The sound of Astillero is forceful, vertiginous, breathtaking, raw yet
sophisticated: a rollercoaster ride of throbbing accents modulating into
earth-shattering pianissimos and beyond. Yet this wild sound is entirely
hand-made, free of any gimmicks, 100% acoustic: the sound of just wood and
strings, brought to searing life by an acute sense for translating the
experience of 21st century urban life into new music, built on a solid
traditional foundation of Buenos Aires' tango.
The orchestra, though featuring the typical instruments of any classic tango
ensemble (two bandoneons, violin, piano, cello, double bass, and a singer) is a
tango formation that has nothing to do with the 'tango' of our collective
consciousness. Astillero proposes a completely new vision of tango, incisive and
intense, rough and violent. The sounds of this group are the sounds of Buenos
Aires today - the way they play their music reflects the incongruities and
madness of this urban jungle; it kicks, breaks, hurts, jumps. Just as the world
we live in.
From their all-original compositions, some instrumental, some with lyrics,
emerges a tango that is stripped down, yet rich and original. The fresh lyrics
add to the rawness - a rough but tender voice, that cares and tears at the same
time. The concept goes even beyond music, developed further by video images,
both poetic and political, projected live to complement the deluge of sound.
The group's young members have been steeped in traditional tango from early on.
At the forefront of the recent 'Maquina Tanguera' movement of contemporary tango
in Buenos Aires, they have worked with a number of important groups from the
scene before forming Astillero in 2005. Years of study and research have also
led them to become themselves teachers to the younger generation, through their
work with a number of independent organizations and social projects.
Within the last 4 years the group has internationally toured 9 times around the
world, passing through many cultures with their tango music. Maybe one of the
most important first steps was playing at the Womex (World Music Exposition) in
Sevilla 2008. That much-talked-about showcase grew Astillero to start building a
big international following.
The year 2009 then, saw Astillero playing at the Montreal Jazz Festival
(Canada), the North Sea Jazz (Rotterdam, Holland) and the London Jazz Festival
(UK) in between many other countries and venues (South Korea, France, Romania,
2010 was the year for completing its own personal venue in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. The building of the theatre started from scratch and was
self-sustained by the group itself, another orchestra, a theatre group and a
bunch of people interested in having a cultural resistance space for their own,
for the development of tango and other riverside arts.
Nevertheless, Astillero started the year at the top of the international league
in a very different role, playing Romeo & Juliet, the well-known master piece of
one of the most historical celebrities of the English culture, Sir William
Shakespeare. The group constructed and executed the music for the play among 3
months of hard work.
Back in Buenos Aires, after the own theatre was finished; it was time to tour
again. That way led Astillero to tour twice in Europe at the end of the year.
Playing at the Cross Culture Festival at Warsaw, Poland and at the Athens Music
Hall, at Greece were real highlights.
2011 started with recordings on studio for the new album and a 20-days-tour
around Europe. This April, in between many other venues, the Barbican Centre (at
London, UK), a tour around four cities in Sweden -including the Södra Teatern at
Stockholm- and the RNCM Orchestra at Manchester, awaits for Astillero.
This mentioned encounter emphasizes the beginning of the “Astillero & Chamber
Orchestra project”, meaning a reborn on the way the group starts looking at
their music. New frontiers are born to be crossed, the research into music
leading sound into a new wave. Just a start to a new tango that is happening,
breathing, like a never ending work in progress, as tango music is alive now,
kicking and changing.
Julián Peralta - Piano
Mariano González - bandoneon
Adolfo Trepiana - bandoneon
Martijn van der Linden - violin
Luciano Falcón - cello
Federico Maiocchi - double bass
Miguel Suarez - vocals
Alejandro Diez - Art director
- Tango de Astillero (De Puerto Producciones, 2006)
- Sin descanso en Bratislava (De Puerto Producciones, 2008)