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.

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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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Singing/Chanting - Day of the Dead - Teotitlan del Valle

I posted some stills from this event a week or so ago.

About that post, a commenter wrote:

"I agree with the previous commentor-a special moment- but a sacred moment-the photographer's veritable "decisive moment"- as a photographer and an observer- has this crossed the line from the sacred to the profane - am I entitled to record this moment because I have a camera in hand- when does the subject become the object- tricky question- but as for me- I'll pass on viewing the video."

Well, here is the video.  Watch or pass on it.  It's you're choice.  

These gentlemen arrived at the panteon or cemetery, in mid afternoon and went into the small chapel. I was alerted by friends that these were the singers and that I should go back into the capilla to listen and shoot. I have heard this singing before, but there was too much happening around them, there was other music  happening in the cemetery, so it was impossible to hear, to absorb the ethereal quality.

As a musician, I find the sounds to be fascinating.   They remind me of Korean or Tibetan chants and they do the same things for me.... they calm, awe and inspire.

Update:  The chapel is in the panteon just at the end of the path from the entrance.  So the families are with them.  Most are just outside preparing the graves or socializing.  Many cemeteries have little chapels so these singers were actually right in the middle of the action with people coming in and out taking pictures, listening and paying their respects.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it. The sound, the harmonies seem very modern but I bet the song goes waaaay back.

I wonder why they go into the chapel to sing. Day of the Dead seems so public, centered around burial sites, so why do they go into a chapel, away from their families.