Photo 10: Collective Recordings

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When old meets new!

This photograph was taken while choosing the Seto singers for an Estonia 100 greeting video and my project #3. To me it illustrates will the energy and colorfulness that these outstanding powerful women (and a man) brought to the city. The way how many of them, at the age of 60 still flew across the ocean, and agreed to strut around New York City so that we could document their time here in NYC as well as simply bring the Estonian culture to the streets of the city. During this chilling morning, I remember the moment they felt cold and simply took out their little flask of locally made Vodka, pure 60% of alcohol to get their heartbeat up. It felt so liberating, spontaneous and free of stigma which tends to be everywhere around the US. I remember my great-grandmother taking a shot of vodka every day until her passing at the age of 98 describing it as a medicine taken for health. This moment also reminded me how about two years ago I performed with two American musicians as part of the Estonian Cultural Days in New York and after the concert, the bar gave us a very special Estonian drink to taste. It was a herby natural Estonian-made liquor made to be tasted, little did I know that half an hour later my co-musicians has chugged down half a bottle of it and felt very sick for almost two days. Back then it was just interesting how firstly consumption of alcohol was so hidden in this new cultural US-context or glamorized in the case of NYC, yet people had no basic knowledge about how to drink and which drinks are made for what purpose - just because it's alcohol doesn't mean it's meant to be mixed with seltzer and chugged like Smirnoff in a fraternity house.