Parties4Peace: Uniting Electronic Music and Social Activism in Chile

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Photo from Parties4Peace/Patagonica.

Parties4Peace is a non-profit event production company and fundraising organization that raises awareness for a variety of global initiatives through electronic music events. The organization’s projects atave no global boundaries, and have included AIDS education in Ghana, environmental awareness in El Salvador, music education in Venezuela, art education in India, and disaster relief in Japan. One particular initiative of the organization, the Patagonica tour, seeks to raise awareness about the unprotected nature in Patagonia, a region at the southernmost tip of Chile which is currently under threat by plans to exploit the area for its natural resources. Through a touring series of electronic music events and artist exchange, the Patagonica tour hopes to raise consciousness about and support the protection of one the planet’s few remaining natural treasures.

Photo from Parties4Peace/Patagonica.

“What we do,” says Parties4Peace founder and Patagonica director Emilie McGlone, “is organize parties throughout Chile–our Patagonica tour involves six cities: Valparaíso, Viña de Mar, Concepción, we go down to Patagonia to Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, and of course Santiago. And in every location we have supporters who come and listen to the music and join the parties. And we hope that through our events, we’re able to reach more people with our message.” McGlone holds several roles in the non-profit world in addition these—she is the founder of the Music & Art Peace Academy (MAPA), a youth arts outreach program that works closely with the Peace Boat (for which McGlone is the US director), an international non-profit program which invites students to voyage the world while promoting and learning about peace, humans rights, and sustainable development. “Here in Chile, our main theme is to declare Patagonica a world heritage site recognized by UNESCO. This is a project that started on the Peace Boat with an organization called CODEFF in Chile, and we’ve been doing this project for more than ten years.”

The Peace Boat sets sail.

This year’s tour featured guest artist Pier Bucci, a Chilean music producer and record label owner based in Berlin. “We met in Japan, actually. Pier was a guest of a music festival called Labyrinth in Tokyo, and I was working as an artist coordinator for the festival. We were talking about Chile, the beautiful nature here, and the importance of the conservation– in particular the glaciers of Patagonia and what they mean for the world when facing climate change and other global issues. Not only is Pier an amazing producer, but he’s also an environmentalist, so we thought it would be wonderful for him to play at some events for Parties4Peace.”

Emilie McGlone with Pier Bucci on the Patagonica Tour.

The two worked together for a few years in Japan before meeting again in Chile, where McGlone invited the Bucci to join the upcoming Patagonica tour. “His first time visiting Patagonia was during this tour, which was exciting for us. We like to inspire all of the artists we work with for their creation of something new and interesting.” Bucci’s fascination and interest in environmentalism and exploration inspired a unique photo series by the artist himself while in Patagonia, an artistic means of representing the tour’s main focus. “I’m always inspired by traveling and the places I visit,” says Bucci. “Me and Emilie were talking for nearly seven years, but I was always doing other things and other projects. Now we’re at the end of the tour already, and it was a great experience. Of course, it’s always nice to visit your own country, and Patagonia has always been an interest of mine.”

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Pier Bucci performs live in Valparaíso, Chile.

Within the larger Parties4Peace entity, McGlone has also fueled cultural exchanges between countries like Japan and Chile by sending DJs and electronic artists between the two nations. Chilean DJ/producer Marcos Latrach says traveling to Japan for a Parties4Peace tour offered him an opportunity to express his own heritage abroad, whilst learning from others’. “It was special, because it was the first time I could share something about Chile. I think everything you see has an impact on you, and you can use this for new songs and new sounds. These new inspirations, combined with my vision of Chile, makes for a very interesting mix.” And Latrach’s own travels to Patagonia inspired a track using the ritual vocals of the indigenous Yaghan people from the Southern Cone of Chile, which has become a staple in his DJ sets.

Marco Latrach’s “El Rito Del Yagan,” 2012.

One focus of Parties4Peace is to support artists that produce music that represents culture and communities.  After this year’s Patagonica tour, Pier Bucci headed to Rapa Nui (also known Easter Island) to record the local and traditional music for an album slated for release next year. McGlone adds, “And next year, the plan is to have him as a guest educator on the Peace Boat in South America, helping to raise awareness about the importance of conservation, environmental sustainability, and local culture.”

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The sun sets over a rooftop party in Valparaíso.

Not only do Parties4Peace and the Patagonica Tour impact cultural change and exchange, they also help forge connections between artists living in different parts of the world. “It’s been great to see the friendships that the artists have built,” McGlone says, “from the Japanese artists touring South America to the Chilean artists experiencing Asia. That collaboration is actually what we call the Patagonica Collective, and we started this artist exchange to promote the exchange of ideas of culture, of new sounds, of friendships and collaboration that they can then use to share their music with more people. It’s nice seeing their music getting spread to the different poles of the world.”

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