The Santa Ana Sentinel

Pop-Leaning Recycling

Posted in Arts & Culture, Opinion by Omar Ian Ávalos on November 2, 2011

The recycling of pop “culture” causes people to set the cultural bar low.

There is no cultural edification or progress where the latest top 40 trends or worse, the looping of old school oldies, are promoted. It’s much easier to look at the surface that is pop music because it is what everybody knows versus having to learn about important musical achievements of the past.

Why is it important to know about this body of historical culture? Because it is a part of a people’s history. How can anyone or any organization claim to be a source of information on “culture” when an incomplete picture of it is given?

This coincides with the level of cultural sophistication and education of a people, I’ll refer to my own Mexican culture in this example.

Again, there is more to Mexican and Latin culture than mariachis, son jarocho, cumbias, or Shakira, Juanes, David Bisbal or you name it.

The trick is to identify the artists that you can’t name, like Manuel de Zumaya, Ignacio de Jerusalem, Arturo Márquez, Silvestre Revueltas, Manuel M. Ponce and many others.

I made this point to the go-to lecturer on Mexican culture Gregorio Luke after a lecture that he did in Santa Ana at Sonia’s dance studio on Broadway about ten years ago.

I asked him, “When are you going to lecture on Manuel M. Ponce?” I asked him that in response to a lecture that he announced on Agustín Lara. To this day, he still lectures on Lara.

I asked him and I asked Carl St. Clair, the conductor of the Pacific Symphony, one day that I saw him at Norm’s restaurant on Main street. I asked him when he would perform the music of Ponce. It took nearly seven years for that to happen.

So I asked them and now I ask anyone and any organization and the Register’s Latino Link. When are you going to inform others of this body of cultural history? What are you doing about it?

Classical music may not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least let your readers know what’s out there, beyond the typical recycling of top Latin pop and the like, and some of them may benefit from that information.


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