It takes a village

Villages in Banat, the region in Western Romania where I was staying, hosted an enormous party usually once a year. Teo was invited to one such village party near Lugoj, and took me along.

Painted Palms – All Of Us

In the town hall, we were ushered into a room where we were given generous plates of cakes and cheeses and meats and breads. And, of course, ţuică — an incredibly strong plum brandy. The mayor came in with his own small glass of ţuică and made the whole room laugh with some jokes, of which I unfortunately understood nothing (except that it was apparently about an American).

ţuică

ţuică

A stage was set up outside, where a band was playing traditional music from Banat. The singing was a recording of someone famous (her poster was hanging on the stage, as if people could be tricked into thinking she was actually there), but the accordion, keyboard and saxophone were live. A drunk man in an oversized suit stood directly in front, conducting.

Great circles of people holding hands were revolving around in a repetitive dance. I thought its repetitiveness would make the dance easy to learn, but some people were adding extra steps so the footwork varied in intricacy (with the girls wearing the impossble and mind-boggling heels on the lower end of the complication spectrum).

Twin Shadow – When We’re Dancing

Not to mention I couldn’t discern any sort of obvious rhythm from the music. It was incredibly busy and anxiously frenetic, and it sounded like the saxophonist and accordionist were making up the song with the only instructions being perhaps to play nothing longer than an eighth note in a given key. I would have recorded more, but I thought I’d spare you the seizure:

Village party music

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2 comments
  1. Valerie said:

    ok I almost just passed out laughing at your description of the musicians making up the music as they went along. It seems spot on, too, from the clip you posted.

    • Tayfun said:

      ok I aolmst just passed out laughing at your description of the musicians making up the music as they went along. It seems spot on, too, from the clip you posted.

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