In Praise of Delightful Surprises

There is a very specific feeling I get every time I discover something entirely new, and more often than not that feeling of surprise is entirely delightful.

It’s not possible to manufacture that sort of feeling, but I’ve found that I can tilt the odds in my favor somewhat. It’s one of the reasons why unfamiliar restaurants, flea markets, used record stores and “antique malls” are some of my favorite haunts.

But sometimes – sometimes – the stars align and I accidentally open a door to something so surprising, so vast, that it takes my breath away.

Like last night, when I read this:

The medehates are traditional vocal formations of women from western Algeria. Their main role is to give some compliments to the future wife during a wedding, and pray to all the saints through long songs which could last for hours, until reaching a sort of transcendental state amplified by looped percussions, traditional flute, and violon notes. Exclusively for women, no men (including young boys) admitted. This ceremonial tradition gave an intimate space for women to speak out about taboo topics like men-women relationships, love, sins like alcohol consumption etc. Since then, some of them started freely to mention all of that in this small circle and some of them have been recorded live for release on 7″.

The individual who wrote this managed to acquire some of those 7" records. He made a mixtape of them. Then he released it to the world.

That, my friends, is the best definition of a delightful surprise that I’ve had in a while.

*edited to fix a BAD typo.