Spanish and Hispanic culture came alive Tuesday night.
As part of the kickoff for Hispanic Heritage Month, Anna Maria Cardinalli performed Spanish and Latin American folk pieces at the University Center’s Rotunda, helping to educate people on different aspects of Spanish and overall Hispanic cultures.
Her performance included both instrumental music and ballads with a post-performance Q and A.
“Using music as a lens to explore the culture,” Cardinalli said to a group of about 60 people.
Her guitar playing style, commonly known as Flamenco, is rich in not only musical traditions but Spanish historical traditions as well.
“I think I can’t even say how important each is because they are inseparable,” she said.
Mexico junior Petra Coronado said events such and Hispanic Heritage Month help her feel a bit more welcome at CMU.
“I think it’s important because it makes people who are not from here, feel more like home,” she said.
She said the performance, which also included traditional Mexican foods like churros and drinks like sangria, helps people learn about Hispanic culture.
“They put that much emphasis on it since the population isn’t very big,” she said, referring to the small Hispanic student population at CMU. “It’s good for other students. They can learn about older cultures.”
Detroit sophomore Alex Phillips said events like these helped him learn a bit about the history of Spain and other countries, which Cardinalli talked about throughout her presentation.
“I think I learned from it,” Phillips said. “She was talking about the Spanish Inquisition a lot.”
He said he liked her guitar playing and its style.
“I liked how technical it was,” he said. “It’s kind of intertwined with the history.”
Shelby Township sophomore Chris Martin said the music impacted the culture and history and vice versa.
“I liked how she related one of the songs to the Spanish Inquisition,” he said. “How it was sad, yet beautiful.”
Cardinalli played Mexican folk pieces, including one which is related to a folk tale about a ghost called “La Llorona.”
Also taking questions from the audience, she discussed the differences and similarities between flamenco and classical guitar styles, the music’s context and how it fit with certain historical eras in Spain and Mexico.
She said the music brings back a lot of memories of Mexico for her and helps the listener envision those places and feelings associated with them.
“It reminds the listener of Mexico or reminds me of the beauty of it,” she said.