It’s a thought-provoking time here in EF Tarrytown, New York. Because I have a lot of time by myself, this situation allows me to think clearly about all kind of different stuff happening right now. So that you can imagine where I have spent more than a month here I took some pictures of the campus.
Our topics in class are often about current events happening on Earth. There are really enriching lessons with my teacher Carl who has a great spirit (actually he’s the best teacher I’ve ever had) and I like his attitude towards the discussion about living a sustainable life. I don’t want to deep further into that topic now because it’s just too complex but I can say that the classes definitely made me think about our world today and making me aware of the urgent climate crisis we’re facing. I know it’s a incredibly complex topic, I understand very little of it. But what I get to realize here is that we are already facing huge issues and that everything we do has an impact on our ecosystem. It’s a whole system and everything is connected with each other. I’d still like to recommend you two things to maybe emphasize your awareness too of how emergent our crisis due to climate change really is.
Connecticut, SurpriseSunday and STOMP
On my second weekend in Tarrytown I already a cool program and that was to meet with the drummers of the Connecticut Patriot’s Fife and Drum Corps which also were at the SIRD Symposium in Portsmouth in September. Friday afternoon, I was picked up from Nick. I already forgot a lot about our conversation but I remember that we had an interesting talk the whole ride. This evening, I could go and get an insight of their rehearsals and I have to say that the teaching of Brendan Mason was pretty impressive to watch. I felt very comfortable and inspired by their style and approach to Rudimental Drumming.
On Saturday the Corps participated at a firefighters parade in Nyack which is on the opposite side of the Hudson River to Tarrytown. What a coincidence that they had this parade on this day there and I could drive back with them. It was so cool to hang out with them the whole day and that I could sleep at Jeff’s place overnight (in a bed, Brendan hahaha).
Honestly, it was such a heart-warming experience with those people and I just enjoyed every bit of accompagnying them. Thanks again to Nick, Jeff, Brendan and all the others. Special thanks to Jeff who always took care of me when I was thirsty (and for the breakfast with scrambled egg, bacon and sausages) and to father Mason for the delicious chicken sandwiches before the parade!
On Sunday, I was invited to my first American Football game from the one and only “Männli” Martinelli which is one of my best friends back in Basel. Me, him and his beloved Stephanie watched the game together which was in MetLife Stadium and went back to Manhattan to grab a drink. What I didn’t know was that they had still had an ace in the whole…
“Männli” had to give his credit card before we even could order something at the bar. He was worried after some minutes so he went off and asked the bartender if they still have his card after a few minutes. When he came back, there was something going on behind my back and I looked into the mirror in front of me to see what’s going on and there she was, in her full appearance. My girlfriend did really suprised me, flew over and I was on cloud nine for the next ten days. The shock lasted on still a few hours, but I was happy of course. No question.
I had such a good time with her as always. She came with her colleaugue and it was wonderful to explore New York the next week with them both, going to Boston on the weekend where we had also connected with two fifers and a drummer (Scott Mitchell). My girlfriend even came to Tarrytown too. I would have not dreamt of this happening, but it did! Thank you again for visiting me, Lena and Mariam! Much love.
Before we headed to Boston over the weekend, I’ve been also going to the concert of STOMP which is a percussion group who makes crazy rhythms out of matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, zippo lighters, and more. So, it was pretty impressive to me and I liked every minute of the performance. It’s definitely a must to see them live while you’re in New York. It was 1 hour and 45 minutes of pure drumming and rhythms with so much creativity and spirit. An unforgettable experience too.
Buskin’ with Cornerlio and Ralph
We have already met each other four years ago when I saw a video of him on Instagram and texted him if we could meet. He was down which was very cool. Even then he inspired me already with his spirit for drumming. Now, four years later we hooked up again. It was so nice to see him and obviously drum with him together again.
He fascinates me because of his attitude towards people who might think in a negative way about what he’s doing. He doesn’t care. He seems to be very happy and I like the way he connects with all kind of different people which isn’t always easy. He’s such a humble, unique and generous guy and I really admire what he’s doing.
Besides, even though I can connect with him very well (not just while we’re playing) I’m also aware that we have cultural differences. The drumming has different purpose and meaning for both of us too. For him, drumming is his life and he does it pretty much everyday whereas I’m drumming very irregularly at the moment.
Sometimes I can’t catch their vibe too which is just a reality due to cultural differences, it’s nothing bad about it though. For example when a group of black people walked by, two boys instantly began to dance. I had to record it because the atmosphere and energy was so right. But there are also situations I feel kinda lost or even uncomfortable because it’s a just so uncommon for me. But most of the time when we were drumming, there was a lot of appreciation and admiration from the people who stopped walking because of us. And sometimes they even danced because they liked it that much and felt the same energy we had. I’m still excited to play with Cornelio and Ralph for another week and I’m so grateful to that I can be the entourage of these two talented street drummers from New York.