Azur Indian Music Project

My photo
San Jose, San Jose, Costa Rica
Welcome to our music for development space where we will try to keep our friends updated on Azur Indian's latests. We also hope to engage actively with other musicians and anyone who is interested in development issues in general to hopefully reach higher grounds. So please, post your comments and share your thoughts with us! Azur Indian(アズール・インディアン)のブログへようこそ!このページでは私たちの活動をご紹介していくほか、音楽に興味がある方、国際協力・開発に興味がある方との交流の場を作っていければと考えています。みなさんの思いやコメントをこの場でぜひ共有してください!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hogar de Ancianos - San Ramón

I got inspired by Antarquito to go and visit and perform for this elderly home in San Ramón.
What a joyful activity that was!!

An added bonus to this activity was the fact that Antarquito with the help of his school friend got to talking with the Elderly and decided to write a list of values, where with one value each member of the home shared with us about why that word was important to them.

End result:

Then we got them together at the home's church.
The repertoire played:
Humoreske - Dvorak
Salut d Amour - Elgar
Meditation - Massenet
Suit No 1 - Bach

I missed playing with a piano for the accompaniment part on this event, but this time I used my BOSS loop station for the accompaniment part. The acoustic in the church was really good and it helped. Although on a funny note, when I asked at the end if they liked what they heard, a third of them said they had hearing problems but enjoyed it all the same.. they even asked for more!!
All and all, the smile on their faces was quite fulfilling.

I will post a video soon on a performance with the loop station as accompaniment to get some reaction on the use of it.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Some inspiration for our project!!

Amartya Sen (1998 Nobel Prize in Economics) defines through his criteria of “Development as freedom” a broader understanding of freedom and hence of development, not only in a limited sense of dealing with oppression but more in terms of a broader democratic access, the rights and/or the choice to participate in the definition and implementation of economic mechanisms (i.e. access to credit, protection from abject poverty, unemployment benefits) and other important basic freedoms (as he enlists them) that encircle one’s sustainable, healthy and productive life -  and that is where I find harmony in his writings, on what will distinguish a truly free individual.
There is a lot to be said about his insightful writings and research, and I recommend his book “Development as Freedom” for that, and well, is by that same token that I got to thinking about a more democratic access to culture and more specifically about performing arts and their social benefits, not only in terms of a more obvious improvement of communication skills, but also in the development of other personality traits for those who participate as creator or spectators, such as discipline, motivation, expression, enjoyment, among others..  
With this little project that we started some time ago (although recently a little dormant I might confess) I will continue to try and see about making it sustainable. There are several approaches to accomplish this, and have learned through my experience in the development of social enterprises that without ANGELS, there is a more participatory and revenue-generating approach that needs to be considered. I will keep posting on ideas for this and hopefully get some feedback on them as well.

I will in the mean time continue on my own time and resources to do as possible to bring a little more of our awareness through music project into people’s lives and revolve on the idea of the sustainability of it all.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Classical Duo Azur Indian: From Japan to Costa Rica

Friday, 14 October. 19:30-20:30
The theatre "La Palestra" Ciudad Colon.
(Next to the main church)

A one hour presentation of classical tunes, taking you from Japan, making our way through different places of our favorite composers till we end up in Costa Rica.

This is Azur Indian's last presentation since Midori's moving from Costa Rica, and it represents the culmination of Midori's Masters program at UPEACE.

The entrance is 1,000 colones which becomes maintenance budget for the theatre.

Join our concert that we are making for our friends in the renovated theater of La Palestra!!

Music is passion, live life with passion.

Azur Indian.

Viernes, 14 de octubre · 19:30 - 20:30
Teatro La Palestra, Ciudad Colón
(Boulevard principal, entre La Iglesia de Ciudad Colón y El Centro Cantonal de Cultura de Mora)

Una presentaciónde una hora con piezas clasicas, haciendo un recorrido desde Japón, pasando por los diferentes lugares de nuestros compositores favoritos hasta llegar a Costa Rica.

Este es la última presentación de Azur Indian ya que Midori se nos va de Costa Rica, además representa la culminación de sus estudios de posgrado en la Universidad para la Paz.

La entrada es de 1.000 colones que se convierte en presupuesto de mantenimiento para el teatro.

Acompañanos en un concierto para nuestros amigos en el renovado teatro de La Palestra!!

La música es pasión, vive la vida con pasión.

Azur Indian

III Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara, 7 October, 2011

On 7 October, two days after the first conert, James and I did violin and piano duet concert.

We played;
Haendel Violin Sonata A-dur,
Mozart Violin Sonata e-moll,
Kreisler Schoen Rosemarin, 
Kreisler Liebeslei, and
Kreisler Tempo de Minuet.

The audiences were not only from Ciudad Colon but San Jose or other places in Costa Rica. There were also many students coming from the University for Peace. Thank you for all coming!!

More music are coming online in a couple of days!

III Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara, 5 October, 2011

Centro Canton de Cultura (CCC), my internship host organisation held an international chamber music week from 5 to 8 October, 2011.

We welcomed James Greening-Valenzuela, a talented and brilliant violinist from San Francisco and started our chamber week with Vivaldi Four Seasons.

Youth orchestra together with Sergio Nunes, cellist and the director of CC and myself (piano) accompanied James´­ beautiful tune from his violin. 

