Rhythm Summit by Tapmotif 2010, Lefkada

Rhythm Summit by Tapmotif 2010, Lefkada

 

By Paul Carlon, Saxophonist/Composer

July, 2010

Well, my first trip to Greece was life altering. I compare it to the first time I went to Brazil in 1998. The music, the people, the food, the landscape...they all blew me away on so many levels.

I went to Greece as a guest artist with TapMotif, a 10-day music & dance workshop on the island of Lefkada put together by Thanos Daskalopoulos. The

participants came from all over the globe: Finland, Israel, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, Latvia, France, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, and the U.S. were all represented. We flew into Athens, met up in front of the Sofitel Hotel across the street from the airport, and piled onto a bus for the 6-hour ride to Lefkada in the western part of Greece. Thus the hanging began right away, and thus the genius of the TapMotif concept was immediately apparent: unlike any other educational environment I've been in, TapMotif offers its participants an unprecedented level of access to the artists. Right from the drop, the faculty and student participants were interacting in a friendly, very social and very nonacademic environment. We stayed in the same hotels together, ate all our meals together, rode the bus to and from classes and other events together. Basically it was a huge, never ending hang. As a teaching artist, I felt there were very few traditional student/teacher boundaries; participants and faculty alike were all 'TapMotifians', all part of a shared experience aimed at elevating everyone, with a deep sense of community. You might think that as a teacher one would need some time off, but at no time did I feel overwhelmed by the experience, or that I was unable respond to questions posed by the students. It was all very natural and the 'classroom' was anywhere we were, be it at the school where classes took place, at the breakfast table on the beautiful hotel veranda, at the beach, on the bus, or at the nightly jam sessions.

 

This level of student/teacher interaction and of music/dance integration is very rare, and I would recommend contacting Thanos at the TapMotif website if you are interested in participating next year. The faculty included Max Pollak, Heather Cornell, Petros Klampanis and Spyros Manesis, and master Greek percussionist Petros Kourtis.

TapMotif finished with a flourish: a concert performance featuring two large music/dance projects put together by the participants as well as various smaller lineups of students and faculty performing individually and together. To promote the event in the town of Lefkada we staged an impromptu parade the day before the concert. Petros Kourtis held down the beat on the davouli (Greek bass drum) while yours truly played sax and flute in conjunction with Magda Giannikou, Petros Klampanis, and Spyros on percussion.

 

The concert itself, called Bridges in Time, was staged in a beautiful little open-air theater in the center of Lefkada town, and was an incredible summation of the TapMotif ethos.

 

Many thanks Thanos.