Fernando Velázquez, composer.
Fernando Velázquez may just be the most award-winning composer in the Spanish film industry owing to his works alongside film director Juan Antonio Bayona. Hailing from Getxo, he has authored, among others, the soundtracks of Lo Imposible (The Impossible) and the Goya Award-winning Un monstruo viene a verme (A monster is coming to see me). With Humanity at Music, he has had to shift gears. He will be in charge of creating the soundtrack of the cooperative experience
How would you describe the emotion this project brings up in you?
I think I would tell society in general and the members of the MONDRAGON cooperatives in particular that they have an asset that people don’t know about. Something very positive that really needs to be recognized in our present-day society. The cooperative model may not be a panacea, but it has something very special: it belongs to each of the cooperative members, it’s part of the identity of this country, and it is a model that somehow gives meaning to work. With my composition and Jon (Sarasua)’s lyrics, that is the message we wanted to get across, and the work is very well tied into all that. Between the two of us, we have given an artistic turn that communicates and gives meaning to the cooperative movement. Musically, I’ve found it very stimulating.
What does Humanity at Music mean for you, musically speaking?
Of course, it wouldn’t mean anything if it weren’t appealing and beautiful. It would be like a luxury object sitting in the back of a drawer. Humanity at Music is something beautiful, even for people that don’t know anything about music or cooperatives. It’s a very appealing project and the spirit of it is something that hasn’t been done up to now. The lyrics evoke very different things, and each person is free to interpret the work the way they please. I would say to anyone who’s thinking about participating that the melody will be quite easy to sing.
So does it sound like Coldplay, AC/DC, Ken Zazpi… ? How would you define it?
It’s music. An orchestra is an instrument to make music, whether it’s classical or modern, boring or fun, sad or happy… the language I’ve used is one that everyone understands. It’s current, modern music.
There is going to be a chorus with cooperative members participating. How would you encourage the whole cooperative group to participate?
When people hear what we’ve recorded, I’m sure they’ll want to participate. The book, the musical content… It’s a party that everyone is invited to. I hope I end up conducting in the live performance, but if I don’t, I’ll be there singing.
The book, a treasure to save and to give
As Maite Mutuberria, the project’s illustrator, says, the book is like a treasure, to be read unhurriedly, to be kept forever. It brings together the past, present and future of the Basque cooperative movement, but above all, it’s an inspiring work of art. A book that belongs in the home of anyone who has experienced the cooperative movement from the inside.