Lanzarote's bilingual magazine

Lanzarote’s Visual Music Festival – how it all began

The internationally acclaimed Lanzarote Visual Music Festival celebrates its 18th year between the 10th and 21st of October

Thanks to the genius and artistic vision of Ildefonso Aguilar, the Lanzarote Visual Music Festival first came to fruition in 1989 with the organisational support of the Island government, the Lanzarote Cabildo. It marries the wild, poetic landscape of the island of volcanoes with artists from the international, avant-garde music scene.
Idelfonso Aguilar, the brainchild behind this unique event, recounts how it came about: ‘I had already made the soundtrack for the Ruta de los Volcanes. I was inspired to evoke the islands’s landscape in compositions that compiled different sounds and avant-garde music, some of which I created myself. These were played in the auditoriums at Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, creating a musical atmosphere that reflected the essence Lanzarote.’
“I was friends with music producer Larry Yaskiel, who kindly put me in touch with several artists, including Brian Eno. I spoke to the president of the Cabildo at that time, Enrique Pérez Parrilla, and proposed inviting Eno to the island to perform his music against the backdrop of Lanzarote’s stunning landscape. He agreed, and plans went ahead. Eno was fascinated by the island and was on board to perform one concert. In the end, he gave several: Two Opal evenings in Jameos del Agua, to which he brought other artists, including German composer J. Peter Schwalm. They were spectacular and packed to the rafters. The audience was amazed, and so was Eno, who didn’t want to charge for performing… So, that’s where the original idea came from, and two years later, the first Lanzarote Visual Music Festival took place.
“As well as Jameos and Cueva de los Verdes, other venues included the Tahíche quarry, the Santo Domingo Convent, El Almacén and El Reducto beach. The Volcán del Cuervo was added years later with a fantastic performance by the Swiss percussionist Pierre Favré. A total of four concerts have been held there. I have special memories of Japanese artist Somei Satoh, who was bold and daring. Equally impressive was Andreas Vollenweider. The last performance there was by Brian Eno in 2001 – an extraordinary success in a fascinating place.”
“We managed to create an event that had a huge impact, both on the international stage and the island’s tourism, too. There was nothing like it in Spain at the time. After a damaging hiatus between 2002-2017, it took a long time to build it back up but we did, and for that, I am very grateful to former councillor Óscar Pérez and former president Pedro San Ginés.”


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