My message is universal
Brilliant musician and controversial writer, Atzmon Comes to Argentina
By Cristian H. Savio
Translated by Carlos Omran
There are those who believe that in nowadays Argentina, politics traverses art in an inevitable merge, and that artists, should abstract themselves of any ideological manifestation.
Imagine being the most famous saxophonist of Israel, and for many, one of the most talented multi-instrumentalists in the world, and at the same time, a fervent advocate of the Palestinian cause, after having resigned his nationality.
Gilad Atzmon doesn´t set himself in this dichotomy between the writer and the musician that for years kept him confused, (he confesses). “Now I can see an intellectual, emotional and spiritual continuity in everything I do”, he says. And what he does, in reference to the most recent things, is to compose impressive recordings as `Songs of the Metropolis ´, and to write complex and polemical books like `La identidad errante´, The Wandering Who (Canaán Editorial), in which he produces “a harsh critique of Jewish politics and identity”.
His philosophical and political ideas, as time unfolds, have rendered him a long list of enemies. Consequently back in time, used to experience incidents amidst his concerts, triggered by some angry spectators. “Not so much anymore”, he says.
“It´s never been a problem for me. The message I convey is universal and pacifist, a vast majority of people support it. That's why all campaigns against me end up backfiring; it only draws people towards my ideas”.
The musical ambience is where he gathers full complements, apparently not putting anything into question, but as he makes it clear, he can´t split himself.
“Being a Jazz artist, I aim to reinvent myself, that´s what my music is all about, this is why my writing keeps on evolving. And that's why lots of people are angry with me… bless them”, he exclaims.
“I met Gilad in the United Kingdom and we played a couple of times together”, says the composer and Argentine guitarist Luis D'Agostino.
“To me, he is one of the best saxophonists in the European scene. In fact he´s one of those who work the most”.
Atzmon will come to Argentina in April, to present his CD:
On the 3rd. At “Notorious”
On the 9th. At “El Ciclo Jazzologia” at the San Martín Theatre
On the 11th. At “Telonious”, and book with chats at the Philosophy and Literature´s Faculty in the UBA and in the UNTREF.
From London and in full tour, he defines himself as “A fanatic of Tango obsessed with Piazzolla” so much that Buenos Aires is one of the metropolises honored in his last album. It will be his second visit to Argentina. In 2003 he came to present his book `Guía de los Perplejos´“. I love meeting people around the world, exchanging views and musical ideas”, he says. “Philosophy and the essentialist’s thoughts have been brutally murdered by the victorious English-speaking Empire. I want to give them new life”.
How would you describe your newest CD?
Every city has a melody, a resonance, a register, an instrument, a voice. `Songs of the Metropolis ´ is a hunt for the city´s sound. An attempt to conceive this magic instant where melodic textures evoke familiar senses, when a harmonic change takes you home, when a crescendo averts memories of a kiss, when a glissando takes an American flying straight to Paris.
What can you say about this “unique sound” of Buenos Aires?
“To me it is epic melancholia that is also the essence of the Tango.”