Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Get Ready Mexico! The PWB is on it's way.

As I mentioned in my last update I've been planning a winter getaway to a warmer climate. So I recently booked a ticket to Cancun Mexico and a hostel room for two weeks. I've been working on a brand new all acoustic one man band using my "hang" and several tarboukas, tambourines, cymbals and assorted gizmos. The "hang" is a very melodic sounding steel drum that was first invented in Switzerland in the year 2000 by a man I met there. It has such a rich sound that it is often used in meditations. Just to make sure it will be lot's of fun I am also bringing Henrietta, my rubber chicken, and Professor World Junior, a marionette that I made out of recycled materials. I've been working on this new show for the past couple of weeks and testing it out in the T stations; mostly Porter Square and Downtown Crossing. It's a completely different busking experience playing in the T but I'm starting to figure it out and it has been fun. It's nice that when the weather is too cold to play out doors in Boston I can still play underground. After the recent cold spell and snow though I am really looking forward to a bit of sunshine. My last trip to Mexico was over 30 years ago and it was such a fun adventure that it launched me on my world travels. No doubt things have changed quite a bit since I was last there. I don't think Cancun even existed. It's a city that was built recently as a tourist haven so I'm not expecting the real traditional Mexico experience but it will be interesting and fun in any case. I'll keep you posted and put up some pictures and video of my new show as soon as someone sends me something or I find it on youtube. I leave early Monday. Hast Luego, Ramblin' Dan

Monday, January 7, 2013

29 years of Professor World Band!

Happy New Year to one and all! 

 2012 was an interesting and busy year for Ramblin' Dan and the Professor World Band. I've been playing quite a bit in Harvard Square and the Public Gardens. I always make sure to tweet my whereabouts(Twitter @ ProfWorldBand ) and I have several followers that have found me that way and come to join the show.

 I really love playing in the Public Gardens. The squirrels there have been getting in on the act as well. Once during break, one of them came up and started playing my tambourine with his little paw. I wish I had my camera with me! And twice now a squirrel has come up after the show and put a walnut in my tip bucket!!! I swear that this is really true and I have witnesses as well. 

 My new portable machine that I built for my trip to Hawaii kept getting bigger and bigger as I slowly added more and more things to it. It started out weighing 20 pounds two years ago but a few months ago it weighed almost 40 pounds. It was no longer really portable and I was starting to worry about my knee joints. After dancing around with it on my back for hours my muscles were often sore and I was pretty tired out.

 I decided to build a new light weight model. While cleaning out the basement I found an old pair of cross country skis. They were light weight and strong; the perfect thing to use to make the frame for my new machine. I used a five gallon plastic bucket for the bass drum which is also very light. I was able to build a functioning one man band that weighed only 8 pounds! I added a few more things to make it more interesting and for now I'm calling a halt to further expansion. The current version weighs only 14 pounds though and so compared to my last machine it feels very light. I can play longer and not worry so much about my knee joints! It's not quite as big looking as the old machine but it has many of the same features and even a few new ones that I've added. People seem to like it just as much and it will be improved on the more I play with it.

 I've also built a new smaller version of the Peace Wave Generator that I use to carry it and I'm contemplating a trip somewhere warm this winter to see if I can fly with it without incurring too many overweight and oversize fees from the airline.

 If all goes well I may start planning an even longer and more difficult journey for the Professor World Band. Last November I turned 59 which means Professor World turned 29. For my 60'th and Professor World's 30'th year I would like to do a really special trip . I've got a few ideas but I want to check them out further before I talk about them here.

 I'm hoping to make more use of this website and other social media in the coming year as well. I plan to try and keep this updated a bit more frequently. Please keep sending me your photos and links so that I can embed them in my website. They are much appreciated. Heres a link that a BU graduate student in photography sent to me recently. I'll get some new video up as soon as possible of my new machine.