Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Diamante Eléctrico

Diamante Eléctrico
Time for another musical outing, pop pickers. You might think I’m being really lazy with the curatorial side of the musical selection on the blog by just going through the list of bands who played showcases in our Bogotá Music Market, and you’d be right as well. Thing is, all the bands who played were amazing, so I don’t really need to look any further for the time being.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

National Debt

It’s probably about time I got my finger out and started trying to tell you about the astonishing number of great bands that make music in Colombia at the moment. The country has treated me like a prince with the amount of wonderful music it has brought into my life, it wouldn't be too much for me to at least return some of the favour. It might help if I put it in context. My context. I get to organise the Bogotá Music Market (BOmm) for the local Chamber of Commerce. It seems like a weird place to have ended up working, but once a year all the threads come together for a two day event where we put the best local bands onstage for international programmers to listen to, and have conference talks from music industry experts, and have a day of speed networking, where the bands and the buyers can have 15 minute meetings to get to know each other, and start building relationships that ideally end up in the musicians finding more paid work. The purpose of it all is to build the local music scene, obviously from a business perspective, given that it is the Chamber of Commerce, and open up more possibilities for the musicians to be able to make a living from their music. This year, our second year, we had programmers from all over the world come to Bogotá to be our guests. Perhaps our biggest hitter was Geoff Ellis, the bloke that runs the “T in the Park” festival in Scotland.  I was certainly pleased to have a Brit to talk to for two days in Bogotá… that doesn't happen very often!

Herencia de Timbiqui - BOmm 2013
One of the key features of the event are the showcases, where the bands who have been selected by the curators get to play a 15 minute set in order to dazzle the venue owners and programmers who are looking for talent to put on their stages. It is a curious format… you have to try to make an impact in a pretty short period of time, a time frame that isn't really long enough to build a relationship with the audience, so showcases can be a bit of a challenge. On top of that the showcases for our BOmm this year kicked off right after the opening speeches, at 9:30 am on a Wednesday morning. Imagine the horror! But the showcase that set the BOmm alight right from the off came courtesy of Herencia de Timbiquí. This is a group of lads playing music from Timbiquí, a little town on the Pacific coast of Colombia. It must be a pretty special place, for it seems like nobody does anything there except produce fabulous traditional music. It's the birthplace of “Canalón de Timbiquí”, the group fronted by Nidia Gongora, the main female voice on the Ondatropica album that you should have heard by now (and are on your way to buy if you haven’t).