Street Symphony

La Voz de Galicia – November 9, 2018 →

Cristina PatoSometimes I think about what would happen if history were to be written by forgotten communities, by those people civilizations forgot. I think about the way this recovered memory would alter our social, cultural and political landscape.

There are so many realities remaining invisible to us, so many unknown ways of living, of understanding life. What may be invisible to me may be at the center of another person’s existence, and what I see as perfectly visible may also be invisible. Allow me to give an example on a global scale: Galicia is its people’s wealth and cultural diversity on the international stage. This is something that we, the immigrant Galicians, often explain with pride: “We have our own language, we have our own bagpipe!” And even then, it often seems nonetheless as if we are an invisible community.

Invisible are mental illnesses for those who don’t live with them, gender inequality for those on the privileged side, the vulnerable elderly who have no one to look after them, children living in poverty, those who live on the street…

The violinist Vijay Gupta was a prodigy child: he made his solo debut when he was 11 and joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic at 19. The son of parents who immigrated from India and a man with a fascinating life story, Gupta was able to make his own way in the sphere of social justice. His organization, Street Symphony, opens a magical space of musical conversation among the Sin Techo, the homeless, living in the slums of Los Angeles and musicians playing for a prestigious symphony orchestra. Street Symphony breaks walls cementing invisible, unaltered lives and promotes a change as necessary as it is essential: it makes social injustices visible through music.

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