A portrait of the artist as a mature man: why you should find out more about Santiago Tavella right now!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The year is 2012 and I am about to leave the City Hall after an amazing performance of Uruguayan rock band El Cuarteto de Nos. I had never heard of them before and but the amazing songs, full of complicate games of words and cultural references got me hooked instantly. Back home, I looked for every piece of information I could find about the band and the name of Santiago Tavella popped up, not only as one of the band leaders (together with Roberto Musso), but also as the songwriter of many of the groups compositions. On the following evening, I went to see them again and introduced myself to Tavella. That´s how we started a conversation that goes on since then. I asked Santiago to talk about his project "Otro Tavella" ("Another Tavella), which presents a mature, yet refreshed artist, the singularities of it, compared to his work in the Grammy awarded band Cuarteto de Nos and the importance of literature to his music. Ladies and gents, Santiago Tavella:
(GF) Otro Tavella is your first solo project. When did it start?
(ST) Otro Tavella was always present in my mind, as a concept. 1984 I played a solo recital for the first time. There was another attempt at the end of the 90s, another one in 2009 (this time I experimented a lot with electronic sounds) and basically from 2012 it has its currently format, with much emphasis on natural sounds and no overproduction. In that sense, it is totally different from the kind of sound and the production I experience with the Cuarteto. My son, Martín Tavella (bass), was the first recruited, followed by Ignacio Lanzani on guitars and Sebastián Macció on the drums. The female choir of Josefina Trías and Analía Ruiz came as a recommendation of Nelly Pacheco, my singing teacher. The VJ Virginia Arigón is responsible for linking the music to the wonderful world of visual arts.
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(GF) Does Otro Tavella represents a disruption or a development?
I Would say that it is a mutation of my artistic personality. Literature is an important component of this project. We propose an exercise of reading between lines. The audience is invited be part of the interpretation of what we do, something that may not be very "marketable", but that is obviously lacking in the bulk of contemporary musical and artistic production. Music and lyrics are equally important to this project. They complement and relate to each other. Therefore, although Otro Tavella could be labeled as Rock/Pop, there is an important amount of stylistic elements in this project that goes beyond those genres. I guess there is some maturity involved too, but not in the sense of becoming "politically correct" or "conservative" and it has certainly nothing to do with becoming a silly old man, which is pretty much the idea of maturity nowadays.