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[final thesis VI] Taller de Músics Barcelona - Comparative Management of Cultural Activities in Europe

[final thesis VI] Taller de Músics Barcelona - Comparative Management of Cultural Activities in Europe

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Published by mcolarossi
Part 6 of my final thesis on "International Comparative Management of Cultural Activities. Public, Profit and Non-profit Music Schools in Europe: the cases of CEPAM Reggio Emilia, ACM Guildford, Kulturskolan Stockholm, Datenklang Berlin and Taller de Músics Barcelona." (appendix: the Berklee College in Boston)
Part 6 of my final thesis on "International Comparative Management of Cultural Activities. Public, Profit and Non-profit Music Schools in Europe: the cases of CEPAM Reggio Emilia, ACM Guildford, Kulturskolan Stockholm, Datenklang Berlin and Taller de Músics Barcelona." (appendix: the Berklee College in Boston)

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Published by: mcolarossi on Aug 31, 2010
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09/24/2010

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94
5.Taller de Músics Barcelona
“…converting the street to a square, they kept the nameand next to the new sign is still the old one:“Calle de la Duda, Distrito III”. This allows us to go on livingnext to doubt (dubte in Catalan, duda in Spanish),which is a condition for keeping learning.”
1
Lluís Cabrera
Founder and Director-General of Taller de Músics Barcelona
una escola. un barri. una ciutat.
Everything started in the Raval district
2
, in the “Ciutat Vella”, the old part of the city of Barcelona, in a rather small ground-floor warehouse that had formerly served to store books.
3
The yard in front of the School is a public place and that has marked its relationship with theneighbourhood. It is an “agora” in the old style, a meeting place within an area in which, notlong ago, many people were still living on the margin of society.
4
When Taller de Músicsbegan its activities in the autumn of 1979
5
, the Catalan musicalindustry was going through a metamorphosis of considerable degree, evidenced by themassive transfer of its decision making and production centres to Madrid. As an inevitableresult of this situation, musical creativity in Catalonia experienced a profound shake-up andthe pop and jazz musicians in the region went into hibernation or undertook professionalretraining, which transformed a whole generation artistically cut short, into another made upof dedicated teachers.In parallel with that, there was in Barcelona at that time a multitude of foreign musiciansfrom very different places: from Germany, Yugoslavia, Japan and, predominantly, South
1
Lluís Cabrera, “
Singing walls
”: an article appeared on the magazine of the municipality of Barcelona andavailable on its internet website.
2
SGA (General Association of Authors) have shot a film on the Taller history in 2005.
3
“It was in the year 1979 and very few people had faith in the future of such an atypical Music School, whichgathered into a small, rather uncomfortable space no less than three classrooms, one secretary and a bunch of students aged between twenty-five and thirty.” (taken from “
 Barcelona Metropolis Mediterrania
” n. 44,available on the website)
4
“From the Taller de Músics we can explain the influence our organisation has had since 1979 in the changesand transformations experienced in the triangle formed by the Príncep de Viana, Requesens and Cendra streets,in the area bordering with Ronda de Sant Antoni, Riera Alta and Sant Antoni Abat. Twenty-five years ago, thisenclave was still known as belonging to Barcelona’s “barrio chino”. The Taller is basically a music school but itis also a bar club (Jazz Sí), a record company, an artistic production company as well as a group deeply rootedfrom its very start-off in the neighbourhood’s social problems and its wish for progressing and achieving all thathas to do with human relations in a quarter that was on the brink of marginalisation.” (Lluís Cabrera, “
Singingwalls
”)
5
The name means ‘Music Workshop’: “The idea was to set up a workshop in the old style, one of thoseworkshops where you registered as an apprentice and were trained to become a skilled worker.” (Lluís Cabrera,
Singing walls
”)
 
95America (Chile, Argentina and Uruguay). From these emerged the initial teaching nucleus of the Taller de Músics. This geographical eclecticism meant that for all of them jazz acted as asound bridge, while at the same time supplying the School with two of its most distinctivecharacteristics: openness to varied stylistic aims and natural tendency to freedom.
6
Taller de Músics(Music Workshop), is an open and generic name that well expresses thesecharacteristics. Although jazz has always represented the backbone of the School, many otherbranches have emerged during the years, dedicated to rock, Afro-Cuban music and,especially, flamenco, a style which has become an essential facet of the mature stage of theTaller.When the school completed, not without efforts, its first six months of teaching activity,the creation of the First International Jazz Seminar (Banyoles, May-June 1980) became themanifestation of a wish for permanent change and internationalization.
7
Many people from Barcelona and around, in spite of their pop allegiance, attended thecourses and jam sessions, and so did dedicated music students from other parts of Spain, fullyaware that the Taller de Músicswas where there could live the spirit of Orpheus, so oftensuffocated in the conservatories.The years 1979-1983 represented a phase of tremendous dynamism and change in theinternal history of the Taller. There began a period of more regulated and complex teachingstructure and a generation of musicians grew up, who are today considered as the essentialnucleus of current Spanish jazz.The middle of 1992 saw the opening of “Jazz Sí”, a live music club where the schoolbecomes a stage.
8
 Feeding on its suburban roots, the School has grown into an inexhaustible nursery formusicians, and its sphere of influence keeps extending through an uninterrupted flow of breathtaking activities: music festivals, meetings and seminars, concerts, special events, discproductions, assignments, publications, promotion works, etc.Today the Taller can state with true pride that there is no Spanish jazz musician between20 and 40 years of age who has not, at one time or another, had something to do with Tallerde Músics, be it through its classrooms or by taking part in one of its seminars. At the sametime, Catalan flamenco, one of the most interesting expressions of the time, blossomed overSpain, is structured around courses, concert activities, and festivals organised by the Taller.Besides this, today there are more than 20 Schools operating in Catalonia, maintaining the
6
“The arrival to the triangle of the Taller’s initiating group, was a meeting of musicians from different cultures.This mix was the most emblematic exponent of the organisation’s birth. This fact was neither planned norsought, it simply happened naturally as a result of the circumstances given at that moment of political changeand especially of the will of opening and welcoming creators and artists from all over the world and the hopeshared by all in Barcelona that the new times would bring about new realities. The group was united by jazz, alanguage that allowed them to carry on their pedagogic work while everyone still could introduce his distinctivestyle. Catalans, Argentineans, Chileans, Uruguayans, Yugoslavs, Japanese and Germans conformed a mosaicwhere jazz was not an end but a mean.” (Lluís Cabrera, “
Singing walls
”)
7
“This meeting of cultures, this platform of diversity had no distinctive label back in 1979. Today it has the oneof interculturality. ” (Lluís Cabrera, “
Singing walls
”)
8
See “Product” in § 5.4

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