Horrible tango (2006)

Duration: 12'

bandoneon, 2 trp, 2 trb, perc and tape

Premièred at Codarts Rotterdam on may 15th 2007 by students of Codarts conducted by Miranda Driessen. Bandoneonista is Claudio Constantini.

Horrible tango was written for an ensemble of bandoneon, 4 brass players, percussion and tape. The tape part is derived from recordings I made from the noises of the feet of tangodancers. Also I used a recording of the voice of Osvaldo Pugliese, the famous tango composer. It was the sound of the shifting, stamping, and clicking of the feet on one hand, and Pugliese speaking in the rhythm of a tango that fascinated me.

During the period I was working on this piece I read a novel by Jan Wolkers called Horrible tango. From the beginning there is an obsessive tension in the story that remains until the very end. Of course there is a same kind of obsessiveness in tango, especially, I think, in the music of Pugliese.

There’s another ‘story’ to the piece. Since we have an Argentine princess in the Netherlands that stole the heart of many dutch citizens no one ever seems to remember the cruelty that happened in Argentina under the dictator Videla. (while her father was his minister of agriculture) We now have this icon of the weeping Royal bride listening to “Adios Noniño” by Astor Piazolla and never question where she came from anymore.