Two matters about composition, Which is our music? What Music to make?
Before rehearsing an answer, one has to take into account two aspects of the cultural reality that come through us and that, sooner or later, we will have to face on the creative process. On one side, in these countries that were first colonized, then globalized, tending to set apart the local costumes from the big study centers, its common to find ourselves, after a long institutional formation process, with the “idea” that we are not from anywhere, that we don’t have a motherland. On the other hand, the commercialization of the culture often transforms the most genuine and authentic popular expressions to market adapted productions, where the artistic value is nullified, having gone through the filter of the needs of the consumption society. The popular culture, then, becomes mass culture. So we have in one side, the “pedagogical colonization”, phrase coined by A. Jauretche, the process in which we learn to value the dominant countries cultures (USA, Germany, Italy, Russia and formerly Spain), ignoring and overshadowing our own environment. Its a legacy of the past century that would seem to be slowly reverting itself, thanks to some recent initiatives that exalt the national culture in the universities. On the other side, the commercialization of culture. This being the transformation of an authentic expression that speaks of a way of feeling things, a perspective that is our own, that comes from a place, a climate, and that emanates from various ways of livings that define us, to a consumption product. Any popular expression is vulnerable before the capital, having many examples such as the Northern Folklore, the Tango, Rock, Cumbia, etc. Bearing this in mind, we understand the medium in which we work is a complex one, and we might be flirting with the void, if we don’t roll up our sleeves.
I return then to the two initial questions:
Which is our music?
The moment we ignore and disregard our closest environment, we cease to be. On the name of the good manners we silently fight with our way of feeling. So it forever fades our possibility to make music and giving way to an idea we can call or own. Because the historic place and time constitutes our subjectivity. It molds our sensibility. We are singularities in a determined medium, if we ignore the environment that forms us, we divorce from ourselves. We alienate ourselves. Everything becomes external, for or own lack of awareness. We become mute, for trying to interpret ourselves within an external reference framework. Shame is the face of repression and so, the barrier that the brave must overcome. Music, folklore, anonymous, collective and popular music, has its history in every people and it is not a finished thing, but something that is changing constantly. There are permanents living testimonies of this sensibility, many times hidden, away from the stages and academies, but they always come through like a liberating voice. We must search the history of this expression, follow the way of its root, often concealed, unwritten, undocumented. It’s easily recognizable, it reaches us as evident and irrefutable, its silences convincing, it’s imposing and provocative when revealing other way of doing things. The historic conscience is the looking glass that helps us discern, in this complex time, the small uproots of that tradition that links us, as it represents a way of feeling the world.
What music to make?
When we think about making music, that is subjective, singular, from its author, from a big city scope, in some way we have to, sooner or later, face the social circumstances described above. Firstly, the crisis, the uncertainty regarding our reference framework, something like: Which of all the music I hear is my music? or, Not having clear and objective references, how to tell if my music is properly made, well built?. The answer, of course, is not the same in each case, and that’s why we cannot speak about this matter in aesthetic terms. But, like in history, the crisis is the engine here. The anguish, being the disconmfort with the actual state of things, is what drives us in this quest. The music, in each case, will be unfolded in a process of rehearses, necessaries for liberation. The concrete experience is the way we have to dispose of the deafening and muting prejudices. The music is found, while it plays. The event, the exposition and the constant work make all the sound that conceals and subdues the voice apparent. The deception is exposed on the realized work, and that is why it is not reproduced. The fabric of the well trodden history, silences the sterile additions of each production. In our case, the way is of sound productions. Without rushed valorizations. We will later see if those productions are “musical”, or furthermore, artistic. The techniques and skills accumulated by history are a medium we have to rely on to organize our intentions. Experience will help us to free the technique from the aesthetic judgment, and to make use of it as pure instrument, not conditioning our expression. That is why we reach subjective music while ongoing, with criteria independence, commitment, con Por eso, a la música subjetiva se llega en marcha, con independencia de criterio, compromiso, consistency and constant dialogue with our environment, because that is what we are speaking about and from. We have to make ourselves understood, making sure arrogance or pride don’t bury us in silence.