I am nearly on my way to East Timor. Just a couple of days to go, but my suitcase is packed, my flat is sublet, and I am in the final throes of preparation.
One of the things I am working on is the best way to take songs with me to Timor. Of course, most of them are in my head, but the chords aren’t always! Also, what sometimes happens is that some songs just don’t come to mind as quickly as others. I know so many fantastic, catchy, beautiful songs from all around the world, but I find that the same old favourites are the ones that come to mind most frequently, and they aren’t always the right songs for the groups I am with. Therefore, I don’t want to rely just on my memory.
Packing to go to a developing country means taking things that you wouldn’t normally need to take when travelling or working away from home. Bed sheets, for example. Bed sheets over there tend to have quite high percentage of polyester in the fabric, and they may not have been washed since they were last used (in fact, they may not have been washed in a very long time, due to water shortages and perhaps lower priority placed on bedding… I don’t know why, actually). Also things like surge protectors. Books to read. This means that luggage weight is an issue so bringing hard copies of song pages isn’t a great option.
I thought about scanning them and saving them in my computer as pdfs or jpgs. This could be quite good as it makes it easier to share. But I don’t have a scanner at home so it isn’t a very practical option for me.
At this stage, I’ve decided to record myself singing the songs, and I’ll also call the chord names out as I go. I’ll record into Garageband and then send the tracks over to iTunes, and then I’ll be able to listen on my iPod. So tonight or tomorrow night, I have a charming night ahead of me, where I will sing my way through my various song collections (aided perhaps by some nice wine). Perhaps I can persuade some friends to join me? One jolly little singalong before I head off?