Páginas: 13 (3114 palabras) Publicado: 26 de marzo de 2012
Music That Rocks the Imagination

The motivation behind Quetzal’s music is stirring dreams – and helping build communitiesThe socially conscious California rock band Quetzal was formed in 1992 and its musicians draw from a wide range of influences—from the Chicano rock of their native East Los Angeles to the traditional son jarocho of Veracruz, Mexico. Called “a world class act” by the LosAngeles Times, the group has a new album, Imaginaries, from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, a lively mix of the traditional, salsa, rhythm and blues, and international pop music. “Dreamers, Schemers,” a track from Imaginaries, celebrates Latin freestyle of the 1980s, in which musicians, DJs and partygoers bonded over the music. The magazine’s Aviva Shen spoke with the group’s founder, Quetzal Flores.How do these songs relate to each other? Do they come from different energies or are they the same?
It comes down to a need to belong. A basic human need is to belong either to a family or to a community. And so often the way that we live is contrary to that. If you close your doors, you don’t know who your neighbors are. When there’s no communication, there’s no contact. Everyone’s living infear. I think when people go out and convene, or when people go out and take situations into their own hands, it is healthy, it is cathartic. Again, it creates that imaginary space because all of a sudden you feel different, or you’re able to see something different and the possibilities are endless.

Tell me about the song “Dreamers, Schemers.”
“Dreamers, Schemers” is about this moment in the1980s, in Los Angeles, where young kids—high school kids—organized themselves into a network of promoters, social clubs, DJs and partygoers. The majority of it took place in backyards. It included a way of dressing—a style of dressing, a style of combing your hair. I would even go so far as to say it was related to what the Pachucos of the 1930s and ’40s used to do. The Pachucos had theirculture, their dress, their way of talking, the music they listened to, they danced to, the spaces for them to convene, which is very important. I think the most important part of the 1980s movement was the idea of convening, and being together in a space. Most of the time it was in a safe environment, where you knew you were going to see friends and other people from different neighborhoods anddifferent places. But for the most part it was a community-building effort.

The Fandango traditions of Veracruz, incorporate music, song and dance to generate a spirit of community. For the past decade, you have build a combined movement with musicians in Veracruz and California called Fandango Sin Fronteras or Fandango Without Borders. Is this a similar community-building “moment” to the one you’vedescribed in “Dreamers, Schemers”?
Today in Los Angeles, the Fandango is another example of that, another level of that. I grew up with progressive parents and I inherited from them a desire to organize and build community. When a group of us started building these relationships with the community in Veracruz, the Fandango was one of the most attractive elements of that. It involved the same sortof idea of convening—being in community with music, being in music with community.

What is Imaginaries about? And how does this relate to a culture of convening, or community?
The “imaginaries” are the spaces people in struggle create in order to feel human, to dream, to imagine another world. Cultures of convening around music or other things, they become vehicles, mechanisms, tools by whichyou’re able to navigate outside of the system. It’s called outward mobility. It is moving out of the way of a falling structure in transit to the imaginary. You find these spaces or vehicles everywhere right now; they’re starting to pop up everywhere. It’s going to be the saving grace of people who struggle. Another important part of these spaces is that while you transit and mobilize outside of...
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