Last weekend, something was stirring in Los Angeles.
The L.A. Times Festival of Books held on the grounds of USC was an inspirational space. Getting to it however, was another story. Finding parking when there are multiple events happening in the same section of the city is something you’ve got to leave to the powers that be. I think I must have walked five miles by the time the day was done. It was definitely worth it.
Author panels and artist performances were everywhere and this semi-controlled chaos did get overwhelming at times.
One of my favorite parts of the event was spending time at the Kaya Press & USC PhD in Creative Writing & Literature-Indie Lit Lounge.
I had a great time at the session on Cutting Edge YA Lit, which featured writers: Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez -Simon & Schuster, Feb. 21, 2017), JJ Strong, and Chris Terry (Zero Fade).
Artists in their element are always a joy to see.
Do check out the works of: Calida Garcia Rawles, James Haunt (pictured above), Clinton Bopp, and the band Small Shelter.
A total geek moment of the event: typing on an old typewriter.
I’ll be posting more pictures of the event over the next few days on my Instagram, so keep a look out!
Listening to these girls like:
“I know, right? That’s exactly what I thought when I first found out.”
“Oh my God! I can’t believe it. How could she-”
“Look, you can’t tell anyone. Not a soul.”
“Too late. I already posted it online.”
“I did it in code. No one is going to know who I’m talking about.”
So far, all the Musikal Musings have contained strong voices and the messages that artists wanted to get across. I enjoyed their thoughts and perspectives.
This week’s choice is a little different. There is not a voice-voice per se. But the listener is equally mesmerized.
Many of us have heard that saying that “even silence speaks”.
Now, I’m not going to troll you by linking a four minute video of nothing but a black background (it would be amusing though).
This piece evokes happiness and is perfect to recall some positive memories.
Artists: The Yoshida Brothers
The United States is two places. Two cities, actually. New York and Los Angeles. Where did you come from? Where do you call “home”? Well, it has to be the east or west coast, right? Because let’s face it, the United States doesn’t really have a middle. I mean, sure there’s New Orleans and Miami but the focus has always been on NYC and LA. It always amuses me, the stereotypes and perspectives that many place on those coming from the various cities. People, knowingly or unknowingly, act as if others are coming from a whole other nation and not a couple miles away.
Though there is a sense of solidarity that surrounds those that embrace their local spaces. This next song and Musikal Musings #3 is just about that, the love that many of us have for our cities.
The song title is Dilli 6, from the Indian film Dehli 6 (2009).
The piece is in Hindi and there are bits of French and that combination makes me smile.
Artists involved are: Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Tanvi Shah, Viviane Chaix, Claire, and A.R. Rahman.
Let me know how you like this one.
How many songs can you vouch for?
As you sit here in the Hostland, do you ever think about the Homeland? Is there a beat that truly represents you, your home(land)? One that you don’t skip over? One that seeps in and does not fade after a period of three minutes? Is there a piece that shapes your worldview and documents the diasporic experiences of the collective group of people that you belong to?
There are countless ones and in many different forms, but can you think of one? Is the title on the tip of your tongue?
Am I being too abstract for today?
How about an example…
Here is the second Musikal Musings title, “Postcards from Paradise” by Himalayan Project. It features the work of Chee Malabar.
When a song comes right up to your face, as if it were a live person, and demands that you pause, it is *read in Smeagol’s voice* just precious.
When we press PLAY, the beats we listen to mirror whatever state-of-being we are in. Joy. Heartbreak. Angst. Trance and illusion. But the takeaway is what matters the most.
Therefore, let me introduce you to a series I call, “Musikal Musings”. Each week I shall link a song or instrumental piece that moves me. I hope that it does the same for you.
I love discovering new artists and their works, so if you would like to share what’s your go-to song or music at the moment, please do so in the comments.
The 1st Musikal Musings title goes to the song “MAZE” by Epik High. It features the artists: Dumbfounded and MYK.
Check it out:
This year, I want to get back into reading for fun. So, here’s the first book I’m diving into for 2016: The Young Elites by Marie Lu.
Have you read it?
What did you think?
As I type this, I am a little over 100+ pages, so no spoilers!