Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Week's Atlantic Landscapes

A Piece of Music for the Acusa Plateau by Alicia Rodríguez Barrio (NB1).

The dance of El Vivo is a very ancient piece of music. It is an ancient piece of traditional music from El Hierro. They played it with a drum and castanets. The author is unknown, but Benito Cabrera took the score and made a version for the timple. Later, he sent it to the British composer, Peter Hope, who finished the work. It appears on the recording, “Ethnic”.
Benito Cabrera is a composer who was born in Lanzarote. He is a Canarian timple player, and he lives in Tenerife. He studies classical music and traditional Canarian music. Benito Cabrera makes a renewal of the Canarian music for the timple. He mixes musical elements from Celtic folklore and pop.
This piece of music reminds me of the ancient past when people lived more in accord with nature. It was a time when the landscape was not destroyed and people lived from the land. But at the same time they were difficult times to survive.
The echo of the music seems to repeat itself in the high mountains and it takes me to a distant time: the fight between the aborigines and the European conquerors of the island.

I don't know how to dance El Baile del Vivo, but if I knew . . .

The Goatherd by Guillermina Afonso Perez. NI1

My name is Juan Alonso. I'm not sure about my age. My parents were illiterate and lived very far away, in Artenara. Still today, I live in Artenara with my wife and my two children. I am a goatherd in the highest village in Gran Canaria. I've got about four hundred sheep and goats, and two dogs that help me take care of them. My favourite one is Negro; its mother is very old. It's obedient, lovely and very hard-working. The other day a tourist was here and he took a photo of me with my dog. It was cold but the sun was shining, and I was thinking about my wife and children.

My wife is able to write and read a little bit (I have no idea) but I would like my children to go to a high school and, why not? to a university. They will be the new Miguel Hernández.

Goatherds on the Cuchillos Road, Gran Canaria in 1928.

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