Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Guitarist, c. 1760
The seasons change in Costa Rica, as they do in many places on the planet, although not all, apparently. Here, though, the rainy season draws gradually back and the sun has most definitely got his hat on. I keep out of the sun and, despite living a 15-minute bus ride from the beach Trip Advisor lists as the 12th most beautiful in the world, I rarely attend. I go to church more often than I go the beach. Really, I do. When I do go to the beach, it is wonderful, however. I imagine you would get bored with a steak dinner every day but enjoy it whole-heartedly when you did eat one.
This being my second full season of playing as a musician here, I have picked up the signs of the tourist season beginning, like farmers predicting a very cold winter by inspecting the ram’s wool on the blackberry thorns, or whatever method farmers use for these things.
Backpackers, retirees and tour guides. A cheery sight for the struggling musician. I have hibernated for the last few weeks, learning now songs, improving technique, changing my vocal technique from standard to bel canto. I am not a musician by trade or experience, but I am by temperament, and it is my new job as I approach 60.
I am in the process of learning the following songs:
Girl from Ipanema
Back on the Chain Gang
First of the Gang to Die
Stray Cat Strut
Seasons come and they go, but good music is always in season.