Open Air Cinema's founder, Stuart Farmer, has been in Kenya with Google and the Field of Dreams project. He is helping train the students at the Moving the Goalpost school in operating and maintaining a 16вЂІ CineBox system donated by Google and the Field of Dreams project. Stuart provides the following update to his work.
It's nice to see how quick the Kenyan people enjoy themselves with dancing and singing. At every event the students grab the mic to create impromptu dance parties. Due to the games being rear projected, the girls can't hear their karaoke voices very well as they stand behind the speakers, which are pointed at the audience. Once in a while the girls turn up the volume on the mixer so they can better hear their own singing. They're not realizing that the sound is becoming extremely loud up front, blasting the audience! We have a good laugh as we fight to control the volume knob. I keep saying, those cute little kids up front! you'll make them deaf!
I'm impressed by the natural MC talent here in Kilifi. The girls are becoming more bold and confident at addressing the audience at each subsequent event. Nearly every time, Janet invites local kids up to take the mic, such as the two Kilifi boys in this video freestylin' for the crowd.
It's great to get a chance to listen to the local African pop music. A couple days into the project, I asked our driver to take me into town to get the best music. We went to a little shack lined with tapes and obviously pirated CD's. I brought back 8 handmade CDR's full of MP3вЂs and .wav files. I loaded them into the laptop and transferred them onto the iPad. At the event, the girls looked at me with surprise when I opened a playlist on the iPad with hundreds of songs that they all know and love. So that's our music, all their own stuff. We make sure to play it before every event. Outdoor cinema is a celebration -- you gotta have some thumping good music to get people in the mood. I'm glad I could pick up the music. I have a feeling I'm not going to find these artists on iTunes. Who knows. As for now, I won't go home without Lucky Dube's Greatest Hits.