Verano (Summer)

Invierno (Winter)

More are coming soon!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Costa Rica 4: General Information about Indigenous Issues

The general understanding of indigenous people in Costa Rica in the pre-colonial time, the most of the population belonged to Chibchan language family (Fonseca and Cooke as sited in RefWorld, 2008), such as Huetar, Cabacar and Bri Bri. It is suggested by the recent linguistic and genetic data that the occupation of Chibchan language family had lasted at least for ten thousand years. Because invasion of Mexican natives who were Nahuat-speaking to the northern Pacific region did not start until 900 BCE (RefWorld, 2008,

New diseases were brought by the Spain in 16th century when colonisation started that killed many indigenous population. Not only diseases, but also a system of slavery and mistreatment made indigenous population decreased on a big scale. This resulted for those people in moving into mountains in the southern part of the country: Talamanca region. Current indigenous population such as Cabecar and Boruca mainly live in Talamanca still and its number is estimated approximately 70,000 by the indigenous NGOs and 30,000 by the ILO. Its population consists of one per cent of the county and the total amount of Indian reserves are twenty two, and there are eight Indian groups. Mostly Maleku, Guaymi, Cabacar and Bri Bri are spoken.
In terms of Afro Costa Ricans, the first group was taken by the Spanish colonists as slaves from African continent, and then these population synthesised with local people. The second tide arrived around 1890s as Caribbean migrant workers who contributed to construct the railway and work in the banana plantation. Current Afro Costa Ricans mainly inhabit in province of Limon on the Caribbean coast and its population comprises with two per cent of the total population of Costa Rica. In 1949, Afro-Costa Ricans obtained full citizenship, while it was only early 1990s for many indigenous people. Afro Costa Ricans and the indigenous people have been always marginalised in spite of forward-moving policy making regarding minorities.
Indigenous movement in Costa Rica has warmed up relatively recent in the 1980s by the activated Minority and Indigenous NGOs. According to NGOs survey, yet 73 percent of indigenous people in the country live in distant areas where health, education, electricity and water services are lacking. Only 27 percent of the population is benefiting adequate housing (RefWorld, 2008).
In accordance with Convention ILO 169, the Legislative Assembly started working on a draft act that wiould directly influence on renew version of Indigenous Act. To do so, the draft committee consulted indigenous leaders in order to insert their voice into the draft which consists of fifty-one articles. The committee also planned to replace the name of the reservations as territories, since the used term means isolation. Despite these efforts, the process of legislation delayed, and in 2008, there was a complaint made by the indigenous group in province of Puntarenas in regard to the lacking consultation for the plans of the El Diquis hydro-electric project in the traditional territory due to the possibility of flood (RefWorld, 2008,

Costa Rica 3: Brief History

In Pre-Colombian era, present domain of Costa Rica was between Mesoamerican and Andean civilisation and that let the domain be "Intermediate Area". In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquerors arrived, and they first influenced the central and southern part of the current Costa Rican domain. At that time, a large number of indigenous people died from diseases that did not exist in Latin America. Therefore, indigenous culture is influencing modern culture of today's Costa Rica on a small scale.

In 1502, Christopher Columbus reached the eastern coast of Costa Rica and then it became to be colonised by Spain. Followed by conquerors, Spanish settlers came and remained there. Costa Rica became part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, under the viceroyalty of New Spain. Gradually, Costa Rica became isolated and poor in the Spanish Empire because of Spanish law which prohibits trade with its southern neighbour Panama. In addition to that the land of Costa Rica was poor in natural resources such as gold and silver; therefore, indigenous population that was forced to be labour small compared with other Latin American countries. This situation let Costa Rica rather autonomous and individualistic society.
     Costa Rica became independent from Spanish Empire in 1821 with other Central American countries, and became a part of the Federal Republic of Central America. In spite of newly independent provinces within Federation, border disputes soon broke out. Costa Rica was not an exception, she faced a dispute with Nicaragua over northern Guanacaste Province.
     In terms of economy, Costa Rica shifted to produce coffee to obtain benefits from selling it to Europe. Until Panama Canal was opened, it had a critical problem of transportation; however by construction of the Canal, it made it possible to open a better trade route.

In 1856, an American filibuster, William Walker who first landed in Nicaragua and proclaimed as a president of Nicaragua invaded the territory of Costa Rica that let both countries be into a war. After all, Costa Rica let by the president and Commander of Chief of the Army of Costa Rica successfully pushed Nicaragua let by Walker to the border: Rivas, Nicaragua.
In 1889, the first free and honest election was executed that contributed for maintaining peaceful democracy for a while. In spite of experiencing continuous disputes and violence taking place in Central America, Costa Rica still maintained relatively peaceful era, the only exceptions were the era of Federico Tinoco Granados in 1917-19 and the era of José Figueres Ferrer in 1948. In terms of José Figueres Ferrer, he conducted 44-day Civil War and that resulted in 2,000 casualties. After 44-day, Figueres group drafted a constitution specifying free election with universal suffrage and the abolition of the military that made Figueres a national hero. Later he won a presidential election in 1953. He contributed to the country to be famous on non-armed country worldwide still now.
In the current era, Costa Rica relies on two economic pillars: technology and eco-tourism. Such internationally famous companies as Microsoft, Motorola or Inter have operations in the country, and local companies produce computer related products and software. In terms of tourism, it is said that the income from this sector will contribute a big portion of her GDP quite soon since Costa Rica has a enormous capacity on this industry. Besides, the permanent stability of the country also influences and encourage travelers to decided Costa Rica for their destination. Aside from above two pillars, traditional agriculture dealing with coffee and bananas in particular, is consistently contributes county's income to export those products.