In the enchanting realm of music, Augusto César Alarcón Jiménez, a maestro at the Faculty of Music (FaM) of the UNAM, unveils the wizardry of sound manipulation. According to this musical sorcerer, the ultimate goal is to transport listeners to a state akin to the brink of slumber. “If someone dozes off, mission accomplished! Because, among the myriad roles a musician can assume, inducing relaxation is a mystical triumph,” he confides in a recent interview.
Musical bliss, it seems, is not just about playing notes; it's about orchestrating a symphony that nudges the audience into a serene dreamscape. “To make someone relax, forget their troubles, and maybe even snore a little – that's the true essence of our craft,” declares the university violinist, adding a touch of whimsy to the pursuit of musical nirvana.
Beyond Notes on Paper
The complexity of music lies not just in creating sound but in translating ideas and symbols onto paper. It's a Herculean task, admits our virtuoso violinist. Making people weep, inducing euphoria, or unleashing joy after a concert — these are the audacious aims of a musical maestro. Alarcón Jiménez emphasizes that music is a universal language, a soul-soothing balm, a cultural concoction designed to evoke myriad emotions.
In the hallowed halls of FaM, Western music takes center stage, but the maestro reminds us of the importance of tapping into our roots — the pre-Hispanic rhythms that resonate through our cultural veins. As an academic, Alarcón Jiménez encourages his students to embrace the richness of Mexican musical heritage, blending European concert music with the folkloric tapestry that defines our nation.
From Son Huasteco to the World Stage
As a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Alarcón Jiménez dons the mantle of a musical ambassador. In the United States, they've showcased the richness of Mexican compositions, from Arturo Márquez's rhythmic Danzón No. 2 to Moncayo's toe-tapping Huapango. “In a concert, we are more than performers; we are cultural emissaries, spreading the sonic magic of our homeland,” he declares.
While acknowledging the existence of other institutions providing stellar musical training, Alarcón Jiménez extols the comprehensive grooming provided by the National University. FaM equips its students not just to play instruments but to become orchestral, chamber, or soloist virtuosos. It's a breeding ground for musical versatility, producing graduates ready to enchant audiences worldwide.
Symphony for Everyone
The maestro laments the lingering taboos around chamber music and symphonic orchestras, often considered exclusive realms for the elite. He urges society to break free from these preconceptions, asserting that these musical experiences are for everyone. Whether it's the Nezahualcóyotl or Bellas Artes, he beckons all to embrace the openness to experience the profound beauty of orchestrated melodies.
As International Musicians' Day approaches on November 22, Alarcón Jiménez urges everyone to embrace the day with gusto. Reflecting on the universal significance of music, he suggests, “If you know a musician, congratulate them, give them a big hug for the profession and the life they've chosen.”
Why November 22, you ask? Well, blame it on Saint Cecilia, declared the Patron Saint of Musicians by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584. She's frequently depicted with a musical instrument, a lyrical companion like a harp or a lyre. Legend has it that when her father married her off against her will, she sang her heart out to God. Europe caught onto the musical revelry in 1570, and the celebration rippled across the globe, reaching Latin America in the early 20th century.
As we approach the day dedicated to these sonic sorcerers, let's raise a toast to the musicians who serenade our souls, coax us into slumber, and paint the world with the hues of their harmonies. Happy International Musicians' Day!