These are not times of silence. Technology, industry and the market have supplied a wide array of devices that let us comfortably enjoy any message or piece of the audiovisual spectrum as we jog, study, walk, think, sleep, eat or dance.
There is an efficient design for every occasion. The truth is that we all, willing or unwillingly, are becoming increasingly attached to what could become a new kind of addiction: Music.
If the consumption of audiovisuals in hours per individual a day could be measured, music would certainly stand first compared to the rest of the arts. Is that a danger? Is the balance broken? What is wrong with literature, painting, theater, ballet and even with the movies?
Every art requires concentration and time to enjoy it, but something different happens with music. It manages to coexist with other activities, by repetition, by adapting itself, by mutating. The fact that the perception of music is not necessarily lineal and it may be arrayed by packages in time, has allowed for launching it in any space, any scale and any time.
The dissemination of music, whether transformed into delight or nightmare, has indisputably become a complex phenomenon. However, musical authors are not oblivious to these changes in the contemporary world.
The choruses admittedly create important cultural sediments in the consciousness of individuals. A concrete example may be found in a funny Cuban song “El Yerberito” (The herbs seller). The ideas are repeated: “I bring “caisimon” for the swelling, I bring basil for skinny people, I bring “paths opener” for your fortune, and I bring “vetiver” for those who can’t see.”
They are ideas that light up in your memory and stay.
The Modern Yerberito
Author: Nestor Mili
Se oye el rumor de un pregonar
Que dice así:
El yerberito llegó
Traigo yerba santa pa’ la garganta
Traigo jeilimon pa’ la hinchazón
Traigo abrecaminos pa’ su destino
Traigo la ruda pa’ el que estornuda
También traigo albahaca pa’ gente flaca
El apasote para los brotes
El vetiver para el que no ve
Y con esta yerba se casa usted
A vendor’s cry can be heard
This is what he says,
The herbs seller has come
I bring sacred herb for the throat
I bring jeilimon for the swelling
I bring paths opener for your fortune
I bring coarse grass for the sneezer
I also bring basil for skinny people
Apasote is meant to stop the outbreaks
Vetiver is for those who cannot see
And this herb will get you married
I do not mean to raise an argument on its contents or on ways to make music from the past. I do not seek either to evaluate the boom of lightheartedness that has managed to prevail in varied audiovisual spaces.
The point is we ought to realize that there is a need to supply genuine information that contributes substantial contents to the music yet to be made. We must use the tremendous force of a weapon that can penetrate the crowds and make them think and enjoy with musical ideas.
By: Tito A. Nuñez
Translated by: Pedro A. Fanego