Dylan Fowler

Fowler, Dylan

Collaboration and Performance in Argentina and Brazil

Dylan Fowler performed a series of concerts in Brazil and Argentina, including Patagonia in 2013. He was invited to perform as a part of the Guitarras del Mundo Tour 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, providing him with an opportunity to network and play with guitarists from all over the world. He also visited Brazil to collaborate with the master percussionist Bosco De Oliviera in Belo Horizonte, and visited Patagonia to perform as a soloist and meet with musicians of Welsh heritage there. He spent time in Gaiman, holding workshops and masterclasses for young people in the Music School and also had an opportunity to spend time with musician Hector Macdonald. Dylan ended his time in Gaiman by performing at Capel Bethel, the local Chapel, with a quartet of guitarists who had attended his workshops.

In his final report Dylan said:

"The project had three elements to it. It began with an invitation to be an International guest as part of the Guitarras del Mundo Tour 2013 in Argentina. This is a unique festival that aims to bring together different players of the guitar from around the world who are seen to be bringing something of their own culture through their musical and technical approach. It is a great honour to be invited to this festival. Once the festival had been confirmed it enabled me to build two other parts into this project; a collaboration with the master percussionist, Bosco Doliviera, in Brazil and a solo visit to Patagonia to perform and meet with musicians from the Welsh/Spanish community there.

The first week was spent mainly in Belo Horizante, Brazil with Bosco Doliviera. Intense rehearsals which included a lot of the music that I play (Welsh celtic music, original compositions inspired by the landscape of Wales, and music from other parts of Europe). We then had 3 different performances in Belo Horizante, 1 in Sao Paulo and 1 in Pelotas. The music was very well received and plans are developing to move this collaboration forward.

The second week I was touring as part of the Guitarras del Mundo tour to 5 venues in the province of Buenos Aires. The arrangement for each concert would be: local soloist/duo/trio – then a well known Argentinian player – then myself as the International musician. This meant I was performing alongside a wide range of players and I got to hear a wonderful selection of music from Argentine folklore/ Tango/ and classical music.

The day after the last concert which was in Buenos Aires I took a night flight to Trelew in Patagonia (1000 miles south of Buenos Aires). There I met many people from the local cultural organisation Welsh/Spanish and it was a great relief to be able to speak some Welsh after struggling in Spanish for quite a while. I ran a workshop/masterclass at the little music school in Gaiman and met many local musicians. I also got the chance to spend some time with Hector MacDonald – very important musician there who runs a studio and works internationally. He’s really at the centre of the Welsh/Spanish mix of music that you find there. He is also very keen to develop a bigger project together and tour it in Patagonia. I finished off my visit there with a performance at the Bethel Chapel in Gaiman alongside a wonderful local guitar quartet (who’d also been in my workshop).

Without the support of Wales Arts International this whole project would not have happened. Although I received a fee for my contribution to the Guitarras del Mundo Tour it did not cover International travel. I was supposed to receive a fee for my work in Patagonia but unfortunately because of the volatile nature of the financial situation in Argentina right now, the money that had been agreed for this was no longer there for the Cultural organisation in Gaiman to use. I had an email about this when I was in Brazil – I explained that I’d already bought the tickets. They were very embarrassed about the whole situation but I said I would come anyway as it was very important to me to complete the project as planned.

In Brazil as well, without the support of WAI it would have been virtually impossible as the funding for music projects there is also in a difficult position."

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