Lucie Skeaping presents a concert of Latin American music from Ensemble Elyma at Greyfriars' Kirk in Edinburgh, as part of the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival.
This concert attempts the impossible: to reconstruct the sound of a colonial fiesta, in this case the Fest of Our Lady of Guadelupe, in the city of La Plata (also called Chuquisaca, and now known as Sucre, in Bolivia).
The Latin American fiesta was, and remains the meeting-point par excellence of a variety of cultures, practices, expressions and people.
It takes place under the guise of a religious celebration, but it is open to other kinds of expression and sometimes generates cultural tensions and contradictions.
The openness of the fiesta blurs the boundaries between sacred and profane, individual and collective, and momentarily lifts social and moral barriers.
In other words, the fiesta creates a space and a time that are qualitatively distinct.
Much that is impossible in everyday life may become a reality during the fiesta.
By the 18th Century, the Guadelupe festivities lasted for ten days and included a striking succession of events of various kinds.
On the eve of the feast, the picture of Our Lady of Guadelupe was removed from its chapel and brought into the cathedral, where it remained until the end of the celebrations.
For the next ten days, Masses were said almost without interruption all through the morning and daily Salve services were sung in the afternoon.
The latter consisted of a Latin or bilingual Salve Regina, the Litany of Loretom and sometimes also a motet of villancico.
This concert comprises four of these services, all of which present one or two large pieces by the composer Roque Jacinto de Chavarria, as well as smaller motets or villancicos.
Lucie Skeaping presents a concert given by Ensemble Elyma at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival.