Ricardo Lorenz attended the London premiere of his new work Cacerola Soul on May 3rd, 2012 at the Southbank Centre. Cacerola Soul roughly translates as “the soul of the frying pan” and calls for a SATB choir, instrumental ensemble and optional rapper.
The work was commissioned by The Iberian and Latin American Music Society of London (ILAMS) specifically to pay tribute to pot-banging protests as instruments of nonviolent resistance. Cacerola Soul closed a concert that offered a kaleidoscopic view of five hundred years of Latin American classical music in honor of the recent bicentennial celebrations of Latin America’s independence. It featured London’s Latin Chamber Ensemble conducted by Maite Aguirre as well as other guest performers, including violinist/vocalist Omar Puente. Known in South America as “cacerolazos,” these forms of public protests, led initially by middle-class women in Chile, began in the 1970s during the last years of Salvador Allende’s government. After accepting the commission from ILAMS that specifically called for the incorporation of human voices as well as pots and pans, Ricardo Lorenz was surprised to find a lack of literature or poetry based upon the pot-banging phenomenon.
Unable to find already existing text, he asked Venezuelan poet and friend Alfredo Pérez to write a suitable poem that would also reflect the fact that the United States was at the time besieged by the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. The result is a bilingual poem that credits middle-class women for the invention of the cacerolazo while inciting audience participation. Before the concert at the Southbank’s Purcell Room, Lorenz offered a pre-concert lecture titled “Latin America’s art music: a simultaneous expression of reverence and irreverence towards the West.”