Time flies by here and the sheer quantity of concerts to see and things to do is overwhelming. I had 6 concert invitations for tonight. I'll be going to see Diego Schissi in the cute Cafe Vinilo. I've been doing lots of interviews and yesterday managed to meet Fernando Suarez-Paz, a tango violin king. I had so many questions in my mind I hardly knew what to ask, I would surely like to spend days talking to someone like him. He told me when Piazzolla first asked him to play in his quintet he didn't want to and so his wife pushed him to accept. They would do one gig a year in Buenos Aires with Piazzolla as his fan base was so small. He said if they did 2 nights in a row here there was nobody on the second night! Since the last post I've interviewed Pedro Pablo Pedroso, Leonardo Ferreyra , Javier Weintraub, Jose "Pepe" Colangelo (pianist of Troilo's orchestra), Sebastian Prusak, Pablo Agri, Cesar Rago, Fabian Bertero, Lucas Furno. I'm learning so much and at the same time not atall what I thought I would be learning! I've decided I will make a website first about tango violin as a book will take me years. its not easy to find information nor to meet everyone I would like here. Some violinists are just too busy to see me so I'll be coming back again for sure!. Here are a few photos.
Interviews, interviews, interviews
So much to see...
I've been meaning to write a new post for over a week now but there is so much to see and do finding a spare moment has not been easy! Last weekend I saw a concert in a very nice new cultural centre here, the Usina del Arte http://usinadelarte.org/ in La Boca. There was a hommage concert for the bandoneonist Anibal Troilo, http://www.troilo.com.ar/ who was born 100 years ago this year so they asked some of the most famous bandoneonists to come and play solos on Troilo's bandoneon. It was fascinating seeing how different they all sounded on the same instrument and after playing Raul Garello gave the bandoneon a little fond pat and Walter Rios gave it a kiss! There are tons of concerts and cultural events here all for free. Its incredible, so people are very cultured and go out alot. I have been setting up interviews for next week and managed to interview a Mexican violinist who works in the tango world here called Perla Flores. She learnt with Ramiro Gallo who is one of the big names in the tango world now. I am currently doing a course called Tango Para Musicos where Ramiro is teaching and he has created a method for tango violin. He is a great teacher so now I really want to find a way to bring him to the UK to give classes. I am also taking classes with Ignacio Varchausky on the styles of tango orchestras which is also fantastic so I want to bring him over to the UK too!
I'll be going to a concert tonight with the violinist Fabian Bertero who has worked with many great tango musicians and comes from a well-known musical family. he also teaches at the Folclore y Tango del Conservatorio Municipal Manuel de Falla de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Well it's quite an adventure discovering how things work here. Its all been taking a lot longer than planned. I wanted to buy a mobile phone in order to have a number people can easily contact me on and it took me 5 days to find a shop that would sell me a pay-as-you-go phone! One great example was in the 5th shop I went in they had the phone but the computer had stopped issuing receipts so they couldn't sell it to me and couldn't tell me when it would be working again.... Anyway got there in the end and then went look for a metro card, where by I also ended up trailing the streets not finding anyone who knew where you could actually buy them...
On the tango side I've already been offered a gig by a friend who works with an orchestra here with some of Anibal Troilo's musicians, an amazing offer - but it happens to clash with a course I'll be going on called Tango para Musicos, http://tangoparamusicos.wordpress.com/
which is the first year they have organised anything like that here. There will be over 100 students from all over the world coming to play tango!
I saw my friend Ignacio Varchausky yesterday who told me he had recently met the great grandson of Julio de Caro and that if I'm lucky he will let me see the original violin De Caro used to play - that would be super cool! Fingers crossed!
Now for some serious spanish study time!
First Days in Buenos Aires
Happy to have arrived in Buenos Aires! Quite a trip however - my luggage got lost on the way and so far can't be traced and the flights were delayed by several hours. Here's hoping it turns up soon as I have research notes and books and music etc inside. Ended up walking around the town today trying to find socks and shower gel - not quite the start I had planned! One of the books lost in my suitcase I managed to find in a book shop, so I went to the counter to pay, they told me the price and then she realised she couldn't sell it to me as it was so old she didn't have the code so she placed it on a huge pile of books (also waiting to be coded) and said to come back next week - maybe she will have it by then....
This year is the celebration of Anibal Troilo so there should be all kinds of events celebrating his life. Apparently there were 100 bandoneon players gathered around the obelisco today but I didn't manage to see them sadly.:(
Saw tango dancers in the streets and there a tango radio show that plays all day long. I'm staying in the centre of town with a tango dancer and organiser who has a room set aside for dance classes decorated with fairy lights!
Its late here now so more tomorrow! Good night!
2 Favourite Tango Violinists
We all have our favourite musicians that inspire us to go further and search higher to help us discover more about our own musical potential. I have a couple of tango violinists who either fill me with emotion or who make me laugh with delight.
The violinist who really got me inspired to dive into tango was Fernando Suarez Paz on the album Tango Zero Hour with Astor Piazzolla. I had never heard anyone play like that before, such langorous glissandos and notes filled with longing. He really has a sound all of his own. In many ways he defined the sound of tango violin for Piazzolla's music.
Another violinist who is considered to be one of the greatest ever is Enrique Mario Francini, one of the few to play with a dazzling virtuosity that is always musical. He was filled with ideas on how to define his playing in his solos and regularly soars between the depths and heights of his violin using trills, double stops, octave leaps, you can really hear how much fun he was having! Recommended album is with Quinteto Real and Horacio Salgan.
Working as a tango violinist is a constant adventure of discovery. On this blog I'm going to share stories of experiences in the tango musical world, as well as musical ideas, techniques, styles and research.