We are the desvalidas - the underdogs, the destitute, the also rans...
This provocation has been performed a number of times across London and we have plans to tour it in the future. The original concert, performed at the Royal College of Music, was inspired by the performers’ shared love of Spanish classical music. Guitarist Cassie approached Isabel and Dylan Fox, to explore possibilities for including poetry and disruptions in the concert. The unifying themes focused on Spanish culture from the 1890s to the end of the Spanish Civil War. Specifically, they contrasted the 'Class of 98' with the 'Class of 27'. What emerged from initial research of the times during which the poets, composers and artists lived became in performance, part fluxus, part zarzuela. Later, we were commissioned by Sydenham Arts to revive the piece, this time as a music, poetry, art and tapas event in a modest sized bar, a more likely venue for the material when first performed in Spain.
The International Brigade, as it was to become known, sucked in artists, writers and musicians from all over the world, to participate in the conflict. Their subsequent defeat by Franco and his allies did little to stem the outpouring of art, literature and music that followed from those defeated in the struggle. The Spanish Civil War itself has been well documented elsewhere. Of interest to us however, was the effect it had on the music and poetry of the age and how the artists’ own allegiances led to new movements in art and culture. Thus the ‘Generation of 98’ which embraced Albeniz, Machado and Jimenez evolved to become the ‘Generation of 27’, which in itself influenced and was influenced by the influx of international writers, artists and musicians. The full programme is shown in the drop down page.
Billy Hawes (2nd perf)
Artists Dylan Fox and Billy Hawes, poet Isabel White and musician Cassie Mathews came together to have fun and push the boundaries of “great art” to a new breaking point, the point at which the art spilled over into an enjoyable experience. That was also the point at which the audience found they could relate to great music, great writing or great art and still find the experience enriching, without it being dull. Though you have to break eggs to bake a cake, it doesn’t mean you can’t bake a great cake!