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Fito Páez paid tribute to Gerardo Gandini at the Colón: the perfect combination between academic and popular music


Fito Páez paid tribute to Gerardo Gandini at the Colón: the perfect combination between academic and popular music

Rarely does the interaction of artists from academic music and popular music produce a result as successful as the one generated in the mid-90s by the meeting of Fito Paez with Gerardo Gandiniwhom the Rosario musician honored this Monday at the Teatro Colón 10 years after his death, with a high-flying concert titled From the soulframed in the Foco Gandini cycle.

Next to Magic Ensemble of Buenos Aires(or Ensemble Gandini/Páez, depending on the program), more Mariano Otero, Ernesto Jodos and Fabiana Cantilo as guests, Páez based on the repertoire of Fashion and peoplean album he recorded in 2005 in collaboration with the composer, to expand his field of action to other pieces on which they worked together and thus complete an aesthetic map as varied as it was organic.

From that beautiful Lorca pearl that is the “Romance de la pena negra” to our beloved “Mariposa tecknicolor”, passing through a musical rosary of glories of their own and those of others, Fito and his people traced a musical itinerary in which the borders between styles, times and distances surrendered at the feet of artistic honesty and, why not, the good taste with which the Gandini/Páez duo approached the reformulation of each of the chosen works.

Last night, 10 years after the composer's death, the Rosario musician gave a concert at the great Buenos Aires theater
Last night, 10 years after the composer’s death, the Rosario musician gave a concert at the great Buenos Aires theater

Songs without time or space

Punctual and local, under the gaze of a giant Gandini projected on the curtain, clad in a furious red cape but without a galley, at the piano and in the middle of the semicircle formed by the 16 musicians of the ensemble, the musician opened fire, as in the album, with the romance of Federico García Lorca.

It was immediately the turn of “A dress and a love”, timidly accompanied by some in the room, and shortly after the beautiful “Night falls in Okinawa” that Páez dedicated to Gandini on his album Rudolphin which the effects of the passage of Ryuichi Sakamoto by the life of the musician transformed into a discourse that not only does not deny but highlights his influences and sources of inspiration, processed under his own conditions.

“If anyone put freedom on stage, it was Gerardo Gandini. Erudite and popular music were themes that made him think, towards a single direction linked to history, his personal aesthetics, the game and the present,” Fito wrote in March 2013 on the occasion of the death of his friend Gerardo, creator of the current Experimentation Center of the Teatro Colón of which he was also musical director.

“Without sentimentality.” In a way that, she highlighted, he “would have liked.”

Fito Páez and Fabiana Cantiño on stage
Fito Páez and Fabiana Cantiño on stage

A freedom that the Gandini/Páez partnership also put at the service of classics such as “Los marados” and “La casita de mis Viejos”, which the arranger had already reconfigured at his own expense and at his own expense. Postangos published shortly before the end of the century.

To perform them at the Colón, Páez summoned Jodos to the piano so he could take charge of the words written by Enrique Cadícamoas before in “Retrato em branco e preto” he had made his own those of Buarque Boy.

The same Boy who had already appeared in “Carabelas Nada” a while before, with Mariano Knoll on stage to add from the bass to a kind of roadmap for the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic flow of the string collective that at times had to compete with a “fried” in the sound that despite its persistence barely interfered in that back and forth. return in infinite time and space that only sometimes, as happened this time, can be music.

“If anyone put freedom on stage, it was Gerardo Gandini,” Fito wrote in March 2013.
“If anyone put freedom on stage, it was Gerardo Gandini,” Fito wrote in March 2013.

The art of pushing the limits

“Arranging and conducting songs with popular roots for a chamber orchestra implied the risk of falling into bombast, something generally present in projects of this kind” wrote the essayist, critic and writer. Sergio Pujol in the “From the soul” program.

There are plenty of examples that confirm this and they are there, within earshot. Often the result of a search for legitimation in the academy for that which had not been conceived for this purpose, these types of experiences that have little or nothing to do with experimentation or risk are, in most cases, nothing more than cases, deserving of pious oblivion.

Páez’s meeting with Gandini, on the other hand, was on a completely different track. Delgado said in the aforementioned note that the composer “stretched the limits of his territory,” and that is what his interaction with the Rosario artist was about, that he did the same before and after Fashion and people. Hence, the intersection of each person’s creative spaces has been fertile ground for the germination of new ideas around old creations.

The musician from Rosario paid tribute to the composer 10 years after his death with a high-flying concert titled "From the soul"framed in the Foco Gandini cycle
The musician from Rosario paid tribute to the composer 10 years after his death with a high-flying concert titled “From the soul”, framed in the Foco Gandini cycle

If that were not the case, why mess with perfect songs like “Muchacha (ojos de papel)”, “The other change, those who left” or “Song for my death”, from the triad Spinetta – Nebbia – Garcíathe backbone of the Páez imaginary, who over time became a virtuous guardian of his works, which also in the name of that freedom exercised together with Gandini they managed to beautify, not more but in a different way.

A principle that was also applied to the tandem’s approach to Rosario’s songs, with fidelity to the identity mark of each of them, far from the cloying “mattress of strings” that usually converges in a monotonous and uniform sound as if It was the “mattress of greens” of the salads. Therein lies part of the “success” of the meeting between both musicians.

On the contrary, in Colón the nuances and contrasts played a leading role, without stridency that was not even necessary, both in the dialogues between Páez’s piano and different sections of the group or Otero’s bass, minimal and therefore essential, as in the passages in which the orchestra became a container for the singer’s voice.

Páez was accompanied by the Gandini/Páez Ensemble, Mariano Otero, Ernesto Jodos and Fabiana Cantilo
Páez was accompanied by the Gandini/Páez Ensemble, Mariano Otero, Ernesto Jodos and Fabiana Cantilo

And also in that rhythmic framework that Gandini invented for the strings for “Tumbas de la gloria”, at the antipodes of the introductory baroqueism of “Dar es dar”, and at a prudent distance from both the alchemy of tradition and contemporaneity applied to “I come to offer my heart” as from the Beatle plan of “Nature Blood”.

A universe of songs to which Fabiana Cantilo He added shine by adding his voice to “Te relieverá”, on piano and voice, the same format that Fito chose for an extraordinary solo performance of “Desarma y sangra”.

For the closing and as an ‘encore’, an emotional version of “ Desde el alma ” with Jodos on the piano was an unbeatable setting for a farewell with the singer and his muse dancing in the center of the scene, giving Columbus back his glory for a little while. ballroom condition as a prologue to an ovation as sustained as it was deserved.

Wherever it is, Gandini would have liked it.

Photos: Arnaldo Colombaroli


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