AMONG TANGO, BOLERO AND MEMORIES
One of the features defining the cinematographic music created in Argentina, putative home town of cradleless Gallegos, is the use of the tango; a native dance from Buenos Aires or Montevideo, full with illogical movements, that Argentinian and Uruguayan musicians use to develop a great deal of their ideas. The tango and the bolero (Porteño feeling) flow over the stave of memories, that the musician, standard-bearer of the native folk heterodoxy, arrangessmartly with the notes hidden behind the piano and the bandoneon, warranties of a tradition intertwining cleverly legend and modernity. As the great Buenos Aires poet Enrique Santos Dicépolo, songwriter of Cambalache, said: the tango is a sad feeling one can dance. In this musical set up takes place Painted Lips’ story, a filmbased in the homonymous novel by writer Manuel Puig, which was taken to the screen in 1977 by Argentinian director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. Tango, bolero and memories are the three elements sketching this tale (One Act play) which has in Waldo de los Ríos- Strange Gods (1958); Savage Pampas (1966); Who can kill a child? (1976)- the drama’s main driver. The Porteño musician, tragic image of the classic genius, builds his speech around a beautiful leitmotiv, which emphasizes the protagonist’s remembered love. De los Ríos uses these native elements (tango and bolero) to describe the day-to-day chores of a woman recalling, through her memories, the story of a past love; her account flows through the music in a natural, intuitive way. The Painted Lips melodies map the Argentina of the Seventies, unveiling now the musician, now the chronicler who, baton in hand, arranges History’s lines. Painted Lips becomes the witness of a very singular way of writing (the Spanishway), whose banner Waldo de los Ríos was carrying during a period mastered by the greatestinEuropean cinematographic music.
Among tango, bolero and memories, we find out the voice of a composer who was as original as he was misunderstood; who made of The Ode a hymn, and of Freedom a motto. He captured those ideas soundly throughout his meagre film work. Tragedy put an end to a brilliant career which had left an imprint in history, not only in audiovisual media music, meeting place and space for creative communion, but also as a music arranger for some of our country’s most successful singers.
Among tango, bolero and memories, in deed…