Tanya said 'Let's go see the Female Drummers of Guinea' who were to appear in concert in Toronto. I said 'okay'. This was to do my part in supporting her in her newfound interest in the sport? art? hobby? skill? of drumming and also because I like experiencing culture if only from a distance. She'd recently begun taking a weekly class in African drumming with her Mom. I knew it was serious when they both bought drums.
This sounded like an interesting cultural event (the concert, not the class) and since I had no insight into what a show by this group might be like, I figured I might be pleasantly surprised.
I recalled fondly my memories of attending a concert by the Bulgarian State Female Choir several years ago as they toured in support of their album Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares. The show was an aural and visual delight with their clear unusual voices and traditional folk costumes. After each song, they rearranged themselves according to voice and the sound they wanted for that song. I have no idea really what they were singing about and it may well have been 'we have your money and you can't have it back now'.
They finished their performance with several encores, the last being a phonetically learned Oh Susanna which brought tears to everyone's eyes. Or was that just me? I'll cry if there is a particularly touching Office Depot or McDonald's commercial on TV. The choir was quite a sensation and success there for a while having appeared on Carson's Tonight Show and even making an appearance on several tracks of a Kate Bush album (I'm dating myself). Where have you gone Kate? And where have you gone strong Bulgarian women?
So I was on board for this drumming extravaganza not knowing what to expect.
And then the call came. Tanya was sick and leaving work early and had gone to pick up some tickets at the venue. Through her congestion I heard the sad words 'the concert had been cancelled'.
How to write of a concert that never was? I guess I could have safely said: They came, they drummed, they left. They were women. From Guinea. With drums.
Would it have made a difference if I actually knew where Guinea was? Probably not.
Had they heard of Tanya's cold and been scared off? Possibly.
Was there a rider in their contract that couldn't be met? There must be 12,042 green jellybeans in a ceramic bowl surrounded by Celine Dion look-a-likes or we will not perform! Something like this is more likely. You know how those women of Guinea can be. Where is Guinea again?