Cusco, Musicians in Times of Pandemic

The musical artistic sector in the city of Cusco has been hard hit by the slow pace of covid 19, the crisis caused by the pandemic has forced traditional music bands to stop all their activities, the main source of their economic income.

The musicians, who work at different festivities and events throughout the year, do not have fixed salaries, health insurance and / or benefits since most are informal.

For that reason, after a long wait due to restrictions imposed by the state, they had to reinvent themselves and take to the streets to do what they like the most, bring beautiful melodies to people in times of pandemic and thus earn money. everyday’s bread.

Leave the windows and balconies open to delight the ears with live music that is heard from the streets, music does not cure a pandemic, but harmonizes and gladdens the soul to keep calm in this situation that is felt by the pandemic.

In the neighborhoods, avenues and streets of Cusco, music is heard by different instruments. The joyful voices that accompany the instruments make you feel that there is no evil that lasts forever.

Art in general, and especially music with all its genres, are dominated by the slow pace of Covid – 19. The fear in people of contracting this virus, the prevention measures and the loud alarms that it has been leaving in its wake , has zeroed out live shows.

Now I understand that music is a respite for one to feel better in the passage of life. With everything that happens in these times, one misses the concerts and live music that were offered in the different restaurants, bars and clubs of our enigmatic City.

The probability that musicians can return to their activities normally is distant, since all their work involves continuous interaction with a number of audiences present.

Although they have been reinventing themselves, since it only remains to innovate or die while waiting for this virus to pass. They have been forced to go out into the streets with their instruments and their speakers that accompany them on their daily tour, bringing live music to the doors of our homes and making our day at times with their art. There are musicians who looked for other work occupations since the economic income is necessary to be able to bring food to their families in their homes.

Walking under the sun radiating its brilliance and followed by the white clouds, I met two professional musicians, Marco Muños Ayala and his partner Pedro. In the vicinity of the Florida neighborhood in the Wanchaq district, their music could be heard from afar and without even seeing them, the melody of the trumpet interpreting a well-known theme of the Mexican group Maná (rayando el sol) guided me to them.

I was listening to the whole song with my heart dancing and in my mind singing, at the end of the song I approached to collaborate with a voluntary contribution for the pleasant sounds, while Marco passed with his cap collecting the tips that people left from the cars, the houses and the people who passed by.

Pedro spoke of people’s acceptance and support from him. It was out of necessity, actually, at the beginning Marcó I were a bit ashamed to go out into the streets to hose, we saw it to a certain extent as begging, not that this bad, but we are professional music students, then why have the need to go out into the streets, we did not have the habit, but we have gone out to enjoy our work and that people support us in a voluntary way.

In Cusco people allow us to bring them our varied music for all tastes, they do not get angry at our way of working, even more so they applaud us and sometimes even sing with us, I think that this pandemic has made many people aware and only us it remains to help each other. Music is a job that is done for love and not for survival, it is a vocation, it is a love story for art, he concluded.

It is true that some musicians have received the bonus provided by the Peruvian state for this pandemic, but there are also those who have not had anything, despite the fact that in various places in the country they have organized requesting it.

The musicians were the first to have their work cut off and it seems they will be the last to go back on stage. In this reality shrouded in uncertainty, we can all contribute in a positive way by taking care of each other, being in solidarity, respecting protocols and protection measures.

In either case, if things are more difficult than before, it’s time to work harder. Difficult does not mean impossible, you have to think that in a moment everything will flourish again and that music is always welcome in our lives.

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