Llíria in Spain, a UNESCO Creative City of Music since 2019, has a long-standing musical history that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Today, Llíria is recognized around the world for its music, a fundamental part of its cultural identity.
Throughout the year, Llíria hosts a variety of music events including the Gastronomía y Música de Llíria. This popular jazz festival combines music with local gastronomy, and Llíria’s cultural and historical heritage. The event provides artists a platform to showcase their music while spectators enjoy local and regional cuisine. The city also holds a number of competitions to encourage new and emerging performers, and provides support to music professionals and young artists in the industry.
In response to the confinement of Spain’s inhabitants to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Llíria, through its social media campaign #WindowsOfMusicAndHope, aims to spread a message of hope while raising awareness on the importance of staying at home. It uses music to unite people in these troubled times and help alleviate the difficulties faced due to social distancing measures.
As part of this campaign, on 19 March, the day of St. Joseph’s feast, the Federación de Sociedades Musicales de la Comunidad Valenciana, its presenter Eugeni Alemany, professional musicians, students from the Conservatori Municipal, and other music enthusiasts gathered on their balconies to give a unique musical performance and celebrate the day. They played ‘Paquito el Chocolatero’, a popular and festive song associated to the ‘Fallas’, a Valencian traditional festival.
A few days later for the anniversary on Beethoven’s death, the city musicians once again gathered to play the ninth symphony “Ode to Joy” from their homes.
The campaign has been supported with great enthusiasm and has rapidly expanded throughout the Valencian Community with the Federació de Societats Musicals and the Confederación Española de Sociedades Musicales. The music has travelled beyond boundaries and is being echoed in many UNESCO Creative Cities in Spain like Dénia, Terrassa, Burgos, and Bilbao, and in Chennai (India), Katowice (Poland), Leira (Portugal), and Mannheim (Germany).
The campaign has gathered significant attention from local and national media who broadcast live the campaign events through digital and traditional media channels. Being popular amongst the youth, hundreds of videos interpreting Beethoven’s ninth symphony can be found on popular social networks.