Singer-songwriter. Disciple of Serrat and Silvio Rodríguez, mirrors in which he continues to look at himself, Ismael Serrano returns to the stage, this Sunday in Mallorca. “I come with the emotion of the reunion but also with tension and anxiety”, he confesses.
– In what state of mind are you arriving in Mallorca after this atypical summer of concerts?
– I come with that emotion of the reunion but also with the anxiety and that buried tension with which we live all our daily lives. The concerts serve to bring us closer to that life that has been frozen in time and that we will ever recover. For me, and I think for the audience as well, the stage, the sharing, I find healing, therapeutic.
– What songs travel with you?
– I will review my entire repertoire but what I have done has been recover songs you haven’t sung in a long time. I have also included versions of other artists that I admire who do not sing regularly. And I keep telling stories on stage, because I not only like to sing, I also like to be a storyteller in some way and that the stories serve to string the songs together. One has the fantasy of turning these concerts into summer nights, into a guitar playing shared among friends, and in which singing also becomes a way of dialogue, of sharing an intimate moment.
– I suspect that Serrat and Silvio Rodríguez enter this game, which are the versions. Two mirrors in which you continue to look at yourself?
– They are the clearest influences in all the generations of singer-songwriters who have come out after them, in all of us who play the guitar and try to give a poetic touch to our songs, to find that poetry that lives in everyday life. If an alien came down to Earth and we had to explain what Spain has been like in the last 40 years, we would do so by putting the discography of Serrat, with her she would perfectly understand our idiosyncrasies, our ups and downs of spirits, our way of understanding politics …
This ability to be the sentimental chronicle of the world that we live is unique in Serrat and Silvio. Giving our daily life a heroism, a poetry and an epic that is there but of which we are not aware is something that is present in the music of both. I feel indebted to them. I learned to play the guitar with Silvio’s songs. There is a prejudice around the singer-songwriter, who says that he takes care of the lyrics, his songs are simple, that he somehow neglects the musical part, and the harmonic complexity of Silvio’s songs is to study, it is much greater than most of the pop songs. They also have something that I miss in composers today, which is the ability to talk about ourselves, about the collective, about shared dreams, and not only from a political point of view.
– Some new singer-songwriters learn to sing by listening to Ismael Serrano. What new voices have conquered you?
– Marwan, Andrés Suárez and Rozalén, which is almost the paradigm of the singer-songwriter, a committed woman, with a poetic and social sensibility, and above all the proof that the singer-songwriter is valid, insofar as she is able to find the broadcast platforms she really deserves. .
– “Today I had an exciting concert,” he wrote a few days ago on the networks after performing in Benavente, Zamora. What does a concert need to excite you?
– There are concerts in which there are silences that denote attention and that ask for a certain solemnity and depth that, somehow, reach you and touch you. Concerts in unconventional places excite me. Singer-songwriters are not very fond of fairs or singing in the villages, and in Benavente they set up one of their squares with commendable rigor with regard to health security measures. It was an intimate concert that ended up moving me in these times.
– The mask has been imposed, also in music. Do you need to see the face of your audience when you perform, or is your eyes enough?
– We all need the faces of others, as well as hugsWhat happens is that our looks are expressive and more so in these times, when we are learning many things, including how to read and interpret looks. We appeal to the imagination to intuit the smile of those who listen to us. You have to do an abstract and almost heroic exercise to live with the masks.
– During the confinement he stated that “we will all leave together”. Do you still think the same?
– Obviously the only way out of this is together. The “for himself who can” doesn’t make any sense. We have no other than solidarity. But we lack perspective to evaluate how we are going to get out and what will happen. I have not been able to write about the pandemic, I have been so hit by it that I have been unable.
– What do you think of the defenders of the conspiracy and the deniers?
– They seem extremely irresponsible to me, especially when they have a certain capacity for influence and question science and vaccines as a way out of all this. I understand that part of society is scared and the conspiracy responds to a need for explanations to things that we do not control, that are inexplicable, even more so when it seems that chaos directs our lives. What bothers me the most of all is the people who give space, such as certain morning or mystery programs, to absolutely aberrant theories that are questioned by science.