On Monday, May 1st, Professor Celia López-Chávez presented “Migration and Music: The Countries of Spanish Composer Manuel Areu (1845-1942)” in the festival Arts & Music of New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra.
Why “music and migration”? According to the 2011 special issue “Music and Migration” of the Academic Journal Music and Arts in Action “focusing on artists in general, and musicians in particular, allows us to render more visible ‘other types’ of migrant stories which are generally more positive, or at least more multifaceted.” Very often the decision of musicians to migrate is determined by political or socio-economic problems, but it is also driven by a strong sense of power and self-determination. Is in this context that this presentation analyzes the music and artistic life of Manuel Areu who from Spain (his country of birth) moved to Cuba, Mexico, the United States, and finally back to Mexico where he died. His musical works and theatrical pieces reflect the experiences he had in four different countries that impacted all aspects of his life and artistic work, as well as those of his children whose artistic lives were also transformed by mobility and border crossing.
Nadia Kiwan, Ulrike Hanna Meinhof, “Music and Migration: A Transnational Approach”, Music and Arts in Action (3:3), 2.