Sat. Feb 23rd, 2019

Pink Floyd, versioned in Argentina by a unique band and choir of the blind

Pink Floyd, versioned in Argentina by a unique band and choir of the blind

The lyrics of Pink Floyd have played in dozens of countries with hundreds of versions, but few as singular as the Symphonic Band and the Polyphonic Choir of the Blind of Argentina, which offered a tribute concert to the British group in Buenos Aires.

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The musicians of both institutions combined for one night their classical repertoire with the album "Atom Heart Mother", published in 1970 by Pink Floyd, a show that hides many hours behind because of the biggest difference they have with their sighted colleagues: they need learn sheet music from memory.

The Choir as the Band, unique state agencies of its kind in the world, admit members with a maximum of 30% vision, but their professionalization has made them have "little to envy at an artistic level" to others without disabilities, says proud to Efe the conductor of the orchestra, Federico Sardella.

The Symphonic Band has 70 years of history, after some beginnings in which it was like a help group for blind children of humble families, and Sardella -the only seer member- has been running the institution for less than a year, a time that It has been "a beautiful challenge, really very enriching".

The director says that before taking the lead of the blind orchestra he was used to developing a code of gestures with the musicians, so the biggest challenge, not being able to communicate while playing, is that now his work is based more on the preparation of the concerts that took place during them.

"They have helped me, they have indicated what is and what is not, they have advised me, they have been very close and I have always felt part of a search for a work methodology," he explains, adding that "if I had not had the solidarity, patience, and almost supernatural goodness that each member of this band has had could not have done it ".

For this concert, which gathered on stage with more than 120 musicians, they had to translate Pink Floyd's music to the instruments of the orchestra first, and then, as each of their works requires, to pass to the Braille language the scores that the musicians will learn at home and then rehearse it together, this time also with a rock band.

"It has been very complex, but very beautiful, a dream for everyone", summarizes Sardella.

The director of the Polyphonic Choir, Osvaldo Manzanelli, also the only one of the group that is not blind, agrees that his work is demanding, but also "it's fun, each challenge is a new delight".

Manzanelli has been in the choir since 1991, "learning every day", and along with the vocalists he has developed systems such as singing with them or even giving small beats to his watch to mark the rhythm that has helped solve the lack of visual communication.

Since the members of the choir enter the contest, their director "encourages and stimulates them to develop their talents and possibilities", and defends that the association is "a worthy and beautiful source of a blank work, within the framework of the music".

The alto saxophone of the orchestra, Hugo Orlando Tolosa, is 64 years old and has been in the band since he was 22, and he says that since he was very young he liked music, which has become part of his life.

For the interpreter, the National Band of the Blind has been "wonderful", and he met his wife, daughter of a musician, going to the band.

And although he loses the account of the amount of hours he uses to study the scores, he faces each new project "always with hope".


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