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'Art is part of nature'

By Katiana Murillo*

Costa Rican music group Editus on war, peace, spirituality and the environment.

SAN JOSE - Editus, the only Costa Rican music group to win two Grammy awards, has explored jazz, new age, classical music and even the autochthonous sounds of the Americas.

Violinist Ricardo Ramírez, percussionist Carlos Vargas (Tapado) and guitarist Edín Solís are Editus. They won a Grammy music award in 2000 for "Tiempos" and this year took another Grammy in the best album category for "Mundo", produced jointly with famed Panamanian musician and actor Rubén Blades.

Ramírez, a co-founder of the group in 1990, spoke with Tierramérica.

Q: What is the principal challenge of our "Tiempos" (Times)?
A: To fight for a better world for our children, for a positive attitude and, above all, for respect for human rights.

Q: Editus was radically opposed to the war in Iraq. What would a world without war be like?
A: No war is justified. The world would be a thousand times better without war. We live in a world where wars have become necessary for certain groups and are the driving forces of the economy in some countries. It is terrible that a war occurs for political interests. Unfortunately it seems to be part of human nature.

Q: What stands in the way of human beings living in harmony with each other and their natural environment?
A: Humans lack understanding of their spirituality. If we all understood it, things would be different. We could live in greater harmony with others, with nature and everything else.

Q: Can art help us to understand nature?
A: Art is part of nature.

Q: How can music help us protect the environment?
A: Art is, in general, something that feeds the spirit and lifts us to a greater state of harmony with nature. It is inevitable that a person who enjoys art has that level of harmony.

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