al Tango: “tango of the world”
available on al Tango web site in delivery sale starting from April 2006.
The cd album “tango of the world” explores one musical genre: tango, and is trying to prove the thesis that “tango… is not Argentinian”.
Piotr Rafałko, vocalist of the band, performs tango pieces in twelve languages: Polish, Castellano (ríoplatense), Russian, German, Turkish, French, Finnish, Jewish, Slovakian, Romanian, Italian and Czech. Neverthless, all tango lyrics on “tango of the world” tell stories about various shades of love.
Musicians performing on the album “tango of the world” of al Tango band:
Piotr Rafalko – vocal
Marcin Markowicz – violin
Jaroslaw Kutera – accordeon
Marcin Maciejewski – double bass
Robert Morawski – piano
Krzysztof Gerus and Maciej Regulski – guitars (Chitarra Romana)
Andrzej Makal – maracas (Ich küsse Ihre Hand Madame)
Arrangements: Marcin Maciejewski, Paweł Jankowski, Tomasz Filipczak, Bartek Woźniak.
Cooperation: Grzegorz Berniak.
Recording: Studio Rembrandt, Polish Radio Białystok (February 2006) Sound engineer: Grzegorz Falkowski.
Vocal recording and mix: Studio Hard Andrzej Rewak (March 2006).
Producer, founder and manager of al Tango orchestra: Paweł Bosky
Cover design: Agnieszka Kruk. Photos: Maciej Zawidzki, Agnieszka Kruk, Jacek Gancarz.
Editor: FoMA Association, Paweł Bosky.
Track list “tango of the world“:
Text on the cover:
TANGO IS NOT ARGENTINIAN !
Everyone will tell you that tango is Argentinian. But tango dies of exhaustion once the distance among the buildings is bigger than 200 metres. I mean, tango is urban music, so it cannot be representative for the whole country, especially if this country is mostly a desert. (…)
If we take into account the place of birth and life of most tango authors and composers, orchestra founders, singers, musicians and followers, we must admit that tango is not Argentinian but porteño. Fundamental musical tango traditions African and Spanish candombe and milongas, tragic tone and dramatic lyrics (Neapolitan folk songs), language (Spanish Ríoplatense), origin of the greatest artists of the genre (in many cases still not clear), instruments (the bandoneón was invented in Germany, the typical tango orchestra is a semi-folk imitation of the great symphonic orchestra, with Italian and other European instruments), even the African etymology of its name – all these elements contribute to the world origin of tango, once more, not international, but world, which wants to say “from the whole world”. (…)
To prove this thesis, let me tell an anecdote. While staying in New York, a tango musician could not enter his flat because it was locked from the inside. He asked for help an Argentinian boy from Brooklyn, of Italian roots, who was just passing by. The boy gets into the flat through the back stairs, wakes the singer (Carlos Gardel, about whom we do not know until today if he was French or Uruguayan) and asks him to open the door. When both the singer and the musician thank him, the boy says that he can play bandoneón because he has classes with a Hungarian bandoneonist. The famous Gardel, curious about the boy (and who is this boy? Piazzolla himself), asks him to play a tango. And then, what this French or Uruguayan singer says in Spanish to the Argentian boy of Italian origin brought up in the US who learned to play German bandoneón from a Hungarian bandoneonist? “You play bandoneón like a genuine Spaniard!” (this anecdote is taken from the biography of Astor Piazzolla by Natalio Gorín).
To conclude: although, following our mental habits, we try to categorise every single thing in order to define its origin, it is difficult to classify tango , as well as the Republic of Argentina, and put it within the limits of a strictly defined nation. It rather oscillates between locality and universality. Tango is an example of the phenomenon that an Anglo-Saxon writer Roland Robertson called “glocalization”, i.e. local globalization.
I would also say in the very Papal style – which corresponds ideally with Roma, where these reflexions have been conceived – that tango is Urbi et Orbi. Or, to be more provocative: tango is not Argentinian, so it does not matter what numerous nationalists say about it without even knowing how to sing or dance it.
The article was published in El Farolito (July 2003)
Author: Fernando Iglesias
Polish to English translation: Anna Wojtych
Acknowledgements: Małgorzata Karpowicz, Robert Koński, Lidia and Edward Gierwiałło, whose help made it possible to record “tango of the world” with al Tango.
The album will be available in delivery sale and during concerts of al Tango band.
Price: 12 Euro. HOW TO BUY tango of the world