To say I was absorbed in my prep for my talk is a little like saying Jello can be jiggly. It was great to share the talk and being a Reader at the Huntington allows me access to great resources. But there is so much going in Pasadena it’s hard not to transition from the ivory tower to places in town where things are happening.
One of the places was the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Pasadena High School. There is always fine fruit, various vegetables, and prodigious plants.
There usually is a good bit of music, too.
I’ll blame the heat for my not being able to remember the name of these fine musicians. They are two young brothers from Sierra Madre and they play beautiful European Classical music. I don’t recall if they were sharing Mozart of Beethoven; whatever it was, it was played with confidence and rich tones.
The mountains and the blue sky a grand backdrop for lines of music dancing in the heat.
In among the stalls is this gentleman. He sings and plays another sort of classical music. It is the music of the late 19th and early 20th century – his style of picking and phrasing is like entering a musical time machine. He shares the music of Mexico, some of it unabashedly popular and some with the elegant lines of Agustin Lara or Jose López Alvarez.
I’m not quite sure why he sings to the waist of the body of the guitar. Perhaps it’s his way of amplifying the sound? Although I tried to get his last name, he would only share that his name is Pepe. What a beautiful old school name to accompany his old school playing.