The sound of the angels seems to flood these days the Ecuadorian capital during the XVIII Festival of Sacred Music that welcomes classical artists from around the world in the atmosphere of spirituality that provides the historic center of Quito.
There are twelve national and eleven international groups that present a repertoire based on ancient music, which connects the sounds and silences in an environment of fine decoration offered by Quito's churches and heritage museums, which has become the "choir capital of the angels" .
The festival is a proposal that combines the earthly and the divine where the people of Quito live "with a lot of passion" at a time when religiousness is embodied in the soul for the celebration of Holy Week, said Ángela Pinzón, of the Teatro Sucre Foundation , organizer of the artistic meeting.
Churches packed with spectators enjoying moments of quiet is the panorama of this week in the Quito chapels, in a contest "unique in America" that has managed to gather musicians from Europe, America and from distant Russia, added Pinzón in a dialogue with Efe.
The festival is not only religious music, but, above all, spiritual, but it is also combined with lectures and lectures by specialists who offer the Ecuadorian public the possibility of knowing a great cultural heritage.
The shows and academic meetings that are part of the festival are open access, which contributes to the goal of promoting art in this city that during this week becomes a kind of capital of the "choir of the angels."
Among the artists or groups that will perform during this and next week in Quito are the Icelandic Abraham Brody, the Englishman Andrew Lawrence King, the Camerata Melancolía from Mexico, the Russian Elena Khan, the Argentine Flora Grill, the Spanish cast La Ritarata and the French of Les Sacqueboutiers.
Also the German ensemble "Los Temperamentos", the Costa Rican group Zéfiro, the American "The Birds of Bloomington Indiana" and the Ecuadorians Musak, Awak Taki, the Metropolitan Symphonic Band of Quito, among others.
The Argentine Hernán Vives, who plays old plucked string instruments such as the lute, highlighted the importance of the sacred encounter in Quito, because, he said, it is also performed "in deep America".
It is an opportunity to show a varied and defined musical expression, but also because in the context it means "the connection of man with spirit, with heaven and earth ... with everything", affirmed Vives.
And for him, "any music from any place on earth has always had that connection to the sacred", although in the festival of Ecuador the "syncretism" between the old western and the Andean is exalted.
Precisely, that is the proposal of Vives who, together with his compatriot Flora Gril, fuses ancient music with the tone of the Andean, South American rhythms, in an instrumental ensemble that gathers those two cosmovisions.
But also sounds are combined with quietudes, in an environment of "religiosity and spirituality necessary for all," added Gril, for whom prayer and singing "have a very powerful effect."
"We offer silence, although it seems contradictory because the music is not silent, but we offer silence ... Stillness can be healthy" and that is what we also "look for us and for our environment," said Gril.
The XVIII Sacred Music Festival of Quito will have 21 spaces to experiment with the sacred, as promised by the organizers who have adapted the scenarios in patrimonial sites such as the chapel of the City Museum, the Itchimbía Cultural Center, the traditional Variety Theater or the churches of the Company of Jesus, San Francisco, La Merced, the Metropolitan Cathedral and that of Carmen Bajo, among others.
In addition, this festival has already become part of the celebration of Holy Week in the Ecuadorian capital, which has as its maximum representation the procession "Jesus of Great Power" on Good Friday.