CRITICAL ZONE: A Chance for Reunion

CRITICAL ZONE: A Chance for Reunion
Fecha de publicación: 
4 May 2023
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When it’s said that music is a flag of the Cuban culture, it comes from the conviction that in this country entire generations of artists have bequeathed one of the most significant musical heritage of the continent. And we dare to say more: if we assume that this is a relatively small country, and with a relatively short history, the contributions to the universal music scene are extraordinary. No wonder for many worldwide this is the island of music.

But it’s not convenient to wallow in achievements, even if they reinforce egos and self-esteem. We are not the center of the world. Neither in music nor in any manifestation. Permanent dialogue with the universal heritage is essential. Because in the end, Cuban music is also the result of multiple confluences. And there’s no evolution without exchange.

Gathering like the Casa de las Américas Composition Award, which has been in session until a few days ago in Havana, offer unique opportunities for Cuban composers. Because it’s necessary to look beyond the borders, to establish fruitful comparisons between what’s done here and now, and what’s done abroad. It’s about finding references and taking advantage of contributions.

More than the competition itself, what matters most is the chance to meet, debate, update. Spaces for the socialization of experiences will always be not enough, if we understand that creation is a truly incomprehensible field. You have to take advantage of those opportunities. Casa de las Américas has been a backbone in this regard, since it has become the scene of workshops and highpoint conferences. Undoubtedly, in the work of contemporary Cuban composers there’s much of that features.

Cuba always has considerable potential, thanks to its artistic education system. Not even the rigors of a crisis, with the exodus of professionals that it involves, have weakened in their essence the values of contemporary Cuban creations. But it's not a matter of leisurely laying back. Casa de las Américas, despite all obstacles, continues to work for Cuban culture, and for its coherent insertion in the Latin American panorama. And that, of course, is an equation that works perfectly in reverse. Music from Cuba in Latin America. Latin American music in Cuba.

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