Food and music

Going from Iceland to Greece in a day gave me a mild bit of currency exchange culture shock. Iceland is crazy expensive, especially given the self-immolation of the pound right now. Greece is remarkably cheap. You can eat like a king for unreasonably reasonable prices.

For me, food is one of the great pleasures in life. Trying new kinds of food is one of my primary motivators for travelling. It’s fascinating to me to see the differences—and similarities—across cultures. In many ways, food is like a universal language, but a language that we all speak in different dialects.

Herring. A feast of lamb.

It’s a similar story with music. There’s a fundamental universality in music across cultures, but there’s also a vast gulf of differences.

On my first night in Reykjavik, I wound up at an Irish music session. I know, I know—I sound like such a cliché, going to a foreign country and immediately seeking out something familiar. But I had been invited along by a kind soul who got in touch through The Session after I posted my travel plans there. Luckily for me, there was a brand new session starting that very evening. I didn’t have an instrument, but someone very kindly lent me their banjo and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time playing along with the jigs and reels.

As an added bonus—and you really don’t get to hear this at most trad sessions—there was even a bit of Icelandic singing courtesy of Bára Grímsdóttir. I snatched a little sample of it.

A few nights later I was in a quiet, somewhat smokey tavern in Thessaloniki. There was no Irish music to be found, but the rembetika music played on gorgeous bouzoukis and baglamas was in full flow.

Have you published a response to this? :



I love how you used media in this post, obvioussly especially the short audio from two places. Reading and the photos didn’t really convey the atmosphere, but listening to the audio really did. Did you just record it on your phone?

# Posted by Jeena on Monday, November 26th, 2018 at 5:06pm

1 Like

# Liked by Chris Taylor on Sunday, November 25th, 2018 at 9:06pm

Previously on this day

5 years ago I wrote Interstelling

For all its flaws, Interstellar is boldly brilliant.

10 years ago I wrote Cause and effect

I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours.

10 years ago I wrote Consistency

Google’s behaviour.

12 years ago I wrote BarCamp ends

Another great event wraps up.

12 years ago I wrote BarCamp continues

Night of the werewolf.

14 years ago I wrote Ajax training workshop

I’m telling you this now so you’ve got plenty of time to start saving your money and you can’t say I didn’t give you fair warning…

16 years ago I wrote Back from Bologna

Bologna was everything I hoped it would be; fascinating, filling and fun.

17 years ago I wrote Jim Roll

I went out on Friday night to see Jim Roll play at a local bar.