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Monday, April 6, 2009

Marley Harmony

It’s Bob Marley day in Cebu and I find myself outside, in a parking lot – entranced by the various Philippino artists as they pay great tribute to his legendary songs. The atmosphere is a wild mix of reggae chill and rock attitude.

I weave through the crowd, aware on some level that there is so much happiness around me. I lose myself in the music for a while. At its simplest level, music doesn’t need lights, or sound equipment, it doesn’t even need an audience. Music needs nothing from us, expects nothing from us – and gives so much in return.

I’m loosing horribly to a fellow Canadian in a beer speed-drinking contest. There’s a few repeat attempt to try and gain some honor (I still lose) and now I'm drunk – but feeling a sense of unity, respect and acceptance that nothing will ever replace. The rasta surf adventurers and international film students I’m with make it all seem like home. I might be on the other side of the planet – but through the power of music – I feel no difference.

A small fire lights up inside me and begins to burn. I feel warm and at peace. Then – it starts to rain.

I'm soaked before I even know what’s going on, and half the crowd is now huddled under tents – but even a storm can’t stop the fire that music created. The crowd remains. We dance and scream and sing so loud above the downpour drone.

The beat, the melody, the meaning of music is truly the most international harmony on the planet. The fire that started for me that Bob Marley day in Cebu… it will never die. It burns in a memory and a feeling I can’t even describe. Music is freedom. In a world full of chaos, it makes sense in a way that nothing else ever can.

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