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With Pancho Varona - 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 Pancho Varona

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

Well, a lot, I had 8 concerts in March, when the crisis broke out I had to cancel the concerts in Spain. I cancelled two concerts with Los Secretos in Lima and in Mexico, Mexico City. Then, I cancelled the next four that I had in Mexico, in four other Mexican cities and I should have returned from Mexico four days ago, three or four days and now I would have concerts in Spain and well, the whole month of April is practically cancelled, the 8 concerts in Mexico and the next 8 or 10, 8 in March and the rest in April, imagine.

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

New projects? The new projects consist in relocating the concerts I have cancelled that is the main thing to do... trying to put in summer those concerts not cancelled, trying to postpone them instead of cancelling them. New projects? well I have thought of giving a guitar lesson for beginners taking advantage of these times of isolation. I am posting on the Internet, on YouTube some guitar lessons in times of isolation and I give some advice to beginners, I teach them to play a chord, I teach them what a note is, a chord, more or less that is what I am working on. Apart from that, what I am doing is relocating the lost work... in order not to get lost that work, but simply to postpone it.

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

Positive, I do not know, I think it is making us think a lot. It is making us think about things we have never thought about before. It is a science fiction movie. It goes much further than the first most serious and most pessimistic science fiction movie could ever imagine, it surpasses us. I hope that after this we will try to improve the planet in some way. It is true that pollution rates in cities have dropped, for example, which is a very important thing. I hope that after this, the consumption of animals will also be reviewed carefully, everything should be care in depth. I do not know, there are a number of things that could be good for us, but knowing what this mankind is like, I do not think that the governments of China or the USA, for example, will stop investing in armaments in order to invest more in public health. I would be very surprised, although it would be a wonderful thing for me.

4. What hobby or other activity have you started doing that you didn't have time for before?

Well, I have lifted the lid of the piano, if that can be considered an activity. I have had the piano lid down for years and in these days of isolation I have lifted the piano lid and look at it with love, I even put in some chords. I would like to try to continue learning piano I would like to improve my piano which is very very basic very basic. But the truth is that I have been doing many activities these days... like keeping fit, walking around my house a lot with a treadmill that I have, doing a lot of kilometers, cooking, I have many interviews... in short I have some activities... I have activities but I would like above all to dedicate myself a little bit to the piano. I would love to.

5. What advice could you give to artists or art lovers in general to focus positively on this global stage we're going through?

Reinvent yourself, my friends, there is no other way than to reinvent yourself. I do not know exactly how long this can last, but imagination is very important in these cases, we always have to be positive, we have to think that this is a temporary thing and we have to start thinking about what we are going to do as soon as we leave here. Thinking a lot, thinking about it. There are people who have started to do concerts on the Internet, I have started to give some lessons, humble guitar lessons on the Internet. We have to reinvent ourselves every day and try to find a way out of this crisis, to put ourselves in our own place.

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

I wish, I said in my previous question that I would love to see a change in the approach to budgeting for weapons and budgeting for health, education, we already know what the most important things are, we are learning them these days, no... strong health system is the main thing, it is what the economy of a country should be based on, health and education. I hope that something good will come out of this, I sincerely hope so, although I am afraid that we are an animal who, as human beings, forgets these things very quickly. I am not overly optimistic about the teachings. I am optimistic about the way out of the crisis and I imagine that soon we will be in concert halls again giving concerts and seeing each other and hugging each other without danger. Thank you for everything, dear ones, and here I am with my wonderful Alhambra Alvaro Urquijo model. See you soon, ciao, thank you!

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