"Second, working in ways similar to Medu might relieve us of the burden of being politically effective as individuals. It is as a group, an ensemble, even a class, that we can potentially find political power. This simple idea is so easily lost within the contemporary context, especially in the United States, where the primacy of our individuality is celebrated and reified not only by the mainstream, but by counter culture as well…
S: So the Encuentro in Cuba, that became the basis for the first Paredon record?
BD: Well it became also my connection with the world of political singers out there. In a sense, I knew that I had only one or two shots of putting something out from any given movement because we didn’t have the money or resources for more. I had to take the best that I could find and go with it. That’s why there’s such a range for having only 50 titles in the whole label.
If I only had one record from wherever, Chile for example, then I wanted it to be the cutting edge of that. So the Chilean things I have, I have a couple, one I put out without any permissions from anybody. One is a cantata, it’s called Chile: The Siege of Santa Maria de Iquique. At the time I knew nothing about Chilean music except for the Violetta Parra’s children, who were wonderful young performers who came to the Encuentro, so I knew them but I didn’t know anything more about Chilean music. So some Chilean people in New York came to me and said you gotta put something out. They said you gotta put something out and here’s the thing you should put out because it’s this great cantata and it’s all about the Nitrate miners in the Chilean mines. That sounded great! But I had no way of contacting anyone, so I just went ahead and put it out. That’s basically how I did everything. I’d find it and put it out. If I could talk to the person first and make proper arrangements that was fine, but if I couldn’t and it felt urgent to get it out I’d just get it out and make it up later.
The new Signal is almost almost finished. Just going over proofs of the pages now, very excited for this issue with features on the Medu Arts Ensemble, Paredon Records, the Quebec Spring, a Surrealist/anarcho-communist carnival game, Yugoslavian partisan memorials, and more!