“Jeff, have you read this book The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross that everyone says is so important? Do you know my reaction being from Mexico? Not ONE single composer from all of Latin America is even mentioned. Not one. So I guess we just don’t even EXIST for this powerful gringo critic?”
My friend composer Gabriela Ortiz wasn’t making a point, she was issuing an indictment about a blind and ruthless expression of cultural superiority, her declaration worthy of the El Grito of Padre Hidalgo. But my answer would throw another log on the fire. I delivered my response nonchalantly as we ordered another drink. “That’s not all – no composer from Asia has a defining role in that book either. It’s all about Europe and America, and it’s all about men leading the charge.”
“Exactamente, amigo,” lamented Gabriela into her tequila. Ouch, Mr. Ross.