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Documented journey to the roots of folk music

Documented journey to the roots of folk music

“Salidos de la Salamanca”, by the specialist Josefina Zavalía Abalos, is the first part of a triptych about the mixtures and spirit of the culture of Santiago del Estero

“What does the chacarera have?” he was wondering Julio Argentino Jeréz, “What does it have that makes you happy? It makes the blind dance, the mute hum it…” And what does Salamanca have? Are there people from Santiago who secretly seek her entry, because it makes them dance and play with more talent, and it doesn’t matter that they give their soul to the Devil to do so?

Putting these questions together, Josefina Zavalía Abalos He prepared to listen to those who know. She has the authority to discern what they say. His grandfather Roberthis great uncles Machingo, Adolfo, Vitillo and Machaco They formed one of the best and longest-lived folklore groups on the entire continent (60 years, no less), and he dedicated his first documentary to them, the exciting “Abalos, story of five brothers”.

Now, in what promises to be the first of a triptych about the music, mixtures and spirit of the native land, she puts the camera in front of Churo Castillobass drum luthier, Adolfo Marino Pontipoet, Rodriguez Ledesmaphilosopher of the mountains, or, as they say combining Quichua and Castile, sachaphilosopher, Luis Garay, Carolina Saganíashistorians, scholars, townspeople, or unusual people, such as Atilio Peraltawho as a boy had the Devil Boy himself as a playmate (“It is the very pure truth”he says, and you have to believe him).

Tracing the origins Zavalia Abalos get an unpublished record of Andrés Chazarreta and his ensemble, and the funeral procession of hundreds of guitar players and bass players that accompanied him on the last day, and also records of Isabel Aretzmusicologist who at the beginning of the ’40s traveled through lost places in Argentina and its surroundings to meet “the great absentees of musical studies”as she said.

Theories are woven, mixtures are explained: the Devil mixes with Zupay, the Salamanca comes from the Coven that disturbed the Basque conquerors, Saint Francisco Solano brought the violin to the Indians, whose descendants are now Creole violinists, not violinists. One of them, Sixto Palavecinorescued from the documentary “The sap of the carob tree”.

Also appearing are Abalos Brothersrescued from “Argentinísima II”, Vitillo with the Herreras, descendants of the Simón Brothers playing for pure pleasure on the sidewalk for the neighbors, Peteco Carabajala member of another famous musical family, and the notable pianist Victor Simonwhich brings the heritage of the Simon Brothers and today he is better known in Montreal than in Buenos Aires.

In an anthological scene, he illustrates with great clarity the structure and sources of the chacarera, going back to Peru and Africa, too. And, of course, the landscape of Salavina appears, sparse mountains, animals loose in the courtyard of the ranches, increasingly beautiful sunsets, and people raising dust in the dance of an open-air rock until they reach a happy and collective trance. on a red-tinged night, an exceptional image, where everyone seems, as the title says, straight out of Salamanca. And maybe that’s it.

For those interested, it is worth mentioning “The song of the wind”, by Atahualpa Yupanqui (chapter “The haunted region”) and the “Living history of the Santiago chacarera”of Adolfo M. Ponti. And for the bad reputation, a theory of Peteco Carabajalabout “The Forgotten One”: “I think Benicio Díaz was too lazy to do it. I imagine he has done it lying down”and lies down on the sofa, showing how the author must have done it, in a demonstration that is as funny as it is plausible.

“Salidos de la Salamanca” (Argentina, 2023); Dir.: Josefina Zavalía Abalos. Documentary film.

Source: Ambito

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