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MEXICO CHALLENGE Day 2 (The Universal Language)

Today was simply amazing. After classes today, our host-nietos were hanging out at the house again and we talked with them over lunch about pets and siblings (there are three of them and they look so much alike… just slightly different ages). After la comida, we played a rather intense game of Jenga before I had to go back to school to do research for my History paper. Alas, the library was closed (I totally forgot it was Saturday), but I was able to find a really good source online. I plan on talking to Charlie on the way to Mexico City tomorrow about my subject and quoting him as a source in my paper.

The concert tonight was phenomenal. Hillary and I saw the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa at the Teatro Ocampo in the center of Cuernavaca. The first two pieces, Inti Raymi and Poema Interior Para Violin y Orquesta, were both by Argentinean composer, Esteban Benzecry. Inti Raymi is the Incan Festival of the Sun, and the piece itself really reflected the liveliness and excitement of the celebration of the empire’s most important god.

My favorite piece by far, la Poema Interior Para Violin y Orquesta, had me on the edge of my seat for a full 20 mins. The soloist, Pastor Solis, was one of the most talented violinists I’ve seen. Not only did he effortlessly float from note to note, but he could hover on a single high note and make you want to cry. Just as his solo brought you to tears, he would change suddenly, and without warning, to a high energy alliance with the whole orchestra. He put so much of himself into his solo, I could spot his facial expressions from the balcony and I counted on him to tell me the story of the piece. The whole orchestra really put all that they had into their playing. There were some parts where I thought the violin section was going to fly out of their seats they were playing with so much enthusiasm. I giggled to myself a little as the conductor nearly toppled over his podium, giving direction to three sections at once and giving each equal attention and gusto.

The whole performance really reminded me what it was like to perform with an ensemble. While in Latin America, I’ve been separated from choir and singing for the last nine weeks. I had almost forgotten what it was like to be so involved in a piece that you lose yourself. Music is kind of funny in that way. It doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish, English, Greek or Farsi, Music moves you. It’s a universal language that speaks to everyone (but you can still interpret it in many different ways and never be wrong).   Music is the only place I’ve actually been able to lose myself and find myself at the same time. My mood swings with the different movements  and I hang on every note. Music has the incredible ability to bring people together whether it’s an orchestra concert, a party, or even karaoke. It’s something that everyone can relate to and most people can understand. Music knows no borders. I’ve been in Latin America for nine weeks and I’ve heard everything from Chopin’s Waltz in C Sharp Minor to Black Eyed Peas’s “I’ve Gotta Feeling” (the last one is actually really popular down here).  I think it’s incredible how something so personal can be so universal at the same time. Tonight was so incredible… and I can’t believe I forgot my program at the café we went to after the concert…

Tomorrow is Day 3 and Mexico City! See you soon.

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