Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The accidental concert

As I slid down the basement stairs of Arkadia, I saw the familiar little room where last I saw the minstrels of Arkadia play. It was set up in much the same way - wooden folding chairs set out in neat rows, same beautiful red shag rug thrown out to spotlight the musicians at the front of the room, and a little vintage tin can to faithfully collect any donations so concerts like these could continue. Free buns were even being offered on this particular night (a very excellent and cute luxury).

Not wanting to disturb those who had come devotedly early, I sat on the outskirts in the back...completely inverse of what I had done with my previous minstrels. Guess you can't be that dorky observer everytime.

And thus the music began. I was completely blown away.

I'd heard this style of guitar before, no problem. But this other instrument, this bandoneon? Of course I'd heard it before, I'd just never known what it looked like, or heard it live.

It was like hearing old memories being poured out in sepia. One by one, soulfully, for you to follow. There was nowhere else to go. You could only live in that exact moment with that music. It was pure sound imagery.

I may love minstrels to no end because I think they're entertaining, hilarious, dorky, and otherwise fantastic...but this music was something else. This music told stories.

In reality this music was actually telling stories. The musicians explained what kind of song it was and what the writer was meaning to express before they started each time, so you could imagine nothing but that. It was fantastic. It's been a little while since I've been so swept away by music. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Just to give you a little more idea, the guitar sounded a lot like a flamenco guitar and the bandoneon sounded like the type of accordion that gets played when you think of old Parisian soundtracks. Old music. Music of the people.

In case you want to actually hear what it sounds like, their music can be heard here:

Fueye Trinador

They were called Fueye Trinador. Fueye mean a bandoneon in lunfardo, the Buenos Aires slang and trinador means a guitar in replana, the Peruvian slang.

Afterward I thanked them for the concert and was told they'd be playing again next week for an impromptu tango lesson. Perhaps I will see them again.

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