The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For every atril

For every atril there is a story and often there are many connections and much advance work.

Agustin Cruz Tinoco is very well known and famous for both his carving and his painting. He and his family are the only artesanos of note in his barrio, San Agustin de los Juntos, which is relatively near the airport. His pieces used to be plentiful - and very expensive. I don't remember seeing much of anything by him last year.

Ramon Fosado, who was one of my Oaxacan mentors - I called him the repository of all things folkloric - took me to find Agustin the first time and he agreed to make this fine Christo from pine and cedar.Then, we agreed that he would make four more in exchange for a clarinet and a valve trombone for his sons. At the time, as a music teacher, I knew the ropes and had good access to fine instruments and I did my homework. I showed up with a beautiful wooden Selmer clarinet and a Bach (I think) trombone, but Agustin was away and had left his kids in charge.The instruments were expensive and I am no pushover when it comes to negotiations. I have paid gringo prices, willingly, sometimes, but part of the business is the banter that precedes closing the deal.So there we were, the kids and me, and I wanted an additional piece (a magnificent ark filled with animals) to balance out the deal. Both boys were good musicians, Miguel, the clarinetist in particular and they were so happy with the instruments they were willing to do anything. They said, "Our father will kill us, but he isn't here and he will have to catch us first. Let's do it!" They proceeded to play one of my favorite tunes, "La Pinotepa" and all we parted with smiles on our faces.

1 comment:

sonya melescu said...

These images of the atriles look beautiful. I wish I could download Lila Downs. Tried but took way tooo long. Rwanda is very slow on these things.