When Hurricanes Irma and María hit the island of Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017, they sent shockwaves through both physical infrastructure and social life which show few signs of abating. Activists, artists, intellectuals and the public alike recognize that, now more than ever, hurricanes have the potential to dramatically alter the economic and cultural life of the island. They have realized, too, that in order to confront the reality of intensified hurricane seasons (brought on by climate change), we must make recourse to scientific expertise, political will and the vibrant world of the arts.
In the realm of music, bridges must be built between (on the one hand) the most rigorously trained musicians from the world's myriad classical traditions, and (on the other) environmentalist efforts that effect change at the grassroots level. M&E's Conservatory Dialogues works to strengthen those bridges, directly inspired by Puerto Rico's needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Season 2017.
The Conservatory Dialogues' first milestone was serving in an advisory and collaborative role for a symposium called Conciencias Sonoras: Música, Sonido y el Media Ambiente. The symposium was organized at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico (CMPR) in April 2018. The three-day conference brought together classical musicians, ethnomusicologists, and community leaders involved in healing and activism post-disaster. Since then, M&E has established relationships with an ever-widening network of faculty at the CMPR, performers and conductors in South America, as well as with distinguished composers from throughout the Caribbean who pull from a rich array of musical sources.
M&E has engaged in discussions with Conservatory faculty that probe the connections between: the fundamentals of music; the planet's ecological rhythms; and the environmental aspects of classical, folk, and popular music. The Dialogues have included composers, ethnomusicologists, performers, music theorists and music therapists. We continue to seek local and international participants in these fields. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.