What is Luxury Travel Stories about?
We tell stories. By staging expeditions and sourcing for ‘postcard’-byte stories from around the world.
After Chatwin’s Songlines and the idea of ‘singing the world into existence’, Luxury Travel Stories is about the idea of connecting the world via ‘stories’ in postcard format: a photo with accompanying text no more than what would fit on the back of a postcard.
It is also about the staging of expeditions – either a re-creation of a legendary expedition; a fresh, new expedition based on the same ideals of exploration or a curious combination of the two. We create expeditions for companies based on their brand’s history and philosophy as well as individuals wishing to travel on a more exploratory basis.
The old cliches of ‘travel making the world smaller’- this is our way of singing the world into existence.
Tell me more about Chatwin’s Songlines:
“The basic idea that Chatwin posits is that language started as song, and the aboriginal Dreamtime sings the land into existence. (…) By singing the land, the land itself exists; you see the tree, the rock, the path, the land.
This central concept then branches out from Aboriginal culture, as Chatwin combines evidence gained there with preconceived ideas on the early evolution of man, and argues that on the African Savannah we were a migratory species, moving solely on foot, hunted by a dominant brute predator in the form of a big cat: hence the spreading of “songlines” across the globe.” – From Wikipedia
Excerpts from Songlines–
“Certain phrases, certain combinations of musical notes, are thought to describe the action of the Ancestor’s feet. Once phrase would say, ‘salt-pan’; another ‘creek-bed’, ‘spinifex, sandhill, mulga scrub, rockface and so forth. An expert songman, by listening to their order of succession, would count how many times his hero crossed a river, or scaled a ridge–and be able to calculate where, and how far along a songline he was.
” ‘So a musical phrase,’ I said, ‘is a map reference?’
” ‘Music,is a memory bank for finding ones’ way about the world.’ “- Arkady
What do we do at Luxury Travel Stories?
As per the above but we thought we’d get into more detail here:
We source for and then tell and re-tell stories from around the world. In digestible ‘postcard’ format, these stories are our way of ‘singing our world into existence’, creating, not just a geological map as Chatwin has observed, but also a political and sociological map of the world. If you have an interesting photo and accompanying story(no more than what would fit on the back of a postcard), send it to us: Stories
On the theme of story-telling, we also plan and stage trips and expeditions for companies, distilling and transmitting the story of the brand through these expeditions. If you’re a company and would like to explore the possibility of mounting an expedition or creating a series of trips according to your brand’s history and philosophy, contact us at: Expeditions (Brands)
If you’re an individual interested in having us plan expedition-style travel, contact us at: Expeditions (Individuals)
Why the logo?
A tradition of story-telling- wayang kulit
Wayang kulit, or shadow puppetry, is a form of story-telling. Facilitated as entertainment for the masses, the original puppet play had deep religious purpose, with plays being based on adaptations of the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Its origins believed to have coincided with the onset of Hinduism in Indonesia, wayang kulit as we know it today has alternately been modified by and retains both Hindu and Muslim influences. A storytelling tradition synonymous with Java and Bali, the practice of shadow puppetry can similarly be found in Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, with ‘significant regional differences’.
Puppetry is thought to have originated in India, with its trajectory of influence tracing the routes taken by Indian traders to new ports in Indochina and modern-day Malaysia and Indonesia. It is a tradition of story-telling propagated by trade and by implication, travel, modified by local religious and political exigencies. Just as Chatwin writes, “An expert song-man, by listening to [the] order of succession [of phrases], would count how many times his hero crossed a river, or scaled a ridge – and be able to calculate where, and how far along, a Songline he was.” Arkady Volchok, his guide, explains that the song-man would “hear a few bars and say, ‘This is Middle Bore’ or ‘That is Oodnadatta’ – where the Ancestor did X or Y or Z.”, one could identify the immediate origin of the shadow puppet through “its crafting, manipulation techniques, and styles of presentation”.
Sources: Asia Culture
Who is Tok Dalang?
Tok Dalang is the term for the conductor of a wayang kulit performance.
“The Dalang is the genius behind the entire performance. It is he who sits behind the screen and narrates the story. With a traditional orchestra in the background to provide a resonant melody and its conventional rhythm, the Dalang modulates his voice to create suspense thus heightening the drama. Invariably, the play climaxes with the triumph of good over evil.”- Wiki
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