There's nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it. - Mickey Hart
Music can change the world because it can change people. - Bono
Did you know, that some of the most talented people today, are not only the ones who take the stage with bright lights and fill stadiums with people, but they are the ones who are in our neighborhoods around the corner in the sun and under shade playing for who ever is willing to listening.
During our recent trip to León Guanajuato, MX. my wife and I made several visits to downtown, el Centro. A place filled with local people, tourists, business folks, beautiful architecture and very talented people of art, crafts, food and street performers. As we made our way through the central, I couldn't help but notice a sound of music coming from up ahead. A style of music that I was not familiar with. As we came closer to the sound we saw a young man performing beautiful native music. He played the flute, the classical guitar, a foot drum and a tambourine all at once. As we continue walking around the Centro I wanted to come back around again to meet this young musician. I came up to him and introduced myself. I told him how much I really enjoyed listening to his music. His name was Edgar, a local musician from León. What caught my attention the most was his flute. What kind of flute are you playing I asked? he said "it is a panflute." These kinds of flutes are known as one of the most emblematic instruments of Andean music. I asked him where he purchased it? he said, "I made it and it took me about five years to learn how to make." I continued with more questions, what style was this music he was sharing with us? "My style of music was inspired by the music of Los Andes."
This style of music comes from the Andes region in South America. They are chants and melodies that come from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples who lived roughly in the area of the Inca Empire prior to European Contact. This early music then was fused with Spanish music elements. Learn more about the Andean music here: History of Los Andean Music
I couldn't help myself but to ask, is it possible that you could make me one. He said "Yes." How much I asked, he said "$50 dollars and I can have it ready for you to pick up before you return back home to Portland, OR." So, a day before heading back to Portland, OR I returned to the Centro one last time to meet up with Edgar that morning so that I could pick up my new one of a kind flute. All I can say is, it's beautiful! Edgar made sure to teach me how to hold and play my new panflute along with some exercises that could help me. Let's just say, I need some practice and need to build some more stomach muscles to sustain some of those longer notes.
Romans 12:6 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us..."
After taking some time to talk with Edgar, I realized that this young man was not only talented, but he was also kind hearted and very passionate about his music and the freedom he experiences every time he plays. Edgar shared that music for him was like "energy" that comes from within that has the power to effect the world around him. That music is life-giving to the heart and to the soul. Edgar is currently recording his first demo of his own music along with some Andes originals and I wish him nothing but the best. May his music touch and inspire many other people from all walks of life as it did with mine. I look forward to staying in touch with Edgar.
Psalms 150:4-6 "Praise him with tambourine and dancing! Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute! Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord, praise the Lord."
I walked away from this experience not only making a new friend and walking away with a really cool hand crafted panflute, but I returned home being reminded of God's unlimited creativity and how he has uniquely gifted each of us. Thank you Lord, for the beauty, the creativity, the passion, and sound you have gifted the people of my culture with. You can see more pictures of Edgar and Me on my Facebook/martintjrmusic. Take a listen to more sounds of Los Andes or Leo Rojas.
Music is alive and everywhere. I hope your listening.