Sunday, July 15, 2007

counting to seven

it was cynthia night last night at the 70s bistro!

she was singing the saturday night away with cj, who plays the tabla, with malou on the keyboards, don on slide guitar, jerry on 6string bass and jay on drums. it was a full regalia of probably the best musicians out to play on a saturday night.

the saturday crowd, started to groove around 10pm as cynthia and her band took center stage. amidst the haunting accompaniment of the the slide guitar, cynthia started her set with familiar songs and melodies. songs that started to haunt the strangeness between my ears.

it was probably a saturday morning in davao i heard her speak to me. it was the time between waking and sleeping. the first hours of the day, as the sun gently makes its presence felt beyond the screen window of our apartment. you only get up when you are ready, especially if it was a sunday. and before that proverbial readiness, i felt the sweet caress of melody from the ladies room. am i dreaming or am i dead?

no, this is better than being dead. this is the real thing, sunday mornings in davao. it was glad to meet you ms. alexander.

then we saw her in mts (this is what, almost 5 years ago), with cj and malou. last night, cynthia introduced both her friends up to how many years has she been rehearsing with them. "this is cj, we've been practicing for four years." in between strums of guitar and nodding of the head, and the clink of bottles against bottle. "this is malou, we've been practicing for... a decade." everyone cheered, lifted their bottles and glasses in the air.

the lesson she gave concerns the number of beats per measure. instead of the normal eight, cynthia and the gang, strum, bang, tap and hum in seven beats. so it was, one, two, three, FOUR, five, six, SEVEN... and so on.

amazing, world music at its best. i realized she can jam with sting!

seven beats to a measure. and i thought, the way we play music have always stayed the same. but there are several other ways. as many as there are ways to skin a cat.

more songs, happy melodies continued to occupy the hearts of the people. the lyrics intertwine with the instruments as if they were one. i imagine our glazed eyes opening up the windows of our souls. it embraces and caresses our spirits, only to be brought back to earth again by the applause of everyone.

towards the end of their set, just before comfort in your strangeness, cynthia covered the indigo girls with a soulful rendition of love will come to you. i had to close my eyes there to imagine the girls singing. she knows this by heart and i was drawn to her voice singing beside me. it was as if i could stay this way listening to her.

'tis a pity, nights like these, like laughter also ends. and life goes on, counting to seven, swinging to the beat of the drums, the hum, the strum.

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