On Music Day, seven great Argentine voices and their sources of inspiration

Women and their references on the National Music Day Arte Jazmn Guzmn
Women and their references on National Music Day. (Art: Jazmín Guzmán)

Every November 22 is Music Day in memory of Saint Cecilia, a martyr who back in the 3rd century preferred to die beheaded – although singing – rather than renounce her Christian faith. With less blood and violence, but much more music, to remember the date, here are seven voices of Argentine women with their seven references.

Barbi Recanati and Patti Smith

What is in the musical DNA of Barbi Recanatti can be discovered by listening to it, but also by reading it: in the unmissable book of his authorship called “Rock shows”covers the history of rock made by women, those who influenced the world, and above all, those who were an inspiration for her.

This is what he says in the prologue: “My original idea was to make chapters about mis referentes: Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie, Kathleen Hanna. But in the process of writing about them I found their references and reading about them, I found more and more. I understood that, despite having adopted musical figures such as Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Nick Cave throughout my life, the reason why I had been encouraged to make art, the reason why they had encouraged to make art, and their references had done it, it was always by another couple that represented them and made them feel safe.”

Just as at a local level Barbi always stood out the enormous inspiration it was for her to see She Devils play in the 90s (with the glorious Pat Pietrafesa and Pila Arrese), she focuses especially on the figure of Patti Smith as a leading artist for her: “When I started to see Patti Smith moving, I thought: Ah, but she’s a woman, and she’s like Iggy Pop! And I wanted to be Iggy Pop; “So I said: it’s better for me to go here more,” she said in an interview with the authors, for the documentary “Sirenas rock.”

“I released my sexuality with Patti Smith, I let my hair grow long, I started to feel very confident on stage with my clothes, I said: no, I’m not dressed like a man, I’m dressed like Patti Smith.”

Mariana Carrizo and Margarita Palacios

About to make a presentation in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, the coplera Mariana Carrizo He reflects for this column on his musical inspirations: “Having emerged from a place where there was nothing to listen to as a reference because we had no electricity and the daily activity was shepherding, there was no such possibility; rather the music of nature in all its tones and conversations and listening to all the sounds and music that we carry from it in our being. That’s why I sing my culture.”

This is how Mariana Carrizo points to nature as her main reference; “and, of course, my grandmothers are all copleras”.

“The moon is so high” (Mariana Carrizo)

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Of course, then new voices would reach his ears and heart: “I can name many favorite women like you.” Edith Piaff, Mercedes Sosa, Maria Callas, Margarita Palacios“, Mariana lists among others whom she defines as “lighthouse women.” “There is an immense list, obviously,” she clarifies.

One of them, Margarita Palacios from Catamarca, was a faithful representative of the sounds of his place of origin; His compositions had elements such as recitations and shouts, so typical of northern singing.

“La Nochera” (Margarita Palacios)

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Curiously, his talent not only nourished the regional songbook: he also dedicated himself to traditional Argentine food; because, in addition to publishing three albums as a performer and composer, was also the author of “The meals of my people”, a recipe book of traditional Argentine dishes. She even knew how to have her own restaurant in the city of Buenos Aires, during the 60’s, where she could Enjoy a musical and gastronomic proposal. His music also reached cinemas through his participation in four Argentine feature films.

Juli Laso and Tita Merello

The field of tango knew how to produce new generations of artists who draw inspiration from women who came before them. Julieta Laso, who currently just released “Pata de perro”an extraordinary album that ventures here not into tango but into Latin American folklore, revisiting singers as Edith Piafin a reversal of “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“I regret nothing”), as a Violeta Parrawith the song “Ausencia”.

“Absence” (Julieta Laso)

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But when it comes to defining who his “idol” has always been, Julieta names someone who, like her, was an actress and singer: Tita Merello.

