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With Álvaro Urquijo - 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 Álvaro Urquijo


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

Hello everyone, well as you can understand the activity of a musician has stopped in its tracks. Los Secretos, I, Alvaro Urquijo, have been forced to postpone, suspend and sometimes lose a project that we had planned to do or do in a very short time. It is a reality that is totally understandable because we are as we are, and we have to work together so that this does not go any further and we can recover our normal life as soon as possible, right? but right now our situation, we are unemployed.

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

Well, as for new projects, luckily the musicians who have been here for a long time and have had the opportunity to buy the equipment, microphones and so on, well, we are working at home.

I am trying to compose because not always in moments like this you get positive things, maybe trying to pull some old song, recording things, collaborating with other artists, collaborating with my colleagues from a distance so we do not have a lack of work, I mean artistic work and solidarity, paid work and you know we are all stopped, but well, solidarity speaking we can interact with our colleagues here and colleagues from beyond, even from Los Angeles we have recorded a video with a song, in that sense we are and continue working.

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

Well I think, although it seems a bit odd, but of all the bad things they say it has a positive reading, right?

I think that if there is something positive to say about all this, is our fragility is the evidence that economically in terms of climate or in terms of health issues look at how we are.

In addition to the irreversible global warming, the economic crash and the dead people. Even though it seems very tragic within these dramas, we learn that we are nobody, we are not important enough to mistreat the planet, not enough to take care of our people with good health and not enough to depend on these data that make the stock market go up and down. I think we have learned that people are the most important thing, that acts of solidarity are what really make us different from animals, and that the humankind that we all form is what really shapes reality. We are not the material objects that we have, nor are we the things that we do, but what we really think, and I think that at this time, this is going to take on more value than everything we were fighting for with so much stress.

The future is going to go to hell if we are not a cohesive and supportive society. I think solidarity is a word that is used a lot but never with such a good opportunity as we have it now.

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

Let's see, my second most important hobby in my life besides loving my family, my daughter and wife and trying to fix things that break from my house, I am always on the road and never have the chance to do.

It is true that I am passionate about science in all its most informative forms, I am not a scholar by any means and I have no studies God forbid, but if I follow good bloggers and good and truthful information that have informed me of things as simple such as the reason why the sky is blue, red sunsets, how was the earth formed? Are we made of stardust? What is a neutron star? What is a supernova? Or those kinds of questions that seem like freaky questions but in the end, you realize that is what we are made of and where we come from and possibly where we are going, right?

We are a speck in a universe, aren't we? And we have acted so superbly that we have not foreseen or been warned about things like what is happening to us, and I think science is all about, a vibrating guitar, a phonograph that picks it up, or an ear that is pure science, vibrations, frequencies, these are things that have more to do with science than with what we call art, aren't they?

That for me art is also a part of science just as culture is part of knowledge and this is also science, all goes into one family, science.

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

I do not tend to give any advice, because looking at my past there are many things that I have made tremendous mistakes and that if I were to live again I would not do, others that I am very happy how they have turned out and nobody really decides it that way but I think that everyone has to look at their own possibilities and contribute what they can, we can start from helping a neighbour who needs something or being able to help someone, working at home, reading, training, studying, practicing, creating, connecting via these gadgets that are devilishly wonderful because first I felt like a slave to them and now I think that without them we could not be talking or communicating this to you.

I think that within the possibilities that each one has, we must to do the maximum, because in these moments precisely what is needed is cohesion, to be solidary and to help which means from making a poetry composing a song or trying to make a video clip or a joke or to help a neighbour, lend some money to someone in need, whatsoever, but trying to occupy the time in practical things.

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

Have we learned anything? I think I have answered that before. Our fragility, I insist again, is evident and if history were not written on the basis of stumbling over the same stone as many times as we have, I would say that it would help us to learn not to commit the same mistakes that have led us to this, to worry more about the world of healthcare, that we are well prepared for similar pandemics, to try to make peace in the world, that the money from weapons and military is for humanitarian troops such as the UN's blue helmets.

What I mean with money from war is to wonder what a nuclear warhead is worth, what a fighter plane that can kill so many people is worth, I think that can be used to help the global economy and if there were global peace and real cooperation and principles to build on, while looking to the past to see that this would not happen again.

I think that all the people who are here have already suffered, including people who have died, of course that I am very sorry for that because even people close to me, we need to learn not to make the same mistakes. If we were to learn that, I would be satisfied.

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