Hola Amigos! Today is a special day, after a tour de force by the Middle East, let’s return to Latin America, our motherland and celebrate the memory, talent, and passion from one of the greatest Argentinian musicians: Chango Farías Gomez!
Characterized by his pioneering and innovative spirit in the way of interpreting the folk music roots and especially for being one of the first musicians who introduced polyphony in the Argentine and Latin American folklore. As we have done in other entries, his complete biography and interviews will be shown in future posts, as we intend to deliver MPA (Musicos Populares Argentinos) and La Manija soon.
Sadly, he died on August 24, 2011, following a cardiac arrest. (RIP)
Today we will focus on Argentinian Folklore!
Let’s go to our history:
The word folklore was created by the English archaeologist William John Thomas on August 22, 1846, etymologically derived from ‘folk’ (people, breed) and ‘lore’ (knowledge, science). The date coincides, in Argentina, with the birth of Juan Bautista Ambrosetti (1865-1917), recognized as the father of folk science.
Argentinian folk music has a century-long history which has its roots in the original indigenous cultures. Three major historical and cultural events were molding it: Spanish Colonization (XVI-XVIII centuries), European Immigration (1850-1930), and lastly, but no less important the Internal Migration (1930-1980).
Although folklore is just a cultural expression that meets the requirements of being anonymous, popular and traditional, in Argentina folklore or folk music it’s an author known music, inspired by rhythms and distinctive styles of provincial cultures, mostly indigenous and Afro-Hispanic colonial roots.
The projection folk music began to gain popularity in the 30’s and 40’s, coinciding with a large wave of internal migration from the countryside to the city and the provinces to Buenos Aires, to settle in the 50’s, with the boom of folklore, as the main genre of popular music alongside with the Tango!
In the 60’s and 70’s the popularity of Argentine folklore expanded and linked to similar expressions in Latin America, with the help of various musical and lyrical movements of renewal, as the emergence of the genre in major festivals, including the Festival Nacional de Folclore de Cosquín, one of the largest in this field!
After being seriously affected by the cultural repression imposed by the dictatorship installed between 1976-1983, folk music arose from the Falklands War of 1982, although more related to other genres of Argentina and Latin American popular music expressions, like the Tango, the so-called Rock Nacional, El Cuarteto, and Cumbia.
The historical evolution of folk music took shape in four major regions in Argentina: Cordoba-Northwest, Cuyo, The Littoral and Pampa-Patagonian Surera, influenced by, and influential in the musical cultures of border countries such as Bolivia, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Atahualpa Yupanqui, Mercedes Sosa, and Andrés Chazarreta are unanimously considered the most important artists in the history of folk music of Argentina.
Let’s go to our album:
The Grupo Vocal Argentino is a folk music group created in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1966, composed by two stages with different integrations: the first between 1966-1970 led by Chango Farías Gómez and the second from 1974 onwards, led by Carlos Marrodán. In the first stage, the group was a quintet characterized by its modern and innovative style in how to interpret the folklore, being considered the best vocal group in the history of the folk music of Argentina. (!)
They recorded two albums, Grupo Vocal Argentino (1966) and Misa Criolla in (1968), the latter considered as one of the best albums from all-time.
In 1970 the group disbanded.
Simultaneously, in 1973 the musician Carlos Marrodán, an admirer of Chango Farías Gómez work had attempted to enter the GVA, forming an unnamed octet and invited Chango to witness the first results. Chango was so pleased that he offered the use of the name Grupo Vocal Argentino to Morrodán.
With this composition in the following year, he recorded the today’s album with the following formation: Carlos Heredia, Carlos Fanelli, Roberto Maldonado, José Bravo, Adrián Gómez, Eduardo Curetti, Raúl Bissón and Ricardo D’Agostino.
Chango has a curious statement that sums up everything we’ve seen so far:
‘I had to always struggle with the dichotomy of whether I do or not folklore. Accept the term folklore was one of the many misfortunes that befall us as a people at the cultural level. I always found that word shifted the concept of evolution possible in our music. All of our historical problems of whether or not this is the folklore was settling in musical terms. So I built the Huanca Huá, which was the foundation stone for the vocal groups were seen, over time, as natural within the genre. In the MPA I got with modern codes that arise in the world and proved that you can keep playing ours. With La Manija showed the excellence of the popular’
The ‘IM’ highlights are Debajo de la Morera and Cholita Traidora. Buen Viaje!
A1 La Finadita (Francisco Díaz, Julián Antonio Díaz) / Chacarera
A2 Torcaza, Paloma, Torcaza (Roberto Margarido / Angel Ritrovato) / Cancíon
A3 Debajo de la Morera (Virgilio Ramón Carmona) / Zamba
A4 Chacarera Santiagueña (Tradicional) / Chacarera
A5 Coplas Para la Pena (M. Antonia Barros / Carlos Marrodán) / Zamba
B1 Cholita Traidora (Tradicional) / Carnavalito
B2 Zambita del Caminante (Atahualpa Yupanqui) / Zamba
B3 Añorando (Hermanos Simón) / Chacarera
B4 La Tupungatina (Cristino Tapia) / Tonada
B5 Viva Jujuy (Tradicional) / Bailecito
Raúl Bissón, José M. Bravo, Eduardo Curetti, Ricardo D’Agostino
Carlos Fanelli, Adrián Gómez. Carlos Heredia, Roberto Maldonado
Arreglos y Dirección: Carlos Marrodán