Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oscar Chavez

On saturday night I went along with some mates to see the classic singer of Mexican trova, Oscar Chavez. I think I have referred to trova in earlier posts (political acoustic songs derived from folk traditions).

If you like trova, you love it. You crowd around with friends singing the greats: Silvio Rodriguez, Óscar Chávez, Fernando Delgadillo, Luis Eduardo Aute, Pablo Milanez, etc etc. The small amount I know from the universe of trova, I love it.
Trova is probably one of the most unique contributions to music from Latin America and Spain. It can mix in boleros, sons, rancheros and other genres into a very nostalgic, empassioned, haunting mix.

Oscar Chavez is one of the older trovadores, with a big booming deep voice, he rouses the crowds in his usual khaki get up and ponytail. Here are two of his classic songs. The first one, "Por ti" (because of you), is not advised to be taken in concentrated doses. It is a bit of a bomb, and gets the audience almost at weeping point. This is a very glammed up TV set video and not usually what Oscar looks like, but it was the best recording I could get on youtube:

"Por ti, yo dejé de pensar en el mar. Por ti, yo dejé de fijarme en el cielo..."
"Because of you, I´ve stopped thinking about the sea. Because of you, I´ve stopped noticing the sky.."...
Uff. We heard the song played by Oscar´s co-performer in the first half of the concert, and then there was an interval, and we had a tequila, and Oscar sang "Por ti" again. uuf, the effect of the song was even more potent after a good tequila.

Now, this is also a classic song of trova. Hasta siempre. SO many people sing this song, this famous poem dedicated to Che Guevara. I happen to think this version by Oscar Chavez is one of the best. Check out this video, it´s tremendously entertaining!
"Aquí, se quedará clara
La entrañable transparencia
De tu querida presencia,
Comandante Che Guevara"

"Here it will remain clear,
The loveable openness
of your dear presence,
Commandante Che Guevara"

When this song is played sometimes you´ll see the audience all silently raise their hands with a closed fisted salute.


And whilen Í´m at it, I cant help but post a song from my most beloved trovador, Silvio Rodriguez. From the most bass of trovadores (Oscar Chavez), to the most tenor (Silvio), here is Te doy una Cancion, a song I have also spoken about on this blog. And if you continue on this video, you get another really lovely song from Silvio. Enjoy!

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