Flower & Song, Volume One. Tulip, Chive Blossoms, Lilly of the Valley & Agustin Lara.
The first segment of Flower & Song is slightly out dated as it features tulips and was filmed in early June. It is a reminder of how quickly things change. A month ago, in the time of tulips and lilacs, we were harvesting only greens and radishes. Now in July the tulips have shriveled, the lilacs desiccated and the harvest has grown.
Agustin Lara serenades the world with slight bravado and much charm. A flowering voice in the valleys of Mexico’s highlands. Sara and I once searched the barrios, back streets, and yellow pages of Panama City hunting for records. We found a Bazaar a block down from Las Clementinas, an impeccable eatery inspired by Cuba, in the half- crumbling half-immaculate side of Panama City known as Casco Viejo. Centuries old buildings crammed onto a small peninsula in the Pacific look over the shining skyscraper side of the city in one direction, and ships coming and going from the canal in the other. Las Clementinas is on the street level of a perfectly rehabilitated building. A corner spot in the heart of Casco’s charm but only blocks from one of Panama City’s most notoriously sketchy barrios. They serve any fruta di mare that you could ask for as well as cocktails to please. The bazaar down the block was strange, moldy, and disheveled. We told the proprietor that we were looking for records. In a corner stacked on rubble from the crumbling building, he showed us four or five boxes of records most of which were so moldy and warped from the equatorial heat and humidity that the titles were hardly recognizable. Among the decay we found the record featured in this edition of Flower & Song: Mexican singer and pianist Agustin Lara's Su voz y su piano. The song is “Siempre te vas”, “you always go, because you want to leave me, because you want to kill me, for this you always go.” Like Lara’s lover, flowers constantly leave. As a depiction of beauty’s departure they dry and fall. But more will come.