Month: October 2013

A Crescendo in the Valley

October  21, 2013 – Open


The Northeast is famous for two things above all else: political instability and music. Without either, the Ziro Festival of Music—the Northeast’s only festival committed entirely to independent rock—might never have come into existence.

While on a tour of the Northeast in 2011, the members of Delhi-based rock band Menwhopause faced a sudden postponement of their gig in Itanagar thanks to a curfew during a particularly turbulent week. With some days to spare, Bobby Hano, who had organised the Itanagar gig through his management company Phoenix Rising, suggested the band join him on a visit to his hometown in the Ziro Valley. (more…)

Ethiopia: Land of Dust, Eucalyptus and Hope

October 13, 2013 – The New York Times

TigrayI had already spent the last few hours watching Haftay hopscotch up the gravel path toward whatever it was that lay on the other side of the ridge. My guide, Mulualem Gebremedhin, and I had spent most of the day — the first of three we would spend hiking together in eastern Tigray on Ethiopia’s northern border — lagging several steps behind Haftay, a local villager accompanying us on the first leg of our trip.

Haftay sang tunelessly as he lunged on long, sinewy legs and struck brisk, almost yogic poses — mostly, I think, for my benefit. He skipped up the path in the same flimsy plastic shoes that practically everyone wears in that part of Ethiopia (opaque, brightly colored jellies), and every so often cracked a joke at me in Tigrayan. I nodded dumbly; Haftay and Mr. Gebremedhin, who goes by the name Mulat, laughed.

“I love this guy, he’s crazy,” Mulat said. (more…)