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MEXICO: The Bulls

Juan Reyes of Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics writes:

"One of my computer music compositions deals with the issue of Bullfighting. It was commissioned and premiered in the Florida State International Music Festival two years ago. It has also been performed at the auditorium of Luis Angel Arango Library in Bogota . This issue is always controversial because perceptions and preconceptions about "Tauromania" are mixed up. To my surprise, bullfighting, being a MACHO thing, is not so wildly admired by men in Colombia, with the exception of farm and cattle people. Women find it very attractive and appealing.

But my concern is that this subject matter has also been considered a resource or subject for many artists, composers and writers. After various discussions with people who listened to my piece and my own interpretation of a few of Garcia Lorca's poems that portray bullfighting, I ended up concluding that it is not about the animal himself but about men and the spectacle. It seems that people like being savages and return to primitive ages of mankind and of course, they like to be remembered of how animal and how wild they are.

Why did I decide to use bullfighting as a subject for one of my compositions ? My piece is not about bulls and bullfighting. It is about Garcia Lorca's descriptions, ironies between life and death and being and not being. The sand, la plaza, and gray rainy evenings in Seville, in addition to the picturesque scene as viewed by an artist."

My comment: I am puzzled by the comment on Colombian men and women. As for García Lorca, he and I lived in the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. I detested him an all he stood for.

Ronald Hilton - 2/07/01