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#5

Ramona Cordova

We saw a vagabond with the voice of a child, screaming like a possessed gypsy, on some abandoned train tracks. We were completely hypnotized.

There must be a secret hiding place in Ramona Cordova’s torso. A space where his voice finds life and gathers force; a small springboard on which it launches itself. How else could it project so strongly, so easily from this puny body? Ramona had a T-Shirt that must have been meant for an eight-year-old, it was so tight. Ramona had a straw hat and a delicate handshake. But in the tunnel of an abandoned railway, his guitar in hand, Ramona roared like thirty-five gypsies. Prepubescent gypsies, little-nephew gypsies, maybe. But little-nephew gypsies who are every bit as fiery as their uncles. Good God, he tapped his feet on the stones, spread out, yelled–and all around us there was nothing but an endless, black tunnel.

A rainy and magical afternoon. We were alone on the rails that don’t go anywhere anymore, in a somber place, forgotten and forbidden. And Ramona played. He sang his songs with the voice of an angel, he climbed on the walls, he sat on a metal bar that was too fragile for him, he wedged himself in a gap, he said hello to some skittish kids, and he sat on the ground, humming. How small he is, that Ramona. But he’s very strong. He’s going to play Grand Palais on June 24; that should tell you that he has no fear.

Translated by Caitlin Caven