Thursday, 7 April 2011

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 Los Cuchillos Road, Gran Canaria, in 1928.


This has been my life since I was born until the day of my death.

I was only a seed when a boy called Sam planted me behind his house in Artenara in a great meadow. He took good care of me and every day, he visited me after arriving from school. Then, he used to tell me about his day, if he had had a good or a bad time and sometimes he sang to me his favourite song “Islas Canarias”. I was very happy every time I saw him. He watered me and saw how I grew more and more every day.

I couldn´t see anything yet because I was a little tree, but Sam used to tell me all the things he could see from that place (Roque Nublo, the Fraile Rock and even the Teide when the day was sunny) and used to repeat: “when you become a tall tree you will see the same things as me”.

A couple of months later, Sam started to lose hope because I didn´t grow as fast as he wanted. One day, he asked his father: “Daddy, how long does a seed need to become a tree?” His father smiled and answered: “Oh Sam, a seed needs a long time to be a tree, but don´t worry, we can go to the bookshop and  buy a book about trees in Gran Canaria, so you can know more about them”.

Ten years later...

During all this time, Sam came every afternoon to read a book sitting on my shadow. From there, we looked at the beautiful landscape that was in front of us. Moreover, we felt the different smells and how the breeze touched us. Everything was fantastic. However, one day Sam found out that  a housing estate was going to be built where I was. I knew it but Sam never told me so as not to hurt me. That was the last day Sam saw me.

Two days later, when Sam wanted to visit me, I wasn´t there. Instead of me, he found a truck, a crane and a big hole in the place where I used to be. The lanscape was never the same.

                                                           Carmen Rosa Torres García NA1

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