May 4, 2008

A musical lunch

Today, O and I went to lunch with Mario and Flover. We went to El Rinconcito Ferreñafano (The Little Ferreñafe Corner). The guys each ordered an enormous northern-style causa and I had a plate of piqueos de chancho. They had been playing soccer all morning and were starving, but I'd been home with Celeste, doing laundry and spinning up the last of the silk rovings. We talked about their soccer game and the weekend, it was pleasant conversation and the food was very good...and the live music began.

Two older men came in to sing and play the guitar. Normally older musicians are very good, one playing the guitar in with a very Latin style while the other sings and plays the cajon, a large box that takes the place of a drum. Usually, it makes a nice atmosphere for a meal - romantic Spanish lyrics, a smooth soft voice, a Latin guitar, and gentle, rhythmic beating of the cajon.

Today, however, the guitarist didn't seem to be able to tune his guitar. Each string was out of tune with the others. He did run through the strings several times and apparently just decided "Oh, what the hell" or perhaps tone-deaf. The singer did his best to adjust to the odd key that the guitar was in, but it didn't seem to help, so he sang louder and beat the cajon harder. As the instrument went farther and farther out of tune, the guitarist continued flogging away at it, louder and louder, as if trying to outdo the singer or maybe just play really loud and the people wouldn't notice how extremely bad the guitar sounded. Sad songs were made even sadder by the terrible sound of the guitar.

By the time we left, the vocalist was singing at the top of his lungs and beating the cajon with a vengance, and the guitarist was pounding on the guitar strings, faster and faster and as loud as possible, and completely out of tune. The cajon was completely drowned out. O and his friends were screaming across the table at one another, as were all the other customers in the restaurant but no one seemed to notice that the music was just horrendous.

Maybe that's the answer. When it's really bad, just do it LOUDER and FASTER and nobody will even notice.


Exmoorjane said...

This made me laugh as I was reading away, thinking 'oh how lovely, imagine that - beautiful songs played live on guitar'....and going into a quiet reverie...and then the picture changed entirely! Love it.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Berlimey . . . did people just not notice, or were too polite to say . . .the whole franticness of it all made me laugh - if leaving me feeling a little bit tense and worn out . . . and I wasn't listening to it . . . what must it have been like for you?