A small reflection about “Notas y escritos teoricos” by Silvestre Revueltas
After reading the “Notas y escritos teoricos” by Silvestre Revueltas and studying a lot about his life, I would say that he was a really interesting person with a strong personality and opinions about everything, besides being an amazing musician, of course. The thing that most impressed me was his style not only for compositions, but for life. He wasn’t afraid of not being accepted by the public and he totally didn’t care about it. He had very precises opinions for everything and many of his concepts about music and musicians are still very real and present nowadays in our music life.
It is very funny the way he starts his thoughts with “being serious” and what that means. That is the first time that I read such a specific definition about being serious, something that I never really thought about, but Silvestre Revueltas expended enough time thinking about it. His definition of being a “serious man,” in case you were wondering, is: “ All the serious men are comics and always act with charming gravity. With their measured and harmonic acts, it is possible to feel through his voice how responsible he is”( pag181). It is interesting how he describe this kind of people with that kind of precision, maybe he met a lot of musicians like this and though would be important for him to follow their steps.
Them he starts with his definitions about “Sombras de Sombras,” which means shadows and shadow musicians. Revueltas writes, “In our musical environment we have shadows everywhere; they walk playing violin and guitar” and “The reality in our musical environment is that it is very dark in the shadows but clear enough for my young eyes.” I struggled a little to understand what he was trying to say with shadows and musicians but I believe that means that musicians are comfortable doing the same always and they don`t try to get better or improve with new ideas what made him very annoyed. And even nowadays we have different opinions about music and different musicians some of them are very comfortable doing always the same and not carrying if they are improving or not or becoming better musicians they are just fine playing sometimes in weddings and that is it.
Another thing that caught my attention was the “Panorama musical de Mexico,” where Revueltas describes his thoughts about the music in Mexico in that time early 20TH and how things were changing. “Music in Mexico has only been developed over the past nine years” (page 199). That means it always was difficult to make music on Mexico, and that is the first time in his opinion that they are really having real music. “The youngers followed our steps and slowly have been creating a new musicians generation”, here is possible to see that he is very proud of the new musicians generations because there are following his steps and fighting for a better music education with different ideas “Being in an orchestra is the only place with high music education for the Mexican students” (pag205). Here he criticizes how few opportunities a Mexican musician have to develop his education saying that the only good place enough for it would be in an orchestra.
It is possible to see that things in our music world didn`t change that much when Revueltas said, “Traveling to Europa is the biggest dream for all the music students here” (page 211), that affirmation was surprising for me because nowadays we still having many musicians who would like to study in Europe. That never was my dream as a musician because I know we have different places in the world with an excellent education besides Europe, but I already met many friends who really wanted to study there.
During my studies about Revueltas I noticed some similarities with Stravinsky in his compositions, and after reading this article we can see that he really was inspired by Stravinsky. He even made comments about this, “People had different opinions about it ; some of them thought would be Stravinsky but what would he really thought about it? it was used two pianos and one gong, and the chords at first and in the end remind us Las Bodas the Stravinsky”(page 212). So here we can notice he was wondering what Stravinsky really would think about this similarities between their work since they have things in common.
To conclude, I would like to finish with his sentence “Some people in a good mood likes me and say that I have a good technique, and other ones in a bad mood says that I don`t have any , they must know better” (page 212) .Even Revueltas being famous in his biography for being a compulsive drunker we can definitely say after reading this articles that he was very observant about everything, maybe a little paranoiac with how precise he described in perfect details about what was happening in the music community in Mexico, and how he was actively working to change the musical perspective in his country by introducing new ideas and criticizing the ones he didn`t agree with and acting with a very strong position.
Johanny Veiga Barbosa