A Madrid May: A rebellion´s music


The general assemby of 15M Madrid in Sol, celebrating the 3 years of the movement, was opened and closed by performances of the orchestra and choir La Solfónica, born in the wake of the of the first protests in the city.  Its music is one more expression of the plural creativity that is the movement. 

What follows is a partial translation of the orchestra´s and choir´s self-presentation … 

La Solfónica is an expression of the fact that the people is free, intelligent and capable of organising itself.  It is a proposal of activism and of doing politics that invalidates the stereotypes associated with social protest: we are proud to be perroflautas ("bums"), and with a great deal of work – in many cases, a lifetime´s –   we propogate indignation and anger, but with waves of pleasure and beauty.  We take the streets with waves of sound: nothing escapes this vibration, even the hardest of heads will in some way listen.  And we are invincible!  Because she/he who dreams, what you dream, will escape any violence.

Before those who abuse what is called "Power", we preach by example: in an orchestra or a choir, there cannot be the powerful.  What we want to say is: that we can!  Listening to us.  Working for and with the one next to you, for and with the best result possible (the "impossible" …).  Listening to us.

We believe that each and every person not only has the right, but the duty with those who desire the same, to raise their voice.  From our indignation, with multiple voices, we took to the streets, with each person contributing as best they can.  We assume the duty of sharing what we learn in an orchestra and a choir.  To share music, because it is the universal language; because certain music gave form to human essences, which only by taking them into the street, can alliances be formed.  And we assume the obligation to denounce the humiliations that our enormous musicians ears "see".

We are not what you think we are, "uniformised thought" – a-rythmic, untuned.  We are neither afraid, nor ignorant, nor of those who complain that rust has bitten into their golden cage.  We are not badly habituated children.  We scream and we struggle for this reason, for the debt that we have to our grandparents and to our grandchildren, and to the grandchildren of those that can not be here.  Because we know that we are the privileged of this predatory system, that wer have the instruments and the time, that we do not risk our lives coming out into the street.  It is our debt: we sing for those who cannot do sol, we are present for those who cannot be, for those who will be.

We play the music of other struggles, the sound track of other revolutions, fissures in the system that endeavours to show itself as something perennial and without alternatives.  From these sources, openned by the strength of centuries for dignity, this music emerges, rivers of possibilities emerge, because imaging better realities, we create.

We play in the streets thereby symbolising inclusiveness, horizontality and proximity to our base.  We play in the streets because the streets belong to everyone, because in the squares … we all look at each other in the eyes and no one can place her/himself above another.  Theatres, auditoriums … are necessary and marvellous, but this is the space that we choose to state that art should not be elitist, but open and accessible.

We demand the implication and the participation of citizens, because we are collective beings and togther we make possible what we imagine.  It is necessary, urgent, that we make ourselves responsible for and work for what fills us, for what we believe is just and beautiful, without waiting for someone to bring it to us, or sell it to us; bringing with us what we know how to create and learning from what others know how to create, for it is in this process that we gain, that we flourish, where we become elect.

La Solfónica surge así, con la fuerza de la autogestión, en un momento en el que tantas agrupaciones musicales, educativas y culturales en general, sufren el estrangulamiento y la falta de recursos. Defendemos el fin de la mercantilización del arte y la educación, pero ello no nos aleja de la reivindicación de un uso de los recursos públicos que responda a las necesidades de la sociedad. A la necesidad de cultura accesible, honesta y libre, inclusiva y con Historia.

No queremos una cultura de masas amasadas, empobrecedora de mentes y valores, cortoplacista y sobreestimulante, simplista y estereotipada, que cercena la capacidad crítica e inocula pereza en nuestras conciencias.  Aunque los altavoces del sistema intenten hacernos bailar su ostinato machacón, que pone el arte y las estructuras de pensamiento al servicio de los intereses del poder y el dinero, somos Pueblo que crea y trasciende: la melodía está en nuestro interior. Escucha la tuya, escucha la del de al lado; cantémosla. Este capitalismo voraz, que engulle y engorda mientras se pudre por dentro, quiere dominar la cultura para manipularnos. Nosotros queremos cambiar este sistema a través de la Cultura.

El pensamiento crítico, la empatía, la responsabilidad y la capacidad de imaginar, de proyectarnos hacia el pasado y hacia el futuro, son nuestras armas. La música las encarna en nosotras a través de lo intangible, cuando la hacemos con corazón, con conciencia y entre todas. Cuando lo canto, siento que es posible, me lo creo. Cuando cantamos, lo de dentro y lo de fuera sintonizan, nos curamos del miedo que ciega y ensordece, despertamos. Cuando hacemos música en la calle, sentimos que compartimos un regalo mutuo. Abrámoslo, tiremos del lazo, soplemos con fuerza, vibremos juntos, que se oiga nuestra voz.


A perfomance of La Solfónica at the March 22 "Marchas de Dignidad" …

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