit the Met Museum again and joined a one hour tour of the Egyptian Wing which was very informative. Many of the treasures in this section obviously go back thousands of years before the modern Christian calendar begins with the 'birth' of Jesus. What amazes over and over again is the use of what then must have been modern technology to build the huge pyramids and mausoleums beneath them. 

One also needs to acknowledge the development of the tools and expertise used to embalm and entomb the pharaohs and general citizenry of Egypt. And let's not forget the production of bright colours that were also developed thousands of years ago, and which today are almost as bright and as fresh as they were when first applied to the casks and coffins in which the dead were buried.

This and the images below: Cover and internal decorations of Egyptian burial casket.
It is hard to believe that these artifacts are thousands of years old given the quality of 
material and the vibrant colors that are still visible. 

Playing For Change Band
Highline Ballroom, 431, W 16th Street
 From the Met I slowly made my way to the Highline Ballroom where I joined the line for the days main event, a performance by the Playing For Change Band. If you are not familiar with Playing For Change (PFC), a brief recap is in order: Playing for Change is described as a multimedia music project that seeks to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley (now deceased) singing "Stand By Me." Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing "Stand By Me" as a Song Around The World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, "With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?" Roger replied, "Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people." Ever since that day, the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family. [ Source: Wikipedia]
From such humble beginnings has the Playing For Change Band grown. On this night it consisted of 12 musicians and singers, including the very popular Grandpa Elliott, who appeared in the first video for the song, Stand By Me, and who had not performed with the band for the past year or two. 

It's also worth noting that PFC also created a separate non-profit organization called the Playing For Change Foundation, which builds music schools for children around the world. Truly it is said: From little things big things grow. As anticipated, it was a great night of music delivered by musicians from as far afield as South Africa, Israel, Japan, North and South America and elsewhere. The mood was upbeat and joyous throughout, and the show capped of a busy week of gigs for me that made my second week in New York hard to beat.

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