The soul of theTango between Argentina and Europe – Meeting with Alejandro Fasanini of Federica Nardacci. New Trends magazine

 

It is not easy to define artistically Alejandro Fasanini. His multi-facetedness, his many interests make him a complex artist, who communicates, however, simplicity and naturalness. His classical music training at the Conservatory of Buenos Aires, his studies of composition, instrumentation, the study of saxophone, guitar and bandoneón are alongside the literary interests that led him to found a publishing house in the past and a Literary magazine “El Poeta”.

In all this, Fasanini has always had a special focus on the mystery of the unconscious, the human being. That is why his latest musical production, Intuición Tango, seems to be the representation of so many portraits or stories such as those of some female figures: Alessandria Hypatia, and Irena Sendler, famous for saving about 2,500 Jewish children; to the evocation of dramatic episodes, such as the slaughter of the 186 children in the Beslan school.

From a purely musical point of view, it is difficult to talk about a tango CD; It seems to be, in fact, the transcendence of the tango. Bach’s ghost lurks over with a lot of force, going to the arm with the many contemporary effects of contemporary music. “I listen to Bach two hours a day,” Alejandro confesses, declaring that he is not projected towards the realization of the usual tango orchestra, rather to a musical search path that almost goes beyond the idea of the traditional orchestra. And its latest production is the proof of it. “The music of this disc came spontaneously, and I accepted it. True, behind a musical creation is the study, but there is also a good component that goes beyond the technique. Personally, I prefer art that transcends aesthetics, which goes beyond the categories of beauty and ugliness. Of course, behind this thought there is a personal path of internal growth, made of meditation too. I learned not to move with preconceptions, to understand things through careful observation, through intuition … “.

It is from this immediate approach to life and art, from the sublimation of extreme sensitivity into sounds, that the work of Fasanini was born: Intuición Tango. His previous record was titled Tentatión. Why these titles? I ask him: “Tentatión refers to my nostalgia for Buenos Aires, after arriving in Italy. The genesis of the first disc is then completely different, even in terms of time. Completed the score, it took me eight years to get to the engraving. The difficulty was to find the right musicians, who would vibrate with my own language. In this search I happened to meet Giampaolo Costantini … “.

“It was 2005 – says Costantini; I came across his music on the Internet casually and wrote to him straight away. I’m glad I did it: Alejandro is an extraordinary character and I slowly managed to enter his world, while keeping my identity as an artist. In spite of our diversity, we now share a common view. “

Alejandro’s premiss on his approach to music gives us an idea of an overwhelming personality and above all of the complexity of factors involved in generating his music. Consequently, I ask Costantini  to explain me what it means to work side by side with a composer like him: “Basically, the performer who comes before the music already written point out a problem of interpretation:  which musical choices he can make without overcoming or distorting the thought of the composer? … “.

“Those black specks on the sheet – Fasanini intervenes – I’m not the music … Music is the relationship that is created between the composer and the interpreter, the sharing of emotion. It is a matter of transference and countertransference. On the other hand, for the composer, the difficulty is to deal with contemporary ideas keeping in mind all the great men and composers of the past, towards whom we should have gratitude. The study of the past, then, does not have to be understood as a pedissequa emulation but a source from which to start elaborating the new music. The birth of a new idea is for me a vibration. Personally I never had the fear of the blank page. When I sit down to put my hand on the sheet, the music is already there. “

“The problem becomes ours – ironically Giampaolo resuming the word – that we have to play it … !!! Seriously, the truth is that when Alejandro writes the music he already transmits it. Almost immediately he shares it. And we welcome her respectfully. The overwhelming aspect lies in the fact that the different elements of writing are not only intended for the various instruments but for each of the instrumentalists, for each of us, taking into account our artistic identities. ” A further major responsibility …our responsibility is to capture a mood and try to return it. It is more difficult to explain it than to play it. We all faced this incredible job. And Alejandro worked with each one separately to get the best. Nobody knew the final result. Only at the end, a few days before the recording, we met for full-length execution. A crazy thing, a madness! As soon as I received the score I said I would never do such thing! I was in front of the sheet full of black spots but without understanding what he really wanted. We discovered the composition while recording it and we felt like Alice in Wonderland … »

