Last month saw a musical first for me – Tango!
Despite repeated attempts by my Tango enthusiast father to get me to play this stuff, I never had – until recently. This Easter, Tango Dorset, http://tangodorset.org.uk/ organised a milonga, which, now initiated, I understand is a dance, usually to live music. The live band in this case were Tango Calor from Bristol, and on the afternoon of the event, I took part in a tango music workshop led by Mirek Salmon, and held in Bridport’s rather beautiful town hall.
Any musician on any instrument playing to pretty much any level was invited to participate, and remarkably, we had a fairly sensible collection of instruments comprising two violins, one piano, two guitars, and of course the band members Mirek on Bandoneon, Juan Carlos Gómez Pastor on guitar, and Indira Roman on vocals. So this was at least good – had 3 bagpipers and a tuba player turned up, finding a suitable arrangement might have been something of a challenge…
The players were fairly well matched in terms of experience, despite my cohort on second violin quietly admitting to not having touched his instrument since his school orchestra days several decades earlier. If that were true, it certainly wasn’t apparent.
And what fun! I loved it. The arrangements were beautiful, the mood relaxed and pleasant, and the musical direction excellent. We rehearsed two pieces over the space of a few hours punctuated by strong coffee and home made cakes (exquisite food features heavily at these events), and then in the evening we played our two pieces while the dancers filled the room with movement to our sound.
Here we are rehearsing Mirek’s arrangement of ‘Oblivion’ by Astor Pizzolla. As a makeshift tango orchestra thrown together in a few hours, I think we did a pretty good job. I hope I get another opportunity to do this – beautiful and moving music about which I would love to learn more.