Friday, 24 September 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Fair Tunes (Issue 5)

In a generation where many of us salve our consciences and support our causes by joining a Facebook group or at most signing a petition, we were deeply moved by the passion, vision, dedication and commitment of the Fair Tunes crew. Taking all the experience, inspiration and love from lives spent in and around music and distilling them into the driving positivity of community activism, Fair Tunes mission is to forge futures and opportunities through music in some of the world’s most disadvantaged and neglected communities.

How does a young, passionate artist find FairTunes in say Columbia and what would be the criteria of their acceptance into the programme?

The last studio we built we left in the hands of ‘Por Nuestros Medios’, so the people that were able to use the studio were either conneceted with their teaching programmes or from the local community. Essentially our idea is for local people to be able to utilize the studios to be able to learn new skills. But we also want to offer musicians an opportunity that they might otherwise not have. For instance our next studio is going to be built in a community centre based in the centre of Bogotá. Our key idea for this is that it will be available for musicians to use from all over the city, particularly those who have been involved in other projects we are connected with. Essentially we want to provide a service for as many people as possible: whether that be on a local community level or providing a centrally located recording facility available to all.

Playing Devils advocate – it is often said that the arts are something you have to be able to afford. What are the possibilities of making a living as a musician in Columbia as opposed to other routes to possible financial security? 

I’m not sure whether financial security exists in Colombia outside the upper echelons of society. What the arts, and in this case music, do is allow people to be able to find a voice with which to express themselves. In a country like Colombia this is of particular importance due to the fact that it is so difficult for people without money to be heard.

How do the studios themselves work? 

Basically the idea in Columbia is for the small studios that we build to be used for both teaching programs and the recording of music. We are going to be building a better quality studio in the centre of Bogotá that will function primarily as a recording facility. Therefore, the people who work in the smaller studios first can then progress on to work in the better quality studio. However, this is what is happening in Bogotá and is what was decided on collectively between us and a group of local people working with us over there. In other places we will have to assess the local needs to decide on what is the best for the local community.

Do established artists spend time in your project studios teaching and collaborating? 

At the moment on a local level yes, but we are looking at ways to be able to take international musicians to work with people and produce music. Can music set you free both internally and externally? This is an existential question that has a subjective answer. For musicians and music lovers the answer is undoubtedly yes. I have met people who have relatively nothing, financially speaking, who find music a liberating experience from the travailles of life. What I mean to say is that music can give strength and real hope and alternative to people on a variety of levels.


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