My autoharp arrived, broken.
Taking it to get fixed tomorrow. It looks very fixable.
And a further note: tonight I seem to have fallen in love with an Albanian wedding singer. I think he's exactly what that sounds like, but I like the music. At least the video with it doesn't feature double-headed eagles, men with rifles, and statues honoring ancient gangsters, like some other Albanian videos I've found. Yes, I'm aware the double-headed eagle is the national symbol, but all I can say about that is, if your national syumbol is a double-headed eagle, you should take a long look at that and think about whether you wish to continue on that path.
Anyway, this guy's name is Gramoz Tomorri
, and he bends his voice very nicely. There's a thing that Albanian singers do
-- singing way back in the throat, maybe? that makes their voices sound a little forced and rough, and it lends itself very nicely to modern touches and techno sort of influences.
Used to be in folk dance circles there were a lot of purists who would object to anything they thought wasn't traditional enough or which they thought wasn't characteristic enough of the region the dance was supposed to come from. Of course that was an untenable stance as most of the dances we know here were at least highly altered on their way over here and some were outright choreographed by the dance teachers. At least among the people I hang with it doesn't seem to be a very popular position anymore. We dance for fun, and while we are generally very excited to hear music and learn dancing that comes more recently from some hotbed of a particular dance style, it's not because we're worshipping at the altar of authenticity: it's because the people who come here with these songs and dances bring delicious stuff.
When Bela Bartok set out to study Hungarian folk music, he started out going deep, trying to get authenticity and trace the roots to their source. What he discovered over the years was that deep was not the only dimension to go: he ended up saying that to truly understand Hungarian music you would have to study music from Morocco all the way East.
The thing about this Albanian singer is, I was looking for a song we dance to, called "Valle Pogonishte." Last time I looked for it I found it, as well as an identical Greek song -- I mean identical, down to every little bent note and saxophone flourish, except the Greek one was in Greek and the Albanian one was in Albanian: and also I found a Greek fan stirring up shit in the comments on the Albanian song, claiming that the Greek song was the real one and the Albanian one was the copy, and I really don't know or care. My point, and I do have one, is that this time I found many Pogonishtes, including Gramoz Tomorri's "Vallja Pogonishte,"
but none of them is the one we dance to.
I did find a song called "Ali Pasha" which is the Turkish one that we dance to, but only after I listened to three or four mostly Albanian "Ali Pasha"s which were not what we dance to.
I wish my autoharp wasn't broken. I was looking forward to trying to play "Dedo mili zlatni" on it. It does mean my house has two broken autoharps in it at the moment, but the other one is more broken and is not worth fixing, especially since it has like seven chords.
When I took Truffle in for her pre-op stuff, I discovered I weighed maybe seven pounds less than I did a week and a half ago. She was so anxious before she went in that her teeth were chattering, which I've never seen before. But afterwards she was perfectly fine.