Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Let-Up in the Obons Filled by the Oaxacans

There were no Obons in the greater Los Angeles area this past weekend. Thank goodness! It gets to be quite a responsibility getting around to them. I needed a weekend without the pressure. Next weekend is the Gardena Obon, which is close to being my favorite (if I had favorites), though there is no good reason for that. I am hoping that I can make it. My window is Saturday only. I have a performance on Sunday that will keep me from it. Actually, it is possible I can do both, but I think it will be too much for my own bones. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I did go to a festival just the same. Another on my annual "to-do" list, the Festival Quelaguetza O.R.O. 2017. The first time I went to this festival, it was an accident. It was held a different location, Ernest E. Debs Regional Park, visible from the Pasadena Freeway (Arroyo Seco Parkway - which no one calls it.) I saw the happenings as I was zipping along and decided to check it out. I have tried to make it each year since. So here are the photos from Sunday. I did a post on this festival on September 9, 2014, so I am going to try not to duplicate the photos too much. In that earlier post there are links sites giving a history of Lincoln Park. This is a park that Black people felt comfortable going to back when I was a kid. Yeah, think about that.

Artwork on the way to the festival. Angelinos are very expressive.

Posers for posers. 

Dancers getting ready to take the stage.

The boathouse and pond at Lincoln Park.

Baile folklórico.

These are vessels. The hooves are real. I bought one. You can't
see the one I bought; originally there were three. I've been look-
ing around for a canteen to use when the Obihiro Cowboys per-
form. My search has been unsuccessful. I am thinking that one
of these may be better.

Grasshoppers. I've had plenty of these in the past few years,
so did not need to try them. On the other hand...

these are flying ants, which I had not tried. So, I did. Not bad.
An interesting aftertaste somewhat like honey. Doing some re-
search, I learned that they are crushed and used in a sauce. I un-
derstand that. They'd be much more palatable mixed in with

This tepache was very strong and vinegary. It provided a very
slight buzz lasting no longer than the time it took to drink it.


I bought my lunch from these women.

Molotes stuffed with chorizo and potato.

People resting.

A dance troupe finishing their routine...

after which they throw pan to the audience. 

A happy audience.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tamale With Chili Instead and Aerophones

Los Angeles Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple. Sunday. I worked on Saturday, so couldn't make it to this one or the one in West Los Angeles. I have only been to the W.L.A. one once and would have liked to go again. I remember it being very hip, though it is even more inconvenient to get to than the two in Venice. It is a "how far from the freeway," kind of thing. That's okay, I needed the work. I was very jammed up for time on Sunday also. Really I should not have gone to Higashi Honganji at all, but it is only downtown, which is a reasonable distance for me. Not nearly as easy as Pasadena, but doable. I took the Pasadena approach - arrive right before the dancing, get a few songs in, then hit the road. I ran into Dr. D. A. Wong, who encouraged me to get in the line and dance. I am glad to say that I am pretty much at the point that I don't need encouragement, just a place to step in. If you don't know the dances well, it matters who you get behind and around. You need someone in your line of sight that knows what they are doing. Dr. Wong pretty much knew what she was doing. 

Over the years I have collected what I call "exotic" instruments. Basically they are primitive aerophones. By now I have a lot of them. I keep buying them, because I keep finding intriguing ones. It is a broad category. I occasionally question my sanity. Of course, I create my own opportunities to use the instruments on gigs or special pieces like "Fanfares and Arhoolies." But once in a while I get a legit gig that actually pays money. That was the case this past Monday. I had a recording session for the video game company Riot Games. I've done a couple of other sessions for this organization over the years. Each of them has been a call for primitive aerophones. If you've played League of Legends, you have probably heard some of my instruments. It was a two-hour session. My lips were pretty shot by the end of it. For the most part these instruments have appreciably smaller mouthpieces than what I am used to. I decided that the experience needed a burger for a happy resolution. 

This is a popular Obon. Lots of familiar faces.

No chili rice at this on...

so I had to settle for a tamale with chili. 

The tamale was an acceptable alternative.

Serious beef.

Slow cooking the chicken teriyaki.

The big drum for the dance.

I rented a vehicle to make it easier to get the instruments to the
studio. I took 40 instruments in all. Most of them got used.

The first test is to get in. The last time I worked here was for
Superman - Man of Steel, right before I left for Japan.

The Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers in Burbank.

The walk to the studio.

Contractor and fellow aerophone player, Noah Gladstone. 

Composer Kyle 'Kole' Hicks (center), Noah and myself
celebrating the finish of a successful session.

The big and/or long horns - Rag Dungs and a Clarin de Cajamarca.



and more aerophones.

Clarin de Cajamarca. It is from Peru and over 10 feet
long. They made it in sections for me. There was no other
 practical way to get it here.

A Rag-Dung. 8 feet long. 

Sauces for the skinny fries.

Skinny fries on the side, onion strings on the burger.

The Manly Burger at Umami Burger in Burbank, CA.

All done.