Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Musical Day in Chacala and at Majahua

Yesterday was a very musical day for me. And really nice day. Maybe one on my nicest days in Chacala. I will just write about the music parts of the day. Plus the lemon pie at Majahua.

First, I got to listen while Miguel Angel, the collectivo driver, as he practiced singing “Guantanamera”, in preparation for being taped by Marjorie G. She is preparing a Canadian Broadcasting Company radio program about the Techos de Mexico program in Chacala.Miguel Angel, collectivo driver and singer
This program has provided eight improverished women in Chacala with no-interest loans to build rental units, and in some cases, living quarters for their families. Jose Enrique de Valle, owner of Majahua, along with many volunteers, and local workers, helped to build the units. I have lived in two of the Techos units: Aurora’s and Dona Lupe’s, and can vouch personally for the quality of the units. And the value of living on the same property with the landlady. And her family.Jose Enrique and J0se Carmello
Miguel Angel is going to be taped singing "Guantanamera" later this week. Since he didn’t know all the words, he transcribed them from a disk provided by M.G.. And now he is studying the verses very day. Yesterday he performed for me and Anatasia, a young woman who is working at Mar de Jade. We were at the collectivo stop in Las Varas, waiting for riders to show up. Miguel Angel’s voice was just lovely. It was a very nice moment. And we played the diskette all the way to Chacala, with some of us singing along on the chorus.

I had no idea until a few days ago that the song is about a man singing about his love for the area of Cuba where he grew up. It’s very beautiful, and it was my Mom’s favorite song. We even sang it at her “wake”, or goodbye dinner, after she died.

The second musical event took place at Majahau, the most beautiful setting in Chacala. The evening was really, really special for me. First, Aldolfo Diaz, a well-known saxophone player, who was raised in this area, played for a group of us at Majahua. Jose Enrique told us Adolfo is very well known, and has played all over the world. Adolfo played lots of music, some familiar some not. It was all so beautiful. The sound of the sax is so haunting and beautiful.
And then Adoflo’s wife, Payin (Ampado Cejudo?) sang for us. Solo. All kinds of blues, and old favorites from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. In Spanish, English, and French. It was wonderful. For some of her songs the recorded accompaniment was a tenor sax solo by her husband. Her voice and the music together were just wonderful.

One nice thing, for me, is that the first couple of years I was in Chacala, it seemed like whenever I was around Majahua, a CD of a woman singing was on the sound system. I loved her voice and the songs she was singing. And I kept asking who it was, and saying I wanted to have a copy. And guess what, it was . She has a copy of that release, so I am in luck. I can’t wait.
View of Majahua from the ocean
Last night, the saxophone music and the singing were wonderful. And the setting was perfect: the view of the Chacala Bay, 30 feet away, the sound of the waves breaking, andthe reflected light of the moon filtering thru the jungle and unto the ocean. It was a magical evening. Really amazing, and unforgettable, at least for me.View of Majahua from the beach
The couple are close friends of Jose Enrique and his wife Carmen. I hope that means they will come back often. I doubt that I will ever forget the music and the setting last night.View of Playa Chacala from Majahua
Plus, I had the most incredible piece of lemon pie. It was so delicious I could hardly hear the music while I was eating it. Small bite by small bite. Every one so delicious. I think of myself as a very experienced eater, and cooker, of lemon pies. And this was the best I ever had. Every bite was incredible

No comments: