It was the beginning of summer in Buenos Aires. The city had begun to empty out, but still contained enough energy to make it easy to find 2 or 3 concerts every night in its different corners. We had to see as many as possible during these first few days, while we searched for euphony; keep the first week for listening and the second for filming.
Tomi Lebrero played one of those nights in a beautiful apartment that often opened its doors to a familiar crowd of neighbourhood folk musicians. A night in the good company of porteños, deep into the night when alcohol spilled into the last songs, and the next day one melody stuck in my head, the last melody, which the entire room had sung at the top of their voices.
When we travel for a long time, our relationships to objects and memories take another form. We can’t keep anything, add anything to our bags, without throwing away something else. The need to be precise in our choices applies itself to the experiences that we have daily while travelling, the small adventures we undertake and engage with during minutes, or hours, with other people. That’s how I approached Tomi – I wanted to leave Buenos Aires with this melody in my bag. It was more important than anything else at that moment – he had to play it.
Tomi was busy, Tomi had to leave the city as soon as possible. We couldn’t find space in our schedules; I had arranged too many other sessions. I only wanted one song, though; one only, to be able to bring it elsewhere and share it with my friends and sing it out loud over and over again.
It was Tuesday, February 2. I ran around the city filming, beginning with my friends at the label ZZK, then attempting a strange sound experience with Coso in the abandoned San Temo hospital. Tomi called. I was supposed to head to the other end of Buenos Aires as soon as I could. He gave me an address in Colegiales, told me simply, “I’ll sing you the song.”
Months have passed; I’ve travelled around the world, and everywhere I have shared this song. Everything seems simpler, and all of my musical discoveries seem to be summarized in these seven minutes. I can travel light; I carry with me this little slice of life that goes ‘la la, lala la, la la…’
Translated by Tara Dominguez