Bitran explained that "the idea was to present what we believe is happening in Latin America, as opposed to 10 years ago. We feel that composers are turning back to themselves, to folk music, or local culture.
"I'm generalizing, but I feel that during the '70s and early '80s, Latino composers were trying to be as international as possible, to try to compete with the rest of the world. They didn't want to sound Latin American. There was even a little bit of shame in showing roots, coming from the 'third world.'
"But nowadays, we feel we have less of that conflict. Latin America has become a very important factor in the international arena, not only in the arts, but in science and politics. It seems like composers are no longer ashamed. On the contrary, they have discovered that they have an incredibly rich source of inspiration and materials which other countries' composers don't have."
"Musical Mosaic," with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, at 8 p.m. Friday, San Buenaventura Mission, 211 E. Main St., Ventura. $32.
"Rising Stars," with Cuarteto Latinoamericano at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Church of Religious Science, 101 S. Laurel St., Ventura. The quartet premieres and critiques new compositions by aspiring professionals from USC. Free.