A lovely end to a very sad day


As my brave friend Enzo would say: happiness … is a choice.

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  1. Very moving, beautiful stuff. I’ve seen videos of opera singers singing masterpieces in farmers’ market in Europe. It reminded me of that.
    I did not happen because someone issued a decree; it happened because a large number of people worked hard and long hours practicing, each one of them with a defined role and commitment to a collective goal. That’s how you build things human: cities, schools, streets, services. And what was the background to the street performance? If you watch the video again, after the main performance, you see the musicians hugging people, and people taking pictures to make the moment last. And then you see the potholes in the pavement, tons of them. And the decay in the facade of buildings, and the neglect around. The contrast between the discipline and dedication of the musicians and the dereliction of whoever is responsible for maintaining roads and building is stark. Going back to the European farmers’ market, you see a background that is on par with the beauty of the music. And I bet no one issued a decree to have the market in great shape.

    • But doesn’t that kinda misses the main point of the idea behind the meme? I mean, the original European video, IMO, also meant to show that what matters is people’s willingnes and initiviative to work together towards a meaningful goal, that the state, crumbling as it is under the weight of debt and corruption in most of Europe also, is simply irrelevant. That after all, there is hope that even if the whole thing comes down crashing, we will be able to re-build society from the ashes of the old statist paradigm, on the basis of free association among truly autonomous individuals. Yes, the facades of the buildings and potholes on the streets are not a predominant part of the urban landscape in Europe just yet, but the reason why the meme spread the way it did surely has to do with the fact that Europeans are sick and tired of their political class as well, to the point that they’re also starting to question the legitimacy of the state on a more fundamental basis than the usual hope for more capable and honest people to run the government.

      • I like how Venezuelans show their love for music. I rejoice at seeing how mixed the people in Venezuela are.
        Still, I am sicked by the Venezuelan obsession with flags and nationalistic stuff (notice in the song the reference to a Venezuelan woman with a particular skin colour). If at least we had the civil courage Norwegians – also flag lovers – had. I am sorry, but I associate those flag jackets too much with the politics of Venezuela these days. The crazier it gets, the more everyone is showing he is more Venezuelan than the other. My observation has been that those who are most creative to any given country are the last ones to be wrapping themselves all the bloody time with their country’s flag. That means a Gabriela Montero or a Fernández Morán versus a collaborateur Dudamel or a Diosdado Cabello. I would have enjoyed the video more if they didn’t have those jackets and if I knew they were totally appalled at the CADIVI dollars and would act accordingly.

        • I believe the jackets were the uniform of the Sistema before it got politicized.
          Chavez started using them after Dudamel and the orchestra won the Gustav Mahler Award in germany in 2044, and Chevz scooped the Sistema as it was his creation.

        • Kep, For once, I am with you! I, too, rejoice on how mixed the people of our county are – what a beautiful mixture! On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with the flags. As others have commented, the tricoloured jackets have been around for a while and are usually put on by the members of the Simon Bolivar orchestra when they play a piece of Venezuelan music, usually Alma Llanera, in international concert halls.

  2. I liked the “Monty Culebra Productions,” which of course is a play on the “monte y culebra” view of what is outside Caracas.
    I didn’t mind the jackets, but thought they might be hot and uncomfortable in Zulia.

  3. Very nice video,however the uniforms need to go( they give off an air of schmaltz( they are not at the Olympics), and they could find newer songs as we hear the same ones over and over.The Venezuelan song book is rich and there is no need for so much repetition.

    The good part I see is the celebration of Venezuelaness, which I think any pueblo needs in order to find both the desire and the strength to carry on and improve circumstances.Too much criticism without praise can have the opposite result we look for.

    All in all I enjoyed it, from the patriotic viewpoint more than anything else.

  4. The Vzlan flag jackets have become a trademark of sorts, as is the name: Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. They go with the performance territory — but not always — mostly to foreign audiences, easily seduced by the novelty, unfamiliar as they are with seeing such mass vitality among young performers of classical music. It’s like the Pops unfurling the ole red, white and blue when it plays The stars and Stripes Forever. Now try to criticize that motherhood. Or, it’s like the worldwide marketing by products that have received approval by the British royal family; on the label, you’ll always note that approval, often with a coat of arms, plus a little Union Jack.

    Usually, the Vzlan flag jackets are donned at the end segment to a musical program, equivalent in theatrical terms to Act 3. However, solo performances away from the SBYO contingent, as in Dudamel’s conducting for the LA Symphony and Edicson Ruiz’s double bass playing for the Berlin Phil, don’t count on the uneasy-for-some flag attire.

    All criticism should be welcomed, particularly since El Sistema makes claims (something along the lines of Abreu’s ‘the teaching of music to the poor eradicates poverty since it provides a spiritual dimension’), upon which it receives hefty financing, most recent tranches from the IADB. A study to quantify the cost-benefits of that claim is to be published, supposedly, at the end of this year, by that same multilateral. And this is necessary, particularly since El Sistema is now being copied by other countries, while dipping into their national revenues.

    Personally I hope Abreu’s wishy-washy claims are true. On the other hand, I’d be interested in quantifiable analyses of his vague statements. Raising questions and nailing down knowledge is not a bad thing.

  5. It made me cry. I left Venezuela eight years ago, while I have visited a few times a year, I consider myself a fully-fledged exiled and as Gustavo Coronel said recently, the Venezuela I knew is now dead.

  6. I don’t have words for explain my feelings I .love that song . It was a symbol for all the people who walked for a cause. Looking this wonderful orchestra so young .I feel very proud .some DAY we will see our country free of hate and evil.This is the best proof ,this concert on the street singing a beautiful song of freedom and love for this country


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