Billy Cobham’s lesson at Drumeo

Yesterday I watched Billy Cobham’s lesson about the art of the rhythm section. I knew him only by name and I remember having bought drumsticks designed by him. I have to confess I was unsure if I would like the lesson, as he is so famous, and I am often disappointed by how famous musicians lose connection with their own creative source, with fellow musicians and with the audience.

This is not the case of Billy Cobham: I found him so open, so genuinely interested in preparing a good atmosphere for the musicians he plays with, conscious of the force and responsibility of the drums section; he compared playing in a group to a friendly conversation; he underlined the ability to keep an internal metronome and play only the notes that are really needed. He then played two pieces and an amazing solo. It was almost possible to follow his thoughts, and feel his joy in making music. See and listen yourself!

I am relieved that such a gentle personality is one of the leading voices in drumming. I am so afraid that the music scene will end being dominated by other forces than the human aspiration to get together and have real fun – people like Billy and many others like him, are my hope. Last but not least, thanks to Drumeo for sharing these amazing lessons for free!

 

Vichyssoise

Yesterday we cooked one of our favourite dishes: a variant of the French vichyssoise. It is a simple dish, that is open to many variants (just check the Internet for how many recipes you can find). Our version is the following, based on an unknown source, or a mix thereof:

Ingredients:

  • potatoes and leeks in equal amounts, or more leek than potatoes
  • butter
  • parsley
  • milk (soy milk works well too)
  • flour
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Peel potatoes and wash the leek very thoroughly. Cut both in very small pieces. Let some butter melt in a wide pan and add parsley, potatoes and leek. You can try to caramelise them a bit, but it’s not required. Add enough water to prevent burning, cover with a lid and let it simmer for around 20 minutes.

After this time, both potatoes and leek should be almost cooked. Add then some milk and flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix well, close the lid and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes, checking often that the food doesn’t stick to the pan.

When it is cooked, keep it on the stove for a few further minutes and mix it while it loses a bit of its water content.

Serve hot with some pepper and olive oil on top. People say that it is very good also when cold, but I rarely have leftovers to try with 🙂

Enjoy!

source: Flickr.

 

Book recommendation: “L’arte del camminare” from Luca Gianotti

Last week, during my trip to Trento, I visited a small library specialised in travel literature, guides, maps and apparel: la Viaggeria. Every time I enter it I come out with at least two books. The shopkeepers manage to keep this store lively, rich, surprising and homely, and have always a good suggestion – or sometimes they read you a few paragraphs of a book they recently discovered, so that you invariably find a book that opens you a new universe.

This time I examined with more detail the section about travelling by foot, and picked up “L’arte del camminare” written by Luca Gianotti:

I read it at once, fascinated by the simplicity of his prose, that made me readily believe I could prepare my baggage and start a journey on foot with new enthusiasm, new eyes. No matter where it starts, where it would end, the walk is a world in itself. I hope there will be translations soon, so that this concise and poetic guide will reach more readers/walkers around the world.