Friday, October 16, 2009


Maya Playing Violin

Music of all sorts has been the focus today. I listened to Maya playing 'The March of the Toreadors' from Carmen with her orchestra for an hour and a half. I had tickets to an evening of tango music at the Teatro Variedades on the Plaza del Teatro in the Centro Historico, but while waiting in line to enter the theatre, I listened to Andean music on a big stage in the the centre of the square. Later, while walking along 'La Ronda', I peeked into all the bars listening to all sorts of versions of Ecuadorean music, and when the group I was with decided on a table in a bar, the band played Andean, Mexican, Cuban, and classic Ecuadorean music. I learned that Andean music is easy to dance to and was able to follow the steps of the other dancers, and look reasonably confident on the dance floor.

Morning View of Pichincha

Ecuadorians like their music, and there are many skilled musicians. The jazz players of last night were as good as any in New York or Chicago. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the tango group piano player was the same as the pianist last night at 'Le Pobre Diablo', and the guitarist was Mauricio, the husband of Ximena, whom I met with Maya in January when looking for a school for Maya. He had showed me his many guitars and had played several types of Ecuadorian music for me when we visited his home, and I am not sure why I have yet to contact him. I remember having a fantasy at the time that he would teach me how to play the guitar, but that has not been high on my agenda for now.

Afternoon view of Pichincha

I appreciate the exposure to so many different types of music. Of course with Maya, I listen to Bach and Mozart and Kreisler and Accolay and Bizet (what she had been playing lately). I dance to salsa and merengue rhythms and more and more Cuban music. There are concerts quite regularly with indigenous Andean music, have learned that there is good jazz in Quito, and there is a traditional type or Ecuadorian music that is very popular in the bars in La Ronda. I love the variety of music that is offered.

Dancing to Andean music is not difficult to learn. Just watching someone for a few minutes is all that is necessary. I found myself dancing tonight with a very eager New Zealander, and found the beat and the movements natural and the music seemed to find its way inside so I did not want to stop.

Clouds Over Pichincha

I am enjoying my group of students, many just out of college, a few older adventurers. Some of them have traveled so extensively, far more than I have in my long life. I wonder if young people are just so much more mobile today, and so bold. I imagine my daughter Tara traveling around Italy and running into locals and talking about her experience and her life. I hope they are enjoying her as much as I enjoy my fellow students.

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