5 Sep 2007

Ah, the music!

I am slightly surprised by my response to the music in the milongas in Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires, I experience tango music much more strongly than I ever had before. Here in the milongas, my feelings for tango music are intensified 2-3 times over. Before one jump to the conclusion it is due to the musicality of my porteno partners, let me say that I do experience this musical high when I am simply sitting out a tanda listening to the music.

Is it due to a particular venue then? But I had the same experience at different milonga venues such as at El Beso, Salon Canning and Maipu 444 with different DJs. Of course it goes without saying these milongas have talented DJs who direct the flow & ebb of music with consummate skills.

How does it feel like? In one word, I would describe it as “overwhelming”. Literally it feels like the music is expanding inside of me like a balloon, ready to burst out from the chest. I have the same experience, the same “soaring” emotional reverberation when listening to a great operatic aria.

What surprised me most was that I felt this emotional rush frequently when listening to Jorge Duran, one of the singers of the Di Sarli orquesta. Alberto Podesta remains my favourite Di Sarli singer, for his voice’s sotto voce quality and longing hue. I was never fond of Jorge Duran. His characteristic barrel-like voice I always found too loud and rather lacking in delicacy of emotions. So imagine my surprise when time after time in the milongas here, I would be swept away when a Duran-Di Sarli tanda comes on. I don’t even own a single CD of Duran’s singing. Yet often I can identify Duran-Di Sarli’s songs with certainty. In fact, I would experience the emotional response and then come to the realisation that the singer is Duran.

A quick aside. Among the Podesta-Di Sarli songs, “Otra noche” comes close to the same dramatic intensity. Di Sarli’s “Buenos Aires”, sang by Roberto Florio, is fairly dramatic but I find Florio’s voice in the song too thin and lacks Duran’s booming richness to give the same intensity. The end result just come across as slightly hysteric.

So why do I experience tango music more intensely here?

Does it boil down simply to first-rate DJing in the milongas? Or is it the emotional energy given off by dancers? Perhaps decades of tango music have seeped into the very pores of the walls and in the air that we breathe, in this city where tango music was born. I don’t have an answer. All I know is that there is a special quality in the Buenos Aires milongas that give extra emotional intensity to tango music.

It makes the overall experience for dancing, truly larger than life.

THIS is why we come to Buenos Aires.

free hit counter script