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Antonio Birabent: “Being able to make music is a balm for me”

The talented soloist presents the group “Las lenguas muertas” this Saturday, weeks before performing again with his father Moris to officialize “The Last Mountain”.

Antonio Birabent

If there is a word that defines the professionalism that governs Antonio Birabent's passion in the musical world, that is “tireless”. At this stage of his prolific career, after 20 albums released since mid-1994, there is no pandemic, isolation or nuclear attack that can stop him at that precise moment when he decides to record a pack of songs and immediately publish them. This Saturday 20 March, from 20 hours in “El emergente” (F. Acuña de Figueroa 1030), will present the group “Las Lengues Muertas”, a training that shares with Ariel Minimal (F. Cadillacs), Claudio Leiva and Marcos Rocca, a show that will include the covers of a recently published EP, between which includes “Atmosphere Pesada”, a classic from Roberto Sánchez's repertoire, “Sandro”.

Excited by the excellent comments received “La ltima montaña”, his new album made with his father Moris, study material that continues the great sequence that started with “Familia Canción” ten years ago, now father and son embark on the new tournée of material available on digital platforms. This new material released at the end of the traumatic 2020, was presented in an epic recital last February 17 at Parque Centenario, which prompted Antonio and his father to sing together next Friday, April 9 at the Auditorium Belgrano. The theater where Peter Hammill, Miguel Mateos, The Beats and Pedro Aznar performed, among others, will be the scope of the second official show of this duo that is completed live with eight other musicians, in an orchestral proposal simply shocking.

Taking a forced pause to expand without running between his commitments and the home-family agenda, Antonio Birabent, that rocker who definitely installed in the 90s that “rain does not inspire me”, agreed to analyze his very prolific work before the shows that have it concentrated in continuous tests. Located at home on a rainy afternoon, the prominent musician spoke to   Being Argentinean   , an extensive interview in which he analyzed the concerts he will offer, the recently released albums and those of upcoming edition during the 2021 season.


Antonio Birabent


While preparing two steaming cups of aromatic tea, one of his specialties, Antonio recalls the genesis of “Las Lenguas Muertas”, a new group he shares with his colleague Ariel Minimal. The name of the project is due to an internal joke among them because their children study in the “Living Languages” and the gag fell out of song to put title to the new venture between the two. According to Birabent, during 2020 he had already put into consideration an EP with his own songs and now comes this called “Las Lenguas suck songs of others”, a recording where they reinvent songs by Sandro (“Atmosphere pesada”), Los Beatles (“Un voyaje”), The Jam (“This is the world of today”) and Los Rolling Stones (“Piety, Piety”), themes of local and international references reversed to their way of dealing with them.


  In the last few hours we met a second EP published with the group “Las lenguas muertas”, which has several covers of Argentine rock, but I know that the idea is to publish a full album during 2021. What details can you specify about this?  

  Antonio Birabent:   Well, with “Las tongues muertas” we have recorded an entire record already, we're waiting to get it out at the right time on vinyl, we want to wait so it can really come out that way. Meanwhile last year, we edited an EP with four of our songs, composed by Ariel and by me, but very recently this version EP came out, where among others is a nice version of “Atmosphere Pesada”, that song so cute and so powerful by Sandro, so a mix of all that is going to come out, what has already been edited and what has not yet been edited. We will present this Saturday March 20 in El Emergente Club de Acuña de Figueroa and Córdoba. It's a nice place to play, I never performed there, yes I've seen a couple of concerts. It's a big place, of course now the capacity is reduced by protocol, but it's a nice rock place to play, it's worth it, like it. In the coming months we are going to publish their debut album, which has already been recorded, there are 13 written songs that we write together, there are rock classics, Argentine melodies and a lot of distortion, but now we wait for the public this Saturday with a firm idea: “Between so much useless noise, among the long lines of pseudo-modernity, we welcome you to Las Lenguas Muertas. Big men with the enthusiasm of children. Come and talk to us.”

  Republish a new album with your father, the legendary musician Moris. How do you explain the second part of a project that took deep in people?  

  Antonio Birabent:   Well, fate wanted an heir to “Familia Canción,” the album we released 10 years ago. Honestly neither of us thought there could be another record encounter, but the truth is that now we reassembled our pencils, roles and guitars to compose and sing, with the idea once again to understand music through emotion and words, with that we believe that it is quite possible to reach the heart of the one on the other side, just there, so close and so far. Without believing at all any of the connotation that something like this can have, we feel that it is a legacy and also a testament to the Argentine rock song of now and always, as it was in its beginnings in the sixties and how it feels now at this particular moment that we have to live. The album was maneuvered under a pandemic situation and the artistic production was in charge of Lolo Micucci, Victor Volpi and me. In addition to them are on the album a selected selection of notable performers such as Horacio Salerno on bass and José Luis “Colo” Belmonte on drums. In addition, we gave the luxury of having Litto Nebbia, who put his voice and a melodic on the theme “Nieva en Buenos Aires”. The album adds bronzes with a section featuring Miguel Ángel Tallarita in trumpet, Juan Canosa in trombone, Victor Skorupski on tenor and baritone sax and Pablo Volpi on drums. Oh, I forgot Pablo Santos is on some tracks playing bass.


  How do you remember the concert they made with Moris recently at Parque Centenario (last Wednesday, February 17), taking into account that now on April 9 they will repeat this show at the Auditorium of Belgrano?  

  Antonio Birabent:   With joy, having done it and having led the project, after ten years of having made the album “Familia Canción”, to have recorded a record again and be able to be playing it live, in this situation as particular as we are all living, it is a huge joy, we are happy with the band, with this special energy. I wish it's a year where we play this album with Moris many times.


  You lived in a very special way that show there on that property, did Moris live performance impact you in a very special way?  

  Antonio Birabent:   My father is more enthusiastic about this tour than on the “Family Song” tour, ten years passed and could be for a matter of logical age, more tired, but I see him now even more committed and more eager. Of course it gives me a lot of satisfaction, I insist, I think we have to take it, both of us, him and me with great joy and enjoy it. Yesterday we were on a television show, which was a lot that we weren't going to a television show, we were with Julian Weich and it is likely that we will do it again before the show on April 9 at the Auditorium Belgrano. These are things that maybe he at another time, he wouldn't do, but hey, I see him wanting, eager.


Antonio Birabent


  Seen in perspective, was it difficult to make a new album with Moris taking into account the things that happened last year with the pandemic