Kaqchikel – Musician

Kaqchikel – Musician

Music; Ambience: Marimba playing in the square

We’re listening to the sounds of an instrument that’s a bit like a xylophone — with resonators that give it its distinctive sound. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is Pulse of the Planet. The Marimba is an important part of the indigenous music of Central America. The musician is a Guatemalan school teacher.

“When we are at school, I love to play marimba during our break, and the other teachers, workers gather around to listen. The marimba music gives happiness, it lightens your heart, it helps you forget your sadness. It’s a tough instrument to play. Many have told me they would love to play, but then when they begin they are frustrated or they get bored with it. But once you know how to play it is very uplifting.

“When I was young I wanted to know what my future held. So I asked a fortune teller, he had a bird that would select your fortune from a bundle of small papers. Many young people did this when we were young. The bird would grab it and then hand the paper to the man who then gave it to me to read. But you know not all the papers he gives you apply to you. But one he gave me did. One of the papers told me ‘You are a lover of music.’ And I knew that was mine. Now I would love to find a violin to play for myself. There is a man here in our town who has a very old violin, but he is also asking a high price. Not the price you would ask for a new one, this one is more valuable. As the man says, ‘An old instrument turns into history’.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Kaqchikel - Musician

For a Guatemalan school teacher, playing music was his destiny.
Air Date:08/01/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

Kaqchikel - Musician

Music; Ambience: Marimba playing in the square

We're listening to the sounds of an instrument that's a bit like a xylophone -- with resonators that give it its distinctive sound. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is Pulse of the Planet. The Marimba is an important part of the indigenous music of Central America. The musician is a Guatemalan school teacher.

"When we are at school, I love to play marimba during our break, and the other teachers, workers gather around to listen. The marimba music gives happiness, it lightens your heart, it helps you forget your sadness. It's a tough instrument to play. Many have told me they would love to play, but then when they begin they are frustrated or they get bored with it. But once you know how to play it is very uplifting.

"When I was young I wanted to know what my future held. So I asked a fortune teller, he had a bird that would select your fortune from a bundle of small papers. Many young people did this when we were young. The bird would grab it and then hand the paper to the man who then gave it to me to read. But you know not all the papers he gives you apply to you. But one he gave me did. One of the papers told me 'You are a lover of music.' And I knew that was mine. Now I would love to find a violin to play for myself. There is a man here in our town who has a very old violin, but he is also asking a high price. Not the price you would ask for a new one, this one is more valuable. As the man says, 'An old instrument turns into history'."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.