Marco Fabbri & the Irish Fiddle Workshop, Genova

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I'm sitting here, on the second-last step of the marble stairs at Kokopelli B&B, listening to a small group of Italians studying traditional Irish music, played on the fiddle, with Marco Fabbri.

There's a wood burner softening the air, creating that blur where my New Zealand memories exist ...the smoke, the big cosy lounge, and the gathering of good people, reminds me of home, of times past.

I arrived here on Friday night and have been quietly delighting in my good fortune ever since.  Marco is both a superb musician and excellent teacher, and the workshop has been a joy to attempt to capture ... both in photographs and on video. 

As I write this, 5 fiddlers are playing 'Murphy's', led by Marco's foot tapping out the beat.  Paola's B&B is in her home and it's a beautiful home, with unlimited early-morning coffee, which is so important to me these days.  And there's this bed I'm going to struggle to leave, as it's the best I've slept in since leaving New Zealand so many years ago.

Yesterday's lunch was at a local bar and last night's dinner was in my favourite pizzeria down in the city.  'In the city' because after dinner we made our way into the heart of the caruggi where Marco and fellow Roman. Gabriele Caporuscio,  played their beautiful Irish music.  Afterwards they were joined by a few local musicians and had a 'session'.

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The big challenge was the lighting, down there in the medieval basement, where light was limited to candlelight.  Not the best for photography but interesting, with the ISO cranked up to 6000+  ... as above.

1am, we 4 dragged ourselves back to the car and made the 30 minute journey, back up into the hills, where we only had the strength to say a series of 'Buona nottte's,' before disappearing to our rooms. 

Sunday morning, and it's been more than 24 hours of Irish music, eating, some laughing and a little drinking too ... I don't want to leave but isn't that how the best workshops go. 

But I wanted to write this while the woodsmoke was still in the air, and while the workshop was still happening, and while I was full of the peace that comes from living out a most excellent experience.  

And I was lucky to get here, much has been happening and I was exhausted when the invitation arrived.  I almost said no to this but suspected it would be to good to miss.  It has been so much better than I could have imagined.  The people have been kind, and there has been the delight of other musicians swirling in and out of the group.

I'll go back to work on the photographs but ciao from this beautiful slice of Ireland, up here in the hills above Genova.

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A Small Roadtrip, in the Italian Riveria

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Joey the Wondercar, Leah's valiant little Cinquecento, (Fiat 500) took us on a delicious road-trip yesterday.  We wandered, really meandered, from Genova to Portofino and back again, with many stops along the way ... lunch, coffee, aperitivo.  

That would be Leah, the Canadian blogger writing over at, Help I Live With My Italian Mother In Law.

The one who laughingly told me, that my camera gear was the only thing that saved me from a soaking yesterday.

This water came that close, as seen below ...

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The Ligurian coastline is completely underrated, almost a secret, but I kind of like the peace of that.

And as you can see, if you know New Zealand ... it reminds me of home.

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Everything was beautiful out there.  Divine even, without exaggeration. 

There was this confused feral cat, who stretched and smooched nearby but hissed if we reached out to stroke her.  She was a beautiful creature.

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And we met up with Leah's little dog soul-mate, and I whispered to him as I clicked the shutter.

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And then?

Well, we found these hammocks, up in the olive grove, above Leah's house.  

I have wanted a hammock my whole entire life.  I had spent a few hours in one as a child and loved it.  I thought I had died and gone heaven yesterday, up there on the top of the hill at Portofino, in the hammock hanging between two olive trees, as the sun started its slide into sunset.

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And on the way home, walking back through the city, people called out and greeted me.  And that's gold when you live in a country not your own.  

It was a good day ... 

Grazie mille, Leah. 

My First Music Video - Nickel & Dime, The Last Wolf on Earth

I have Canon 5D MkII, with a video function I've never used

The band, Nickel & Dime, with Ivo Sposaro - singer, guitarist and song writer , Antonio Capelli on violin, and Massi Di Fraia, as drummer, came over one evening.  To the terrace.

It was really hot but we had a whole lot of fun.  A practice run.  I plan on improving my skills over the summer so I'm ready for a new series of attempts in the autumn.

Rita, Ivo's lovely wife, filmed me filming them play another song ...  

Genovese Light ...

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I have been chasing the light here in the caruggi ... the medieval alleyways this city is famous for.  In the caruggi, and on the grander streets too, the ones filled with ancient palaces.

And with every movement of the sun, new light is discovered.

A familiar building is bathed in light in a way that makes it new.

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