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Silvio Rodríguez, "la Nueva Trova"

Silvio Rodríguez

Silvio Rodríguez comes with poetry made song. The cloth of his verses looks harmonious musical courts costumes of all time. The Caribbean can’t lock him up because his music and ardent lyrics go beyond the waves and coasts.

There are no visible boundaries and for those invisible which belong to the heart, no spaces exist.

A Cuban songwriter, guitarist, composer and poet is one of musicians of greatest international significance of his time. Founder of the “Nueva Trova” Movement has over four decades of musical career and more than twenty albums.

His songs have been songs of films, soap operas and plays. Likewise his lyrics have been translated into French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Guarani, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Swedish and Catalan. Two books have published: “Songs of the Sea” and “Song book”.

In his concerts around the world he has been acclaimed by thousands of followers of the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Belgium and Venezuela among others.

Through his musical themes, we intend to approach Silvio’s perspective on change.

Julio Numhauser sang from Chile to make us think about the change. “It changes, everything changes.” Another Andean, the unforgettable Mercedes Sosa became attached to this lyric and the miracle of this song was a thunder that made to evoke people that left behind from their lethargy clinging to the present.

This man of lyrics and music, talking with his shadow he decided to ask it one day about how he is doing. The Era gave birth to more than a muscular organ, an icon for humans. It was needed urgently to help and attend. Today it could not be talked about a creature due to years have passed, however, we will ask you:

How much has the world changed since Silvio wrote “the Era is giving birth to a heart”?

I wrote The Era to express the radical example of Che in a world full of injustice and exploitation, with millions of voices asking for opportunities while a system imposed on them by force. Nothing has changed since then except Che is no longer with us because he was murdered. Everything else remains equal, and sometimes worse.

In the late 60s, Silvio took a trip on a fishing boat for four months in which he shared with fishermen. In this journey some songs were written like “I’ll give you a song”, “I hope” and “Playa Girón” among others.

Being in a boat, the “Playa Girón”, to question even the price of survival, reveals once again the greatness of those tanned by the sun and with salt residue on skin due to the waves of the Caribbean Sea.

How much has Cuba changed since he wrote “Playa Girón”?

That song, telling about a ship, was a metaphor of my country. I made it as of dreams that seemed at hand. It wasn’t like that, because to make them true we had to walk a long way. As time goes by I can see even though our achievements as sovereign, free education and the right for medical care, important things are always missing to make us be and feel better. I think this will always be. It is the music that touches every fiber and makes our feelings to explode. There is particularly one of his compositions claimed: “I hope”; if God wanted considering a translation from Arabic. In this case we do not know who wanted more strongly than you at that moment when passion had invoked not to feel presences.

How much has hope changed since he wrote “I hope”?

Hope is something inherent to the human spirit, it is a feeling that goes through different intensities and stages, but while there is life it is logical its existence. It makes me feel good that one of my most popular songs use that invocation. His songs have reported many changes but crassness instead of being a despicable fault, championed a thought.

How much has Silvio Rodríguez changed, the man, since he wrote “The fool”?

In a world where everything has a price apparently (including certain people), I understand that if you don’t have it, this can be seen as “despicable fault”. That is precisely in which “foolishness” consists of. It is like something coming out of a fantastic story without knowing if it was a dream or we had fallen asleep on a page of a fictional story, we gallop holding a horn over a blue coat of an animal that left us without any apparent reason.

How much has the market changed since he wrote “Unicorn”?

“Unicorn” is nothing more than the expression of that feeling of abandonment we experience once (or several times). It was like being dumb and to recover the voice after a while just to sing the loss. We survive a little and sometimes we live with less. Surviving love is to confirm that you exist, but the constant is the feeling lasting over time.

How much love has changed since Silvio “With a little bit of love” made the difference between wealth and poverty to survive?

“With a little bit of love“ refers to you do not need to have so much to live life to the full, in this sense Martí said what is essential fits in the wing of a hummingbird.

We heard over and over again and each song takes music out the guitar. A body made of wood and strings giving in to the violence of a hand that translates a restless brain.

How much decorum has changed after “The mallet”?

The mallet is the manifesto of a young man who discovered that the world was complex and to get what is valuable, first you need to be self-imposed. “I do not sing just to sing, or to have a good voice, I sing because the guitar makes sense and reason”.

There is no other “Manifest” needed, Victor Jara was responsible for this legacy.

Victor Jara is forever a symbol of dignity and good singing. Every image in the mirror has given us a different shape and we have fought demons and signed alliances with angels inside us. All of us, in fact, have followed the natural dynamics and became every day in the daily discovery of the wonderful simplicity of life.

Would you like to be associated with change?

To evolutionary change, absolutely.

What kind of changes has surprised you?

Those decreed by accounting (respecting math).

What changes have not occurred yet?

Those we are not capable of assuming.

What changes would you promote?

Those which make us better people.

If they come from the heart it must to be good, even when we are no longer “children of the plough.”


TEXT: Tatiana Antelo; IMAGES: Archivo