Si Sos Brujo: the interview with Caroline Neal, the director of the award-winning documentary
Si Sos Brujo is the great documentary. It is about the preservation of great traditions of the Argentine tango music and the visionary leadership. Si Sos Brujo traces the organization of Orquesta Escuela de Tango or Training Orchestra of Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I had a privilege to interview Caroline Neal, the director of Si Sos Brujo on May 5, 2008 via phone.
We talked about her documentary, about the near-death and resurrection of Argentine tango, about the events that surrounded the creation of Orquesta Escuela de Tango, about the charismatic musicians who appeared in the documentary (Emilio Balcarce, Ignacio Varchauski). We also talked in depth about the other
projects aimed at the preservation of tango heritage in Argentina (Tango Via, spearheaded by tireless Ignacio Varchauski).
We also discussed Caroline’s next video project. Just like Si Sos Brujo, it is about tango music. Listen to find out who is the subject of her second documentary!
Well… of course, there is the second story behind the story of Si Sos Brujo – a love story. Hear it – very inspirational.
You can find another interview with Caroline Neal in eltangodata.com.
My great tango friend Max Valentinuzzi translated two interviews with Emilio Balcarce (the first director of OET) and Nestor Marconi (the second director of OET) from Música BA website. Max inserted some interesting cultural and autobiographical comments into his translations. Max’s comments are in square brackets marked “MV“.
Available on Amazon.com
Orquesta Escuela De Tango (all CDs, MP3 format)
Orquesta El Arranque (all CDs, MP3 format)
Orquesta Escuela de Tango – Si sos Brujo
Emilio Balcarce Orquestra – El motivo
Escuela De Tango – Bien Compadre
El Arranque – Pa’L Arranque
El Arranque – Redención
Alfredo Gobbi – El Andariego
Alfredo Gobbi – El Engobbiao
Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Bordona
Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Cumparsita
Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Yumba
Néstor Marconi Trío – Cuando Tú No Estás
Horacio Salgan – Comme il Faut
Orquesta Escuela de Tango – De Contrapunto
OET (Training Orquestra of Tango) was created in 2000 with the objective of forming the young musicians within instrumental practices recovered from the orchestral experiences of Typical Orchestras of the Golden Age.
From its very beginning, this Orchestra was directed by one of the greatest composers and arrangers of tango history, the bandoneonist and violinist Emilio Balcarce.
This Orchestra has already compiled two albums, produced by EPSA MUSIC: De Contrapunto [Of Contrapoint] (2000) and Bien Compadre [Rather Prudish] ( 2004). [MV: In the porteño slang “compadre” has a particular meaning: it refers to a guy who is arrogant, likes to brag, he easily gets involved in fights, he owns women, walks and talks in a very distinctive way, always calling attention. A “porteño” is the native of Buenos Aires city.]
The syllabus followed by OET gives the students the opportunity to immerse themselves into the most important orchestral styles of the Buenos Aires musical history: Troilo, Pugliese, Salgán, Piazzolla, Di Sarli, Federico, D´Arienzo, Fresedo, Gobbi, De Caro, among others. Each style is carefully approached from the respective of the original arrangements and it is illustrated by records and biographies.
The program requires the students to stay with the Orquestra for two years. The first group graduated in December 2002.
Director of the Orchestra: Néstor Marconi
Program Coordinator: Ignacio Varchausky
Staff: Ramiro Gallo (soloist, assistant violinist), Federico Pereiro (soloist, assistant bandoneonist), Andrés Linetzky (assistant pianist), Nicolás Capsitsky (copies).
Selection Conditions for the Applicants:
The selection of the applicants is done by the committee consisting of the Director, the soloist assistants, the Program Coordinator and an outstanding invited musician. The decision is not a subject to appeal.
Selection is carried out in an audition session under the following scheme:
-Execution of an elective piece chosen by the applicant to demonstrate his/her technical and interpretative skills;
-Execution of pieces given to him/her: Danzarín (by Julián Plaza), for viola and cello, and La Bordona (by Emilio Balcarce), for double-basso, piano, bandoneon and violin; both with arrangements and with the Orchestra. Scores are given for each instrument during registration.
-First sight reading test.
Besides technique and musical interpretation, expectations, interest and availability to play in OET are evaluated.
Max Valentinuzzi of Tucuman, Argentina for translating the articles
Mike Telin of Latitude 45 Artistic Agency for putting me in touch with Caroline and all his efforts to promote Argentine tango
Tango Via – the non-profit umbrella organization dedicated to preservation and popularization of tango
Música BA information, interviews, contact info about Orquesta Escuela de Tango
TangoData.com(English) – information about OET