Magazine AM:PM no. 11
Space and technology shape music, from the way it is composed to the way it is performed; common sense told me this, and it was confirmed to me a few years ago by a reflection of David Byrne on this subject in his luminous How music works. Church architecture conditioned the modal structure of sacred compositions, just as much of traditional African music, with its complex percussive cells, finds its best space in the open air. "Music, a living thing, evolved to fit its available niche", Byrne tells us.
One cannot help but wonder what paths music in Cuba will take if the trend we find ourselves in by 2023 continues, with a critical scenario in which many of the concert halls and live music venues are closed or operating with minimal infrastructure and programming. While we survive on what those oases such as the theater of the National Museum of Fine Arts or the recently refocused Amphitheater of Old Havana can give us, private venues continue to expand and, in the absence of management models that can provide us with the best possible service, we are faced with a situation in which we have to face the challenge of finding new venues for live music. venuesThe music is often recorded or in unorthodox forms, to the detriment of artists and audiences alike.
In this infernal summer that we have had to live through, we are talking about where the music takes place. From a tour through the history of some of the theaters bequeathed to us by the colony, to the dystopian future imagined by Darién Sánchez for the Tribuna Antimperialista, and including a report on the sisyphean repair of the Amadeo Roldán Auditorium, in this issue we look at the micro and macro of the state of concert halls and venues in Cuba. The balance is bleak, we are not going to lie. There is also room for a gallery with photographs of music happening in unconventional places, as well as the usual reviews.
Nothing compares to the transcendent fact of facing a band with body and soul, nothing replaces the communal experience that is a concert, that moment when we return, as rarely in this era, to the tribe. Hopefully the doors will open (and more) soon. Our souls need it enough.
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