During our last production workshop, students explored various elements of sound, and began to develop and produce a Corrido which will be submitted to The Corrido of LA: an event celebrating the centennial of The Mexican Revolution hosted by USC and LACMA. Students in grades 7-12 throughout Los Angeles are invited to commemorate the Mexican Revolution by composing a corrido - a ballad song - about the city they call home. Since the nineteenth century the corrido functioned as the people's oral "newspaper," documenting events of everyday social and political life.
This event fits appropriately into our curriculum as students continue to explore their neighborhoods, identifying the people and places that make it - for better or worse - what it is. This personal investigation goes beyond the realm of objectivity as they explore their identity and interests and search for outside sources that personify this perception of themselves. What better way to express this quest than through a corrido?
The process of composing these songs has been difficult for our students. It's not so much a struggle for them to find words that express LA, but perhaps the style in which to convey their messages. Should they stick with the style of the Mexican Corrido or incorporate elements of hip hop or other contemporary musical genres they associate with in their every day lives? Or, should they just perform as spoken word poetry?
For most of the LALA student producers, they have joined hands to collaborate on a single piece. The deadline is next Monday, November 15... but here's a little teaser. Let us know what you think?
Next week, LALA's finest will be going out to explore the L.A. River on their first day of production. They will be interviewing Shelly Backlar, the Executive Director of FOLAR (Friends of the L.A. River), to learn about the river's history and future.