SYMPHONY OF THE SUBURB

Posted: October 2, 2008 in El tango cuenta su historia
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SYMPHONY OF THE SUBURB

PLAYLIST

1. BUENOS AIRES COLINA CHATA
2. SINFONIA DE ARRABAL, Francisco Canaro with Ernesto Fama
3. TIEMPOS VIEJOS
4. NINO BIEN, Francisco Canaro with Tita Merello
5. EL CACHAFAZ, Carlos Di Sarli
6. TINTA ROJA, Anibal Troilo with Francisco Fiorentino

SYNOPSIS

The name Argentina derives from a Latin translation of the Spanish word silver, used by Spanish poets from the Renaissance on. What attracted the Spaniards to the new world in the Southern hemisphere was the lure of the precious metal or of an empire that competed with the Aztecs or the Incas. They found neither because the name of the region had been wrongly chosen. Its only workable, exploitable resource was the active indigenous, native population.

Shortly after the second foundation of Buenos Aires, the population had become a society different from the ones from the interior. The founders gathered a few dozens of docile native indigenous and a small amount of slaves bought from Portuguese merchants, to organize livestock farming and the export of furs. Since cattle activities required less work, they were quickly preferred over agriculture. Nevertheless the hopes for prosperity ended in frustration and many inhabitants of Buenos Aires lived in extreme hardship and poverty like poor devils. Without a shirt on their backs. Their toes showing through their shoes. Living in straw and adobe cabins. Using cattle fur to cover their bodies.

Three centuries later, the honorable descendants of the founders continued looking for a solution to populate the virgin land that like a rebellious maid dared to be conquered with manliness audacity as well as loyalty and respect. Useless by heritage to work the land by themselves, the Patricians and oligarchs continued dreaming about presenting to their British masters an Argentina worthy of becoming a gem of the English crown. Once again they resorted to immigration thinking that the millenarian cultures of Europe rooted in old towns would transfer to a land populated, as they described, by barbarians and savages.

Those who arrived were as “barbarians” as those that were already there. That is how the ruling elite called those who came with a desire to adopt the new motherland. Who wanted a right to work, free education and the opportunity to build a prosperous future for their children and the children of their children.

The literature and symphonies that the Europeans were supposed to infuse in the new Argentina at the end of the 19th century ended up being a humble example of artistic expression that was born out of the necessity of the men of Buenos Aires to express their uprooting, their solitude, and their pain by the rejection they experienced. To express their nostalgia for a mother country that belonged to them. To be accepted as one accepts the prodigal son.

The symphony that was born out of the hybrid population of Criollos, Tanos, Gallegos, Judios, and the mixture of native and foreign rhythms is the symphony that today generates respect and admiration for the Argentinean brand around the world. The symphony of the suburb.

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