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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seeing red - ver rojo

A bit of a break to watch autumn in New England. Also, the election campaigns, the financial meltdown and los pobres - Las Medias Rojas. What can I say? The world is going even more crazy than we thought possible. Still, everything is just fine. When we hit bottom, the only way to go will be up. Wheee!

Plenty of Oaxacan stuff to post shortly and some new video projects. El Dia del Muertos is right around the corner.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dos cobras

Claudio Ojeda and his wife, Teresa are two very fine artesanos from Arrazola, the carving village at the base of Monte Alban and closest to the city.
Their pieces tend to be very large, maybe the largest in all of Oaxaca. I remember seeing an anaconda of theirs that hung on two sides of a courtyard and was 37 feet long with a diameter of at least 2 feet in spots. Teresa's painting is some of the absolute best. She has developed a style using background colors covered with raised multi-colored dots of paint that is intensely time-consuming, but the results are spectacular. Claudio is a real character, a classic zapotec warrior, if you listen to him. He is tough and funny with strong opinions and a good knowledge of how things work in a complex world. He is worldly. I have several of their pieces including two atriles (music stands) one by Claudio and one by his son. When I first approached them about an atrile, Claudio said he needed an inspiration... and an anticipo, some money up front. I left and came back a few months later and Claudio said I had to come to the house to see the idea. I got there and he hooked up a very funky VHS machine and put in an even funkier tape and said "Karate Kid 2. Look at this"" What I sort of saw on that snowy TV was a large cobra or that's what Claudio said it was. And these are the results.
I was extremely happy with the first at almost two meters tall and a couple of hundred pounds. It has been exhibited a few times. Now the second one, a slightly different story. I showed up at their house and despite me saying I don't have room. What do I need with two of these babies?" They said "Seriously, you are not leaving without it."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Here and Now

Oh, and I put the finishing touches on my latest CD, which I hope to get up on iTunes and Rhapsody very soon. Of course, you can order one direct from the source if you want. It is a captivating music. Folks that have heard it have all loved it, but for me, it was simply a joy to work on because I was forced to learn how to make music in a whole new way. Now, how to market it, one of my strong suites.... not.

Here & Now

What have I been doing? I ask myself that same thing everyday. Just taking it all in and holding on as best as possible. I had a list of things to do when I returned from Mexico. Fixing gutters, scraping and painting a portion of the house -a side a year. The hail earlier this summer did so much damage, it looked bad. As in many things, prep is 90% of the work. In the last few days I have been putting on the final coats of paint and the job looks good. It feels equally good to have worked so hard for so many days and to have finally completed the work. Of course, I realize that it is Sisyphisian, never-ending, there is always something more to do or something falling apart, but still...
Its autumn in New England. Mornings are cold and the sun goes down earlier everyday. After being in the warmth for so long, it feels strange to be cold and to realize that paintingm which is actually fun for me, will be impossible in just a few weeks. Unless global warming kicks in. Who knows, maybe I'll be up on a ladder in December.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I have decided to unsuspend my blogging. As many of you must have noticed by now, I suspended it to address the national and now global, financial meltdown. I promised not to blog until I had fixed the problem. Now, obviously, I succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Problem solved. Oh ye of little faith..... shame. Let the good times roll... I'm back.