Raul Barboza

December 11, 2009


Today’s post is from Michael Ward-Bergeman…-C.

“You don’t need to play a note for it to be present.  It’s like a friend who isn’t present…but he is very much present here (puts hand on heart)”  Raul Barboza

I worked on the music for a film last year that takes place in Buenos Aires.  The sound designer and director wanted a music that would capture the Argentine feel, but not sound like the music typically associated with Buenos Aires and Argentina. They decided on the music of an Argentine accordionist by the name of Raul Barboza for temporary tracks while they edited the movie.

Barboza plays a style know as chamamé. Its birthplace is in the Corrientes province of northern Argentina . The style has taken several centuries to evolve into the principal style of the region, where it is played, sung and danced.

The music’s earliest influences start with the Guaraní Indians who lived in this territory in the 16th century when the Spaniards arrived. The Jesuits and their missions soon followed. The Guaraní learned popular and classical music forms from the Spaniards and Jesuits, and also became master instrument builders. They partnered with the Jesuits in the creation of the largest instrument factory in all of Latin America.  The story, including its brutal ending, is documented in Roland Joffé’s movie The Mission.

While not quite as big of an influence as in the music of neighboring Brazil, African music also contributed to the mix.  In the 19th century European immigration brought more influences, and more importantly, accordions. (Before this the music was played on harps and guitars) These were the final elements that make up the chamamé music that is heard today.

Well, back to the movie.

Once the film was edited we needed to come up with original music that related to the temporary tracks.  We listened to a lot of Barboza and other chamamé artists.  The sound designer seemed to prefer one Barboza track in particular, Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir.  After listening to the track about a dozen times, it started to sound familiar (duh!)  But I felt I really knew the song, and for about an hour it became one of those obsessive things you know you know but can’t seem to recall from where or when.

Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir – Raul Barboza and Juanjo Domínguez

Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir by Cabral/Dizeo

Raul Barboza – accordion, Juanjo Domínguez – guitar

And then it dawned on me.  Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir was Edith Piaf’s La Foule. Music…what a world!!!

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One Response to “Raul Barboza”

  1. em Says:

    This reminded me of a tour I did of the Chiquitania region of southeast Bolivia in 2007, where old Jesuit missions abound. There is a biennial Baroque music festival in these old Jesuit reducciones, and people come from all around the world to play. Last year’s musicians are listed here: http://www.rutaverdebolivia.com/Program-Baroque-Music-Festival-Bolivia.php


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