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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Roberto Fontanarrosa will be honored by his son Franco, in a musical play

An initiative that brings together the narrative of the father with the music of the son. Franco Fontanarrosa will present a play based on the story trains kill carsthe first work published by his father, Roberto Fontanarrosa, in 1973. He will do it this Wednesday, September 14, at the Borges Cultural Center, with free admission.

“I chose trains kill cars because it is his first book; he wrote it when he was 27 years old, that is, he was younger than me at that time and I always liked those stories a lot. For me, in that book he had not yet developed so much the style of writing that characterized hima more journalistic style”, says bass player and composer Franco Fontanarrosa about the new project.

And he continues: “Those stories I feel more punk, more Kafkaesque and youhas like that darkness that I interpret as typical of his age and that I find them very related to my music. I would put it this way, I listen to my music more about those stories than about others like soccer, for example”.

Franco Fontanarrosa chose among the first stories of his father to take to the theater.  Photo: Federico Imas

Franco Fontanarrosa chose among the first stories of his father to take to the theater. Photo: Federico Imas

Free and in band

The artist will present the performance work trains kill carsaccompanied by Wenchi Lazo on guitar, Mariano Malamud on violin and with the participation of Mariano Bertolini on trumpet and texts, directed and choreographed by Melina Seldes and produced by Fontanarrosa and Pablo Bursztyn/FibraNr5.

-How did the project come about?

-It was during a talk in Switzerland with Christy Doran and Lukas Mantel. This happened before the pandemic, almost at the end of the last tour we did together (Fontanarrosa is part of guitarist Doran’s trio, with Mantel on drums).

We were talking about how to expand the horizons of the group and Christy, who was always a mentor to me, told me why we didn’t do something with my father’s work. That was the first time someone made me seriously think about that possibility.

We continue to develop that initial idea; although later the pandemic came and we no longer had the opportunity to do it, but the idea of ​​developing this project in Argentina remained.

Having decided that the story to move forward was trains kill carshis rereading did not fully convince him, but he also resolved one aspect in practical terms.

Unforgettable.  Roberto Fontanarrosa displayed talent in humor and literature.  Photo Carlos Carrion

Unforgettable. Roberto Fontanarrosa displayed talent in humor and literature. Photo Carlos Carrión

“It is that the stories are very short, two or three pages, which makes them almost like a poem and makes them very acceptable to be able to work on them from a musical and narrative point of view, so we were able to put three stories in the play. If it were a story of fifteen pages we would have had to present only that one”, says the musician.

It also underlines an important aspect. “I thought it central connect with my dad’s work in search of achieving something new. I think it’s a form of love to get to work with his texts and be able to take some of that and give it a twist. The truth is that for me it is a very important project”.

What do we do with music?

-How did you solve the music for this project?

-Initially, I composed many short pieces, rather ideas; about fifteen pieces and we began the rehearsals that were pure trial and error.


Franco Fontanarrosa has released nine albums throughout his career.  Photo Federico Imas

Franco Fontanarrosa has released nine albums throughout his career. Photo Federico Imas

-We asked Mariano Bertolini to tell a part of the story and we saw what happened when we played one of the ideas we had prepared; So we didn’t feel like it was the right one. No, it doesn’t work, we said and tried another one until we got the atmosphere we liked for that stretch of text. We also shot those rehearsals to see how it looked from the outside. We didn’t want to bore.

“The music of the play it has improvised parts, but they are related to the atmosphere we are looking for, there is no free improvisation. We take great care of the climate in which we develop it. There are sounds and scheduled parts, for example, to give emphasis to the text,” says Franco, who premiered this piece on August 27, at Sala Lavardén, in Rosario.

-How did the performance work?

-Melina Seldes, who is the director and who comes from contemporary dance, intervened centrally in this aspect. Without her it would have been impossible to do it since she coordinated all her work:; from the movements on stage, the responses of the musicians to the texts that Mariano reads or some part of the text that we say, to the lighting and all the synchronized play that happens.

Franco Fontanarrosa takes stock of this proposal and defines it as an enriching experience. “I already had links with theater issues, especially I worked on several plays with Mex Urtizberea; that is to say, I already had contacts with making music based on something else that has nothing to do with just playing”.

“One makes music in theater to give emphasis to another matter -he continues- and that greatly changes the perspective of both the performer and the composer. I always liked artists who are not just musicians, such as David Bowie, björk either David Byrnewho have a multidisciplinary head”.

“I don’t see Bowie as a musician, I like being able to play in that field, where I’m not just a musician,” says the bassist who will perform this Thursday, September 15 with Nico Sorín in Niceto, to do Piazzolla Electronica and on Sunday , in Bebop, with its project Paraíso a la Miseria.

“Until now, my projects were only about music and this opens my own horizon”, adds the 39-year-old artist, who has released three albums with La Mujer Barbuda, two with his current project, Paraíso a la Miseria, and four albums with the Christy Doran trio.


Roberto Fontanarrosa was an Argentine writer and humorist born in Rosario on November 26, 1944 and died on July 19, 2007, in the same city. Although in the beginning he stood out in comics, later his stories were a reference for Argentine literature. He was part of the writing of Clarion for many, many years.

trains kill cars will be presented this Wednesday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., in the Astor Piazzolla auditorium of the Borges Cultural Center, Viamonte 525. With free admission.


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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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