Monday, April 17, 2006

Spanish Trilogy - Madrid – An Idea for an Invisible Festival

The last-days-of-our-lives atmosphere that I encountered in Madrid could be easily suppressed. Laws are like ghosts that suddenly take possession of people and places. They live in frowns and in future decisions.

Spain is considered one of the loudest countries in the world. I experienced this when living in Malaga. Deep in the night the street cleaners came washing the streets with gallons of water. Early morning the market people came to unload their merchandise.

This has to stop, so says the new law. Bars have to close early. New licenses are hard to get. Concerts are harder to organise. Enrique Vela of tronicdisease, organiser and my host during the days in Madrid, told me, that in Spain everything happened two hours later. I thought this was a very comfortable position.

Maybe some people in E.U. Headquarters think differently.

In those two hours spare time an initiative has come alive and settled in a building. The Caja de Madrid, one of the biggest banks in Spain has set up a cultural centre. It gives space to a wide range of activities, among which there is experimental music.

The very good thing about it is that they book artists from the very obscurity of the marginal world of 'some kind of music' and in this way visualise the peak of an enormous pyramid.

They risk, however, to become the only visible representative to the town council, because other organisations are – almost – forced to go underground and organise 'illegal 'concerts. La Casa Encendida, as the cultural centre is called, cannot be blamed if this will happen.

But maybe they can help in some way. Concerts of some kind of music can be defined lectures in sound, or exhibitions of found sounds put together in a prelinguistic way. I performed in three different places. Legal or illegal, there still are numerous places where performances can be organised. There is no money before the concert, but afterwards thanks to donations or contributions by the public. Most of the time it can cover travel expenses and pay a falafel and a beer.

The invisible festival is a festival that exists only in its non-existence. This sentence is not the result of my ten days stay in France. Festivals are events in time and space that produce a lot of secondary noise like visitors and propaganda. They are like the tents of a peaceful army that occupies the city for a restricted period. They need visibility for reasons that every one can make up for them.

An invisible festival can last a whole year. It can be held in different places indoor or outdoor. It can be held in places that already are organising concerts for soundicians. It can become a kind of ghost, unlike the ghost that occupies bars and forces the owner to lock the doors or close down for ever. It can become a voice that suddenly goes around town. It can become visible and make some noise.

An invisible festival can even be sponsored by the Caja de Madrid. They only need to contact those who are already working in the margins and give them something like 100 euro a month. Money makes the world go around; it also helps the travelling soundician to arive at places.


perfoming in Madrid:

http://www.wadematthews.info

www.tronicdisease.org

http://www.menos1.com/

http://www.lacasaencendida.com

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