segunda-feira, 4 de maio de 2015

Maestrina Alba: "You have a very beautiful story to be told"



- You don't have to worry so much because you don't go very far, cause you're colored.

With this phrase a teacher told Alba Christina Souza Bomfim - professor of conducting and orchestral practice at the Federal University of Piauí - that it's wasn't necessary to take care in improving the technique to play the cello, but with her hands she now conducts orchestras around the world and more than that governs his life establishing new paradigms and proving that a woman's place is also in front of the symphony. Alba took the first place in the contest that gave her the position at the University of
Piauí and third to another proof for the Federal University of Pará.

- Piauí called me first. The funniest thing is that even though I have been in first place in the contest, many people could not see my expertise. I say we do not have to kill a lion a day, but a lion every turn! The Professional Orchestral 
Conducting is a very peculiar area in music. It is a political as well as diplomatic post because the conductor it’s a kind of spokesperson of the orchestra. When I arrived at the University, I realized that it was necessary to come abroad if I wanted to move forward. But these obstacles have driven me to seek new opportunities.



Alba was the little one of four sisters and with me and my sister made up the group of six Afro American girls who are friends since the early 80s. She grew up and built a curriculum that, had it is said in a popular expression, "rules". Bachelor's Degree in Orchestra Conducting (2001) at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, graduated (1995) and master (2009) in Music at the University of Brasilia. Won the International Competition of Young Conductors Orchestra named Eleazar de Carvalho (2009), held in Fortaleza; integrated the suit of cellos in the Youth Symphony of the State of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic, National Symphony, Brazilian Youth Symphony and the Brazilian Conservatory of Music.

Now she is in Portugal, at the University of Aveiro under the guidance of Maestro Antônio Vassallo Lourenço, in full production to complete his doctorate in Orchestra Conducting in 2018. She spoke of this area still very little explored by women and especially by afron american women in Brazil.

- At the beginning I suffered a lot. We know that in Brazil prejudice is hidden and the music world is very closed and limited. It is still a universe made of males, then the unbelief in me came from two fronts: For being afro american and woman. If I’m here today as a professor who teaches in northeastern of Brazil, with master’s degree, making a doctorate with PHD level is because I am "sticking a" very heavy system.



The conductor of an orchestra - that way conditioned in the collective imagination - is a white man, mature and with a history often that crossed generations in classical music. But Alba goes without caring about the labels. The deep and exciting sound of the cello opened the doors for the girl from Rio de Janeiro, who is daughter of a military father who moved to the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, and she had private classes at the neighborhood of her residence. After years, encouraged by his mother she applied and was selected to attend the Professional Education Center - School of Music of Brasilia.




-I thought I hadn’t "ballast" to music. My parents always encouraged me and my sisters to study music, so I had sufficient basis. In that specific time when I started piano classes we couldn't buy a piano. We are four daughters! When I joined the School of Music of Brasilia, I went through all the instruments and around of my 14 years I chose the cello. That's when I began to practice the correct way to position myself on the instrument that the teacher said that. Later I became his colleague as a professor at the same school and found that he had depreciative words with many other girls. One because she  was afro american, another because he thought it was too beautiful, another because he thought she was fat ... So it's something that goes beyond ethnicity. It has a huge sexism  in the middle - she said.



In Aveiro, Alba is researching how the orchestra conquer his audience. As it captures the attention, and then enter communication studies and marketing; as engaged in the formation of the public, which is related to the field of education; and as snatches at the time of display, thus entering in the performing arts field.

- That's my research, my intellectual production. It will be even more common have all together, all integrated, I mean, theater, music, photography ... Several artistic expressions in the same show. My practical production is in the various works that we are running to study every aspect of these. We work aimed at children, for seniors, for families. We also implement Broadway musicals, popular music. Not only is it a classic Occidental European repertoire. As a researcher I say popular music, specifically our Brazilian popular music is a huge challenge. What she once was, what is and what might be. We have very sophisticated rhythms and sounds. Yes, samba, bossa nova and many other things that we are sophisticated!



Brazil is the main goal of Alba Christina. Her plans are to return home as soon as she finishes the work in Portugal. She wants to replicate what have learned and help to form other artists.

- In music you find the speech of the age limit, heredity and other myths. Compared with Europeans, we started really later musical initiation for all social and historical issues that we already know. For those in the area opportunities appear, but how it is possible to enter? Like being in the middle? Among the many friends who started with me I count in the fingers how many continued. I feel a successful person by the issue of resilience, but now that I'm here, I wonder how I'm going further and how I will multiply my experience, pass on everything I have learned and what I’m learning. I have to be multiplying. The staff of the orchestra here is small and achieves a lot; therefore, I can replicate this structure in Teresina or anywhere small as
Sobradinho (satellite city of Brasilia), obviously respecting local differences. This is the art’s function: To go everywhere and take on new meanings - she explained.

Despite the obstacles, the suspicions, judgments and labels, Alba encourages all those who think one day walk a path like hers.

- Believe and work hard because you have a beautiful story to tell. Don’t be just in dreams, roll up your sleeves to make it happen because we are winning and that's point of no return. We looked back for the prejudice suffered only to never  forget that it exists and that is in our way, in our history, but we cannot let that paralyze us. That's the greatest legacy I want to leave for my nephews, for our children.

Silence in the audience cause the show will begin!

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