In my first few posts, I’ll be giving a bit of insight about the songs that is a part of my new project, A Lorca Soundscape. The music will be premiered next Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 2PM on WNYC's “Soundcheck” with John Schaeffer, and the same night at 7:30 PM at the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University and on Wednesday March 28, 2012, 9 PM at the 92Y Tribeca, which will also be a live broadcast and webcast on WBGO's “The Checkout.”
In this project, I’ve written music using some of the poems of Lorca’s famous book, Poeta en Nueva York. As a newcomer to New York, I always related to F.G. Lorca’s feelings and observations in the book. The poems are a raw commentary that describes the conflicts within the American reality of 1929-30. However, as I directly felt the impact of the economic downturn starting in 2008, Lorca’s words started ringing even more true.
Then Occupy Wall Street happened. Lorca had witnessed the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the themes in his writing reflect the struggle of that time—cheating banks, racial discrimination, the brutality of the urban landscape, and our numbness to others’ suffering—still feel eerily familiar today. I suddenly saw Poet in New York as a book of protest poems. I then determined to write my own protest songs.
I wonder what Lorca would think about this music if he were here tonight. I wonder what he’d think about New York in 2012. I think he might be disappointed at the “progress” we’ve made.