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With Alí Arango - Portraits in Times of Pandemic

Guitarras Alhambra asks Alhambra artists from all over the world what they think and how this pandemic has affected their lives.

Interview with Alí Arango

1. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your artistic activity?

At the moment everything is paralysed, the concerts I usually give in Barcelona, which are 4 or 5 a month have been all cancelled, the Japan tour that was going to take place in July, the 2020 tour has also been cancelled, the Badalona competition in which I had to be a member of the jury, etc. Everything has been cancelled, I imagine that like almost all the musicians in Spain and in the countries that are in quarantine.

2. Now that we all have to adapt and reprogram ourselves to this situation, in what new projects are you working on?

I am already taking the opportunity to do all those projects that always remain at the end of the list of pending things to do such as editing, composing, and for instance now I am trying to finish a video clip for my daughter Lua that I was working on for one year, well years actually, a lullaby that I wrote that is recorded on the first Naxos album. I am also editing the EPK of Chopin's album and I am as well thinking about re-composing and I am feeling a constant desire to do it..., normally there is no time to compose and this desire stays behind, forgotten… but lately I am like... something is returning perhaps…

3. In what positive way do you think this situation is affecting the society and the planet?

If something positive can be taken out of this forced situation that we are going through where many people are suffering, because there are many people, more and more losses and deaths. You hear how people you know they are in intensive care, for example, so that has a lot of impact, but trying to see the positive side of this quarantine, I guess we can get something positive from this situation, it is a fact that the society in general needed like an abrupt break a big stop to this crazy rhythm where there is no time for anything. There is no time to focus on what is really important, to be with the family, to enjoy the present... not to worry about the future, or being traumatized by the past simply because we are not focused on the present, to enjoy playing with my daughter. It is now for me and this may sound strange, but somehow in my case it is like a gift, so much time to be able to be with her and I am aware and I am thankful for it every day.

4. What hobby or other activity have you started doing that you did not have time for before?

Hobby... I have started to exercise, in my own way, and I am feeling good.., and also cooking, making paella and fideuà, and tidying up the terraces, which had never been tidied up for years, and putting up frames and inventing games and organising everything that you cannot usually do at home.

5. What would you advice to artists and art lovers in general to focus and be positive on this global stage that we are going through?

I think for artists it is the moment for creating, it is a good time to create, we have time and on the other hand, this unreal situation it is certainly something so different, I believe this opens up connections for creativity. I believe that for art lovers it is a good time to listen to music, to read, to stop and think and to enjoy art in general with so many offers that are now free, to see theatre, to see dance, symphony orchestras, to learn, in general, it is a time to learn, and to create, I guess this is a good chance to use our imagination and avoid all these crises of anxiety and uncertainty that sometimes are as bad as the pandemic, at the same time a fear is growing and this is not good.

6. After the coronavirus, do you think we will have learned anything and changed our lifestyle?

I do not know, I would like to be optimistic and I think that there will be a global learning from this situation. But the truth is that human beings forget quickly, they adapt very easily to difficult situations but then, they forget and it is possible that everything will return to the same rhythm of madness. However I would like to be positive and I think that in one way or another, everybody will be affected and a mark will be left on every one of us that will oblige us to care about the important things in life. At this moment we do not have anything to look for outside so I guess we are being forced to look and search our inner side and we might find many positive things of doing so.

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