dinsdag 20 december 2016

Mexico, a big thank you

Time flies. Around 6 December I spent a week in Mexico. Well, including all the travelling, I was around 1 week from home. The time was spent in Guadalajara at the Internet Governance Forum. Although most was work, there was music everywhere and most of the time. The Mexican government put on Mariachi bands during the opening and closing ceremonies and not simple ones either. Next to that there was music and traditional dancing over the lunches, at the socials and at restaurants where we had dinner. Mariachi is a trademark and we were indulged the whole way with the traditional music.

Photo: Wo.
I discovered that there are two forms. One is the first we encountered. Any instrument could be added to the line up that could easily run up to 15 members or more. The main ingredient that set this Mariachi form aside were three trumpets that make a lot of noise compared to the different string instrument. The second distinction is that most bandmembers sing together before the copper is let lose again.

The other form is more traditional, at least that is my guess. A smaller band, no copper, just strings and one leadsinger, joined in the harmonies by the others. This is much more heartfelt music. It goes straight to the marrow. (The copper fuelled mariachi is melancholic by nature as well, but in a very different, exuberant way.) This was the mariachi played over the lunches. The longer the conference lasted, the more time there was to enjoy the music as well.

Photo: Wo.
Last year in Brazil, the music was everywhere on the beaches, but nowhere else. Here it was everywhere. Just like Tequila, that, I'm sorry to say, horrid distilled drink that comes from a town just a 45 minutes ride from Guadalajara, called, well you've guessed that I hope.

And thus the 11th IGF became a musical show of major proportions next to a serious conference. The people of Guadalajara are proud of their Mariachi and shared their musical world with us. So a big thank you is in place. No, I will not play this music at home, but enjoyed it thoroughly while there. Feeling it, being touched by it. And I totally know where TMGS gets its horns from on that great album 'Rivers and Coastlines: The Ride'.

Now how can Geneva, where the IGF will be next year, top this? Impossible, I'm afraid. Not for all the cheese fondues in the world.


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