Sound Archives preserve the musical history of Bolivia

A most needed system has finally being designed and implemented to guard our musical heritage, Anahi Cazas reports for Pagina Siete:

Preserves audio of interviews with Jaime Saenz and Augusto Cespedes

Sound Archives preserves the musical history of Bolivia

HISTORY repository managed by the Simón I. Patiño Space recently received a new collection of audio. It opened its doors to Pagina Siete.

In 1983, the composers Adrián Barrenechea, César Junaro and Luis Rico, among others, sang before more than 10,000 miners who arrived in La Paz in a protest-march and recorded the album’s vinyl “miners will come back“. That production has only released 1,000 copies and a copy recently reached the archive files at Simon I. Patiño Space.

The history of the disc, according to Luis Rico, was born when several composers that expressed to the trade union leader Juan Lechín Oquendo “that culture was also part of the struggle of the workers”. “This work is valuable because it reflects a historic moment for the country,” he said.

Like this gem, every day the archive files, created in 2003, rescues and saves sound material of the musical history of Bolivia.

“So far we have a collection of 6,747 parts catalogued in different formats and media,” revealed Ludmila Zeballos, responsible of the center of documentation in arts and Latin American literatures of the Simon I. Patiño Space.

She explained that they keep small and large format of coal and vinyl discs. They also retain cassettes and reel tapes. According to Zeballos, the oldest discs are carbon and date back to 1949. “It is a very delicate material and there is a very significant collection,” she said.

Among the treasures of the file are the works from Alfredo Domínguez, Benjo Cruz, Los Genios, even the music of older bands of Oruro [carnival].

The repository holds a collection of musical genres of Bolivian authors, such as folklore, boleros, waltzes, rock, hip hop, jazz, trova, native, electronic, classical, urban and contemporary rhythms.

Álvaro Mollinedo, the file manager, said there is a valuable collection of traditional music of indigenous Peoples and communities. “This musical material is part of the National Festival Luz Mila Patiño in Cochabamba and here we keep all the works since 1979.”

The repository also has audio of interviews from writers Jaime Saenz, Augusto Cespedes and Oscar Cerruto, among others.

In addition preserves radio dramas, children’s stories and stories about historical events in the country. “These audios were inherited from Cochabamba Portales radio”, said Zeballos.

In addition to the audio, the Archive has a collection of music scores, between copies and originals of important Bolivian composers such as Humberto Iporre Salinas, Eduardo Laredo, Miguel Angel Valda Paredes, Adrián Patiño, Nilo Soruco, Cergio Prudencio and others.

Apart from this material, preserves a collection of Latin American music of the 1960s and 1970s.

To preserve the material, the repository is under a constant cleaning process. Once the maintenance is complete, undertakes of digitizing the works and make copies on CD to be available to the public. According to Rico, this work will allow a disk such as the “miners will return” to not be forgotten.

Point of view

Composer Cergio Prudencio: This Archive type is very important to preserve the memory in any society. The work to accumulate information and transmit it, is an important process of cultural construction and, accordingly, should highlight the work of the output file of Simon I. Patiño Space. I think that this space meets this essential mission, not only because it concentrates information, but because it has the appropriate diffusion mechanisms.

It also offers the guarantee that such material will arrive to the recipients and the public in general. Also, the MUSEF has an important collection.

My kudos to Espacio Simón I. Patiño and a sound welcome to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!!

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