Bard Summer, post 10

I mentioned earlier that besides pre-show lectures (for the second night of The Wreckers and all BMF concerts) there were also so-called Academic Panels at the BMF. These were open to the public, and you didn't have to have any ticket to attend, which is, I think, a great thing. Pre-concert talk helps you appreciate a certain concert: you get some clarifications, tips, advice, context hints and so on; but it is what you need to learn for this particular program to get more out of your listening experience. With panels, you learn about the culture, the time, a broader background – it's more like taking a Coursera course ;))
For each panel, there are three speakers who make brief presentations or speeches on the topic of their choice, related to the general topic of this panel session (for example, Mexico: The Crossroad of Antifascism), and then there is time for questions and comments from the audience. Each panel has a different moderator.
The speakers are not only scholars, but also musicians, people who have a first-hand experience on the matter.
Say, at the panel called Mexico and Latin America, one of the speakers was Roberto Sierra, a modern composer who was born in Puerto Rico. What he talked about was, what makes a particular piece of composition sound as written 'by a Latin American composer'. (That is, he was trying to deal more with the audience's expectations than the actual phantom of Volksmusic; and here he turned primarily not to rhythms or composition patterns but rather to orchestral timbres. He said that Chavez uses a lot of high-pitched sounds, 'like an annoying bird tweeting up there', and how this makes you think of Mexican sonic landscape, both in terms of nature and national instruments.) And one of the things he said was that being a Latin American he is kind of offended by the way Boulez uses bongos, by 'what bongos mean in that piece and what bongos really mean'. 'I don't mean Boulez had no right to do it, he said, 'but it sounds evil to me'.
And then at one of the next concerts we heard this:

(Speaking of 'national' rhythm, Richard Wilson (I'm not sure if this is him or not), who was doing pre-concert talk for one of the last programs, Post-World War II Latin America (where Sierra's Bongo O was actually played), did a funny thing. He started his talk reminding the audience how in 1995, at the Bartok festival, he asked the audience to clap to the Hungarian rhythm. 'Now we will clap to the Mexican rhythm... It's exactly the samy rhythm, only this time we'll call it Mexican'.)
Another speaker who told about his first-hand experiemnce was Mario Lavista who actually studied with Chavez – and it was actually the experience his speech was centered around. Among things he mentioned as what he learned from Chavez was: 'Motiv must have a recognizable personality'. He spoke at the second day panel, Mexico and the United States: Past, Present, and Future, where there was also a brilliant historic comparison of Mexico and the USA by Leon Botstein, and a review of Mexican and American art by Richard Suchenski called Form Becomes Style. As I mentioned before, I was never interested in painting or photography, but the Bard experience changed this a lot. One of the pictures Richard showed particularly appealed to me:

(Paul Strand, Gateway, Hidalgo, from the portfolio Photographs of Mexico, 1933)
Another picture I was thanks to Miles Rodriguez who discissed Mexico as the cradel of 'Latin American identity' is a well-known one:

Right, this is Rufino Tamayo's Duality, a picture that once even made it to Google doodles, but I used to see it rather like a fun picture, with bright colours and funny animals, not as an important representation of national identity. (That's what I keep repeating about what I learned at Bard: my perspective shifted, I see things at a different angle now!)
OK, I think that's it for now (more to come!); there's only one last thing I wanted to mention that somehow doesn't fit in the logic of any post. Orion Weiss was at the Festival, and he played a lot of different music, mainly bry Latin American composers. And here's him playing Granados:

...OK OK OK, one very very last thing. On our last Saturday at Bard we had a farewell party: Maria cooked borscht, and we invited everyone who taught us and helped us during our four-weeks stay. Unfortunately, not everyone could come, but it was still great fun (and the borscht was marvellous).

And here are Luis and Katarina:

I fell ill during my last week at Bard (it turned out to bee a rather bad bronchitis, and I still cannot get rid of the cough), and Luis and Katarina were of especial help to me. It's not just the tea Katarina made for me (although ginger was very, very helpful) or the ride she gave me from Olin hall to my dorm (which is a good 15-minutes walk, and at that point it seemed to me too much of a challenge), it's the love that she and Luis spread around them, and the celebrated good vibes – you know I'm a materialist, but I did feel them. And they did help: I got drastically better in two days and was able to catch my flight home without any troubles.
Ah, I miss Bard so much as I write this.
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>Now we will clap to the Mexican rhythm... It's exactly the samy rhythm, only this time we'll call it Mexican.

Прелесть-то какая. :-)))

Bongos мне теперь всегда Шелдона напоминают, гм-гм. А ведь искусство!
>Прелесть-то какая. :-)))
Ну это всё о том, что концепция народной музыки – она же придумана в конкретное время. И все поиски Настоящей Народной музыки – они связаны во многом с идеями романтиков. Её "на самом деле нет".
Тот же Сьерра ещё ссылался на некоего своего латиноамериканского коллегу, который сказал, что мы (они) учимся писать народную музыку у Бартока. И как бы он прав же.

Мне bongos напоминают о Ринго Старре ;) Когда битлов позвали на шоу Морекамба и Вайза, то там они (М. и В.), в частности, упорно путали имя Ринго и называли его "бонго". А я, когда это слушал, не знал, что такое "бонго". И никто из взрослых тоже не мог мне перевести, и словарь мой этого слова не знал.
И ведь сконструированная народная музыка оказывается еще и лучше. :о) Либо мне не везло на именно народную-народную, либо она действительно как правило довольно тягомотна. Авторская по мотивам круглее.
Народная-народная, главное, лишена национального колорита ;)))
Чистая правда - и такая глубокая трагедия, блин. :-)) Деятелям культуры разных жанров часто завозят какой-то неправильный народ.
часто завозят какой-то неправильный народ
Отлично сказано!