Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Sound of Music.

This small entertained while we ate dinner at a restaurant in Panajachel.
Everywhere we went in Guatemala, we could the sound of music coming from the marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The marimba is in xylophone family of instruments and we saw it being played solo as well as accompanied by other instruments including maracas, woodwinds, drums and the cello. The marimbas we saw also varied in sized - from two people playing the same instrument to seven.


Whatever the variation, the one thing that was common was the music that the marimba produces.  It's always a very upbeat, playful sound that somehow seems very fitting in a country where people embrace the use of vibrant colors and patterns in everything from their clothes to the colors they paint on their walls.  It just makes you want to smile.

Here's a snippet of the music played by the band in Panajachel.  Video taken by Soon.









This band was playing near Arco Santa Catalina in Antigua.










Here's a quick video of their performance courtesy of Soon.



And last but not least was this seven man band who entertained us, in of all places, the airport in Guatemala City.  We saw them as we were entering the security line into the departure lounge. Hearing the strains of the marimba, play one last time, was fitting farewell for us.

Again, Soon did the videotaping.


When I got back home, I quickly put together a slideshow of the photos that I took on this trip. That's the slideshow that appears on the upper right hand corner of every posting of this blog. When it came to deciding on the musical track for the slideshow, there was only one obvious choice.....the marimba!   The track I picked is from
Chapinlandia: Marimba Music of Guatemala. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2007. SFW CD 40542
From now on, anytime, anywhere I hear the sounds of the marimba, I will be reminded of my trip to Guatemala.....truly, a wonderful, wonderful country!