Making Waves Around The World

Following his appearance in the #UnitedByYamaha short film, Riffs and Revs, YMA Communications Manager, Chris Dobie, discovered a hidden treasure trove of musical talent within the walls of his workplace. "The brand promise of Yamaha Music is to Make Waves," Chris said. "It’s amazing to watch the ripple effect in action when you are involved with music. If you want to make new friends or meet interesting people, simply carry a musical instrument - especially a guitar. You don't need to play it, just carrying one is a conversation starter." 


A recent trip to the Indonesian holiday destination of Bali by Chris and his wife Mary was a prime example of Making Waves through music. Chris and his guitar not only made a host of new friends, they also made a small and hopefully long-lasting contribution to Bali's healing process after two long years of COVID lockdown. "Before heading to Bali, I added a nice Yamaha APX500III electric/acoustic guitar to my collection," Chris said. "Its slim design and light weight make it a perfect travel companion. It also has a nice bright sound, perfect for unplugged playing."

It wasn't until Chris and Mary arrived in Bali that they were able to see for themselves the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the once bustling holiday destination. "Some of the large resorts are now closed and show no sign of reopening,” Chris said. "This is having a major impact not only on the economy but also on the local communities who rely heavily on tourists for income and employment." 
The biggest surprise came when the pair headed to one of their favourite restaurants to see if they could catch up with old friends and possibly entertain diners with a few tunes from the main stage area.

"With my Yamaha guitar in hand, we headed off on foot," Chris said. "The once busy streets leading to the restaurant were unusually quiet, and when we entered the restaurant precinct it was a surreal experience, the area looked like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie. All the buildings were familiar, but what had once been a thriving heart of the local tourism region was completely deserted and boarded up. It was like being transported 100 years into the future and discovering the world had been overrun by a Zombie apocalypse." 

Returning to their hotel, the pair decided the only thing to do was relax by the pool and strum out a few tunes for guests. It didn't take long before another guest appeared with a guitar. Fellow Aussie, Martin, announcing he never goes on holiday without his guitar.  While working on a few numbers over a couple of evening drinks, the duo was approached by a familiar member of staff interested in joining in on the fun. "Mary and I had met young Yogi on a previous visit when he was working at the now-closed restaurant we had just visited," Chris explained. "While working as a waiter, he had been able to dabble in his love of music, occasionally giving his vocal cords a workout with the assistance of the resident guitarist on the main stage area. I handed Yogi my guitar, and despite being a little rusty, he belted out an impressive rendition of Ben E. King's classic Stand By Me," Chris said. 
"I asked how long he had been playing, and I was shocked to learn he did not own a guitar and could only practice when he borrowed his friend's instrument. I didn't want to see his talent unfulfilled, so I handed him my Yamaha guitar and told him I'd be back next year to see how he was going with it. It took a bit of persuading to get him to accept the gift, but finally, he agreed."

There was some initial concern about how Yogi would transport the guitar home on his scooter. However, the two-wheeled skills of the Balinese should never be underestimated, and he was soon on his way, cradling his new Yamaha guitar between his feet.

Since returning home, Chris has been in regular contact with Yogi to see how his playing is progressing. "We are working on a few old classics together, but I think I'll leave the singing to him," Chris laughed.

"An opportunity for Yogi to work on a cruise ship sometime in the future is now looking highly likely, so I'm keen to see him and the Yamaha guitar entertaining guests as they sail into the sunset."

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