Una Dia en el Jardine

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Una Dia en el Jardine (A Day in the Garden)

On our last full day we had planned to go to the beach, but the intense wind and waves made that a bad idea. Instead we rented/hired a classic red Oldsmobile Taxi convertible to take us to Los Jardine de la Tropical. The Jardine was made to be a destination for picnickers with a beer garden. Like many things in Cuba, it appears abandoned but is actually still used.

We were greeted at the gate to the Jardine (which appeared closed) and immediately led to a small castle where an old habanero gave us a tour in rapid Spanish. He explained how it was originally used as a beer garden but now mainly for pottery and artwork. We missed most of the information he imparted due to the language barrier but it was still an impressive building inside. Outside the building we left the old man behind and toured the grounds. It was very picturesque next to the Rio Almendares with archways and spiral staircases and trees with vines that droop and become roots. A steel drum band was rehearsing while we strolled through the garden. We crossed the river and bought mojitos from a little outdoor cafe. Across the road was a military base where soldiers trained. By the river we saw a group ringing bells. We then noticed they were holding chickens and learned they were conducting a Santeria ceremony. As we walked along the Rio we noticed lots of feathers, a chicken corpse floating in the water, and a used voodoo doll lying on the ground.

After we got back from the Jardine we tried to go to two art galleries but one had apparently relocated, and the other was closed that day. Instead we decided to just have a walk around the neighborhood of Vedado to see some of the beautiful mansions. We also visited Park John Lennon. Soon after I sat down on the bench with John Lennon’s statue, an old man told us to wait as he took out a set of round spectacles and put them on Lennon for our photos. We then had a huge lunch at a nearby “French” restaurant of snapper, lobster, chicken and pork barbecued with bread, rice, black beans, and salad. A stray cat had high hopes that I would share and kept persistently putting his paws in my lap.

For our last night we decided to go see the cabaret show at the Nacional. It’s supposed to be the second biggest cabaret show in the city next to the Tropicana. The show was silly, cheesy, and fun with garish ridiculous costumes. There was an amazing acrobatic display where a man put a large rotating hoop on his forehead, then a woman climbed up his legs and shoulders to contort her body as she dangled from the hoop. At some point in the show we began to notice that a lot of the audience members appeared to not be enjoying the show at all. Some had deep scowls on their faces. They must have realized what they were in for when they bought the tickets, so what was their problem?

For this song I recorded the bamboo creaking in the wind at the Jardine. You can also hear the birds, a dog and at the end our guide saying “c’mon, let’s go”. He got pretty bored while I was recording and didn’t really seem to understand that I was trying to record sounds.

credits

from Sonidos de Cuba, released April 26, 2013
Scott Riesterer - Percussion, Trumpet and Trombone
Features a Korg Electribe ES-1mkII Sampler

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ScottMFR Vancouver, British Columbia

Scott Michael Francis Riesterer is a Sound Designer from Vancouver, Canada. He has contributed his audio skills to documentaries, short films, video games, and the Chevrolet Volt. Musically he dabbles in electronic genres like Downtempo, House, Techno, and Breaks. His latest project, Sonidos De Cuba is an ambitious album built upon field recordings from his travels in Cuba. ... more

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