HAVANA TIMES – Every day, I hear on the radio or the TV that a Cuban musician gave or is going to give a concert online. I think this is great and I applaud them. Artists have the need to create and share their creations with an audience.
I regularly attend concerts and I follow many Cuban artists. However, I have no way of accessing these online concerts, and I have the impression they are aware that it is pretty much impossible for their audience here on the island to see them or hear them when they perform on digital platforms.
I don’t have a single friend or acquaintance in Cuba who can tell me that they’ve seen or heard an online concert by a Cuban musician.
This forces me to ask who exactly our artists are playing their concerts for. I like that our musicians are being seen by the entire world, but it bothers me that we Cubans can’t enjoy them and that we have to settle for watching these concerts on TV (in the best of cases), which aren’t broadcast all too often.
I have spoken about this with a few people and I’m stunned by how resigned they are in their acceptance of this. Well, I won’t resign and with the opportunity HT gives me here with this space, I’d like to make it clear that I believe it’s disrespectful towards us. Starting with our musicians and the spaces that promote them, it would be better if they didn’t announce concerts we can’t see, knowing that for anyone living abroad it is quite easy.
It’s hard to understand this if you haven’t lived in Cuba. But I do live here, where the same people taking away my right to enjoy my country’s culture firsthand also live.
CMBF (a classical music station), the Felix Varela chair and headquarters of sacred music in Cuba, located in Old Havana and the Estudio 9 program, hosted by Enrique Perez Jaime, took the initiative to broadcast the 2nd edition of the Musica Nova Cuban church music festival – which had musicians and composers perform including the maestro Juan Piñera, Jose Salmentero to name a few – in five of its programs.
For five days, I was able to enjoy music and conferences between 2 and 4 PM, which I was very grateful to the CMBF radio station for as a listener and fan of this music. The station also sent links on WhatsApp so people could access their videos.
I have heard that the Internet holds all the good and evil in the world. I can say the same about books, ever since the press was invented. And just like books, I’d like to say that the Internet is neither good nor bad, but useful and much-needed.