On the trip deep into the Venezuelan lands, the notes of traditional music make intermittent appearance. The four-string ductile mandoline, the restless cuatro, the melodic harps and unique counterpoint voices persist in making clear how alive is, in the taste of people, this way of musical expression.
Hence at a party, after sharing dancing and soaked rice, a counterpoint round is inevitable for the singers. At the rhythm of cuatro, mandolin, harp and maracas, each singer defends his tune and cadence as the most authentic. With each performer, the audience responds with enthusiasm to serve the singer’s passion or an instrumentalist virtuosity that gives the time needed to improvisation. Applause and intermediate expressions clearly manifest profound respect for tradition.
Young people do not replace or supercede the essences of the plains’ singing, but seek to infuse their discoveries without ever losing respect for its origins. They cling to the tradition and try to bring it closer to their peers, even though theyare filled with accusations for distorting the tradition they love. It is a struggle that repeats itself eternally in culture and in the soul of the plains it takes intense shades.
The round of improvisation loads the tempers and establishes points of lively competition. Fraternity tightens while playing at all costs with the complicity of the audience. More than applause, always provided at the end of each piece, the trophy disputed is the spontaneous reaction of the audience’s exclamations.
Until the soul of the interpreter, driven by the soul of the plain, returns to his tune and feeds his inspiration, and is driven to defend their concept of expression. And so we were all in the soul of the plain. The natives with the knowledge that is a repeated passage in their lives; foreigners with the safe feeling that, even if it is not possible to retain the name of the singer and his tune, or the appellatives of the drink or food, do not forget how the soul of the plain rose a hot feeling and made us vibrate, and be part of, once more, that culture. So high it vibrates in the soul of the people that is almost an offense to call it folklore. Unless, of course, we know that folklore is not past, but culture postponed capriciously by the industry.