“The first time I heard Tita I was 13 years old, I was hypnotized all day. She seemed like a crazy witch to me. I had never heard a woman with so much character and self-confidence. I asked my mother to take me to Parque Centenario to buy her cassettes. When I was older I saw her interviews, I remember a lot when they asked her: why does she sing? And she answers: because of hunger. I see some of her interviews annually, they are very inspiring. When I listen to her, Tita gives me strength. She is more than a singer, she is an iconic figure of our culture. She is a myth.”

“The milonga and me” (Tita Merello)

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Claudia Puyó and Aretha Franklin

Claudia began singing as a child, listening to the Aretha Franklin records that her older sister brought to the Ramos Mejía family home.

“I just want to love you” (Claudia Puyó)

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“The first album of hers that came into my hands, Claudia remembers, was ‘Soul ‘69’ that, on one hand, it was all blues and on the other it was more ‘soulero’, and it had a very well-known song: it was called ‘Say me a little prayer’”.

By then, Aretha Franklin had already recorded songs like «I never loved a man the way I love you” o “Respect”and started a destiny: that of being one of the best singers of all time, and an activist against racism and machismo.

“I say a little prayer” (Aretha Franklin)

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“Say me a little prayer” plays on the voice of ”Lady Soul”and we can imagine that voice joining, in Ramos Mejía, to that of that girl called Claudia Puyo, who would later be one of the great voices of our country.

Hilda Lizarazu and Carole King

It’s the 90s, there is a girl who spins and flies her skirt. She has a trained eye, a perfect voice, and she sings to another girl, who is alone in the bars. There is someone who sings, for the first time in the history of Argentine rock, a song that the mass public falls in love with with lyrics that talk about a trans girl.

“Alone in the bars” (Hilda Lizarazu)

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It’s Hilda Lizarazu, the photographer who became a singer, the singer who became a singer-songwriter, the singer-songwriter who became an undisputed reference for many women who will dedicate themselves to rock in the following decades. She, in turn, also had hers. When asked about her references (in an interview with the authors for the documentary series “Sirenas”), Hilda seems to have no doubts:

“Women artists? I have to put there, at the top of everything, Carole Kingas a pianist, as a composer…” she explains.
Carole King has had a dazzling career as both a performer and a songwriter. Her album “Tapestry” (1971) is a catalog of unforgettable hymns that place it among the 100 best-selling albums in the world with a whopping 14 million copies sold.

“Will you love me tomorrow?” (Carole King)

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One of those hymns “You’ve got a friend” crowned her as the first woman to be awarded a Grammy for Song of the Year, which awarded her in her role as composer. But her compositions met with success very early in her career, as is the case with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which reached number 1, performed by The Shireless in 1961.

Fabiana Cantilo and Mercedes Sosa

“Mary Poppins and the Dishonorer” (Fabiana Cantilo)

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Fabi keeps in his childhood memories two female voices that he used to listen to with fascination: one is that of Mercedes Sosa, and the other, that of Julie Andrews.

The twists of fate (and talent) meant that, many years later, Julie Andrews and her Mery Poppins became a song thanks to Fabi with her “Mery Poppins and the chimney sweep”, a classic of our rock, and that Mercedes Sosa puts his voice to do a beautiful version of a song by Fabi and Charly Garcia: “You can always forget.”

“You can always forget” (Mercedes Sosa)

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María Rosa Yorio and María Creuza

Maria Rosa Yorio describes, for this note, the universe of musical inspirations that sheltered her throughout her career as a composer and performer: María Elena Walsh, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Tania, Virginia Luque and María Creuza from Bahia.

“Tribulations, dawn and decline” (María Rosa Yorio)

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María Creuza is considered an emblem of bossa nova and a fundamental piece of Brazilian music. From the beginning of her career, María knew how to conquer the Argentine public following his live performances with Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes in our country.

Of those shows, The album “La Fusa” was born (1970), which recorded those musical encounters from the early seventies and which the singer described as “The most beautiful experience I had when I started my career (…) the album that defined me and marked me as a singer in Argentina.”

“I Hope” (Maria Creuza and Vinicius de Moraes)

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The post first appeared on www.telam.com.ar

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