I have always been thrilled to watch the great performers being able to improvise and leverage the individual track they are dancing to.
It’s like they know every note.
In one of those moments we all get in Tango I now realise that this is because they actually do. They really do know every note. They aren’t pretending they do. They really do.
And this took a heck of a lot of focussed listening. It isn’t some freaky genetic gift or super hero talent – they put the work in.
They can improvise with such great speed, inspired creativity and heightened enjoyment precisely because they really do know exactly what is coming – their focus is free to emotionally respond to it – and how to express that with their partner.
So I am starting this journey. I guess that I will need to listen to each track 500 times to be anywhere near where I need to be. And to avoid going crazy I decided to work on this with 3 different songs.
Based on the songs I have chosen that is already going to take 8:34 * 500 which is 70 hours of listening. If I can be disciplined I can do this 6 days a week – we all have off days – and on those days I listen to them all 3 times. That is mathematically fairly neat – it is going to take 6 months of effort.
So – now to the songs.
Criteria for selection :
- They get played in Milongas. We all want the chance to show off a bit after so much effort – don’t we?
- They are emotionally complex.
- They vary in rhythmic and melodic sections.
- They vary in emphasis between piano, strings, bandoneon and – where there is one – the singer’s voice.
- I actually wanted a majority of instrumentals as I thought after a few hundred listens the words might irritate me.
- There are frequent pauses and still areas.
- They aren’t Pugliese tracks – I couldn’t survive listening to the same Pugliese track 500 times in a row, 6 days a week for 6 months. No one is that strong.
- They are tracks I just love to dance to.
So here they are – with – just for interest – the number of times I have listened to each one at home to date ..
El Último Café – Juan D’Arienzo & Jorge Valdez (97)
Pura Clase – Biagi ( 275 )
Felicia – De Angelis ( 223 )
I am going to fall asleep to these songs. I am going to wake up to them. Eat and drink with them. Walk with them. I plan to waft around the room to them pretending to be Carlitos.
Wish me luck!