May 2016 Newsletter -Thursday, May 19, 2016
Merging Cultures Through Music
From an early age we've familiarized ourselves with foreign music: ethnic, urban, ancient or contemporary music from other cultures, yet our instrumental techniques, our learning methods have remained relatively static, repeating the same exercises and patterns for decades, and even centuries.
Diversity is a motivating force; a creative, renewing source of ideas and concepts when the origins of these ideas are understood and respected. As soon as we understand that we can actually participate and learn from these cultures, and use this new knowledge for our own growth and benefit, we are building the bridge that connects us to the world, and to these sources. We begin to broaden our perspective and renew our understanding of things we previously saw under a single light source. We discover historical and cultural values; by opening up this different view we understand the wealth of instrumental, rhythmic, formal elements that we have overlooked, perhaps even in our own musical sphere.
In our unlimited era of global information it's good to be exposed to foreign music, but it's even better to find a way to reach some degree of immersion, to investigate and perform, to keep an unprejudiced curiosity that will allow us to integrate what these sounds can teach us. Curiosity can't harm us, yet it can certainly teach us a great deal!
Colombian flutist, composer and arranger Carmen Marulanda absorbed the musical roots of her country at a young age. Her entire artistic and educational trajectory expresses essential links to these traditions. Her projects: 12 Original Colombian Pieces for Flute and Guitar, Traversuras for Flute and Piano, Traversuras Warming Up! and the Flute Duets 1&2 are an eloquent collection of studies based on Latin American genres. The ingenuity of this works, in addition to the varied musical content, is the presentation: all the musical accompaniments are recorded in a play-along Mp3 files, giving the flute student direct access to the original style of each region. Uniting teaching and composition, these works represents one of the newest musical trends, where the dialogue between composer and tradition is partnered with educational values.