After spending a few days together in a rather tropical and humid atmosphere of sweat in a small library in the fortress high above the soaked heads of the Salzburg Festival audience, reflecting on the non- transmissibility of form, something gradually started to appear to me: This something was a actually missing. Like a contactor that makes the fan finally spin or the Dj´s pulse, that knows how to combine one vinyl with the next.
So, there was: Salzburg. Jedermann. Sound of Music. The rattling of the concrete mixer in front of the library window. An ecstatic night on a pole dance. And still, this lack of something on my mind…
San Basilio de Palenque is a small village on the foothills of the Montes de María on the Colombian Caribbean coast. Of the innumerable palenques, which are communities founded by African cimarrones during the colonization of the Americas, San Basilio de Palenque is the oldest one- it was founded in 1691, more than 100 years before Haiti became the first country in Latin America to gain its independence through a successful revolution of slaves- and at the same time the only one that survived. The afrodescendient community preserve a strong oral tradition, their own creole language, they bury their deaths with the Lumbalú funeral ritual, use traditional medicine and the aesthetics of a hairstyle as a feminist weapon to liberate themselves of the colonial yoke, both as a geographic map towards liberation or a survival mechanism to hide seeds and gold within the plaits.
But- and with this I come back to my initial point- they have another strong mechanism of resistance: the rhythm of African music, the Creole Champeta and Terapia. They build their own monumental sound systems – the Picó – and have their record studios and a strong aesthetic idea of rhythm and visual appearance.
So, there you go, this is a soundtrack for this compendium: Music as a turbo- transmittable form.