Alice’s fantastic image of Wonderland makes us understand the state of mind of the musicians who felt that they belonged entirely to the aura of mystery that Fasanini has managed to create. In fact, at the beginning, he spoke of the timidity and immediacy with which these music had been born. So I ask him to tell his genesis:

“One morning I woke up with the image of a dream: Riccardo, my guitarist, embraced his pregnant woman (she he was actually pregnant at the time); Both were naked. With this image in mind, I sat at the table and I wrote the theme of the fugue (first track). Immediately after the counterpoint line, then the third. I said to myself: now it is enough. But no! Immediately the fourth and fifth. It has come out a 5/4 fugue with a soggetto and 4 controsoggetti, in five minutes … I do not know how I did it. As soon as I finished writing it, the phone rang: it was Riccardo who announced to me Linda’s birth. Incredible … my music was a birth. I felt I had to dedicate it to the newborn Linda ” An extraordinary episode “is the surprise of the mind that you do not expect,” says Alejandro “I am not really keen on “thinking and rationality”.

And because of this, his work with his musicians goes without rational rules. “To make an example,” Giampaolo says, “only on the evening before the recording, having tried my score with him alone, ignoring the whole composition, I found out that the start of the fugue was an “a solo” . Adrenaline to the stars. An extraordinary energy. “

Giampaolo’s experience is the experience of all the group’s musicians who have been selected not only for their skills and artistic abilities, but also and above all for their connection to the ideas of Alejandro. And the Argentine composer is perfectly aware of the extraordinary nature of the artists that surround him. He wants to name them one by one Alejandro, “because they are the indispensable protagonists of this important musical project.”

A project that was born with much lower expectations and instead turned out in being produced produced by Rai Trade. “A few days after the end of the mix,” says Fasanini, “I unexpectedly got a Rai Trade’s phone call asking me to contact them. I called back and I was asked to send the work. The very next day I was notified that the material had been approved and sent to production. It would take about three months, they told me. The Rai’s artistic director was so thrilled to be willing to submit the contract immediately. Unbelievable. I’m convinced that it happened because something inside me had changed. “

His music, indeed, even if containing the soul of the tango, is far from the tradition. Alejandro, in addition to being a composer and bandoneonist, is one who dances the tango. I ask him at which stage of his relationship with this dance is he now: “I taught the tango for 25 years but I got out of it. Today, the tango is rather a form, a performance. Instead, I wanted to help people embrace, walk, breathe, meditate. Musicality, the perception of the musical phrase. Walking with music … I would like to avoid here stern judgments, but this deeper side of tango dancing is now very much neglected. And then, I studied the history of the tango, even during my conservatory years. So started my dash for collecting discs.  I must have about twenty thousand of them and I’ve cataloged them all, creating a real record library: at least 45,000 Excel themes. A very long and demanding work … ». Thinking about the expectations of milonga goers who are waiting for a “danceable” music and considering the fact that Intuition, by definition, is not sure, I ask Alejandro what kind of approval he thinks he will meet.

“It is clear that this is not a disc born for the milonga; but it is not even contemporary music, as it is not avant-garde tango. Maybe it’s all together. Certainly it is a concert music that does not need the visual support of dancers. All the tango inside his work, even if mixed with Bachian forms, is still tango. “

“You must know the tango,” Costantini says, “to understand this music. To play Mozart, Rossini you must know them well, know the phrasing, etc. “.

Bringing Bach in the tango is definitely a bit risky, I see. You have to know how to do it in an ingenious way and I think you have succeeded perfectly, considering that it is not a quotation but a new language that you propose. What is the public’s reaction to your concerts?

“I remember an incredible experience in France, where we were called by a friend to play in a small town. As we arrived, they first treated us as second-class musicians: they would have paid by offering us a dinner and  things like that. Soon the concert began, the room filled with people. At the end, an applause of about eight minutes. A triumph. At that point, the astonished organizers changed completely their attitude towards us, offering this world and the other. The fact is this: the music has to be put in the foreground to honour its name. ” I guess you are referring to the difficulty of establishing your music in a country, in a world where the real appreciation of artistic values comes second to the often hollow facade … “This is a matter of fact” he replies with a note of regret. “Music is a pragmatic and non-aesthetic media, because capable of changing the human being and make it move to a state of wellness. It changes you physically and mentally. It has the ability to change even how matter becomes perceivable. “

New Trends magazine – Federica Nardacci

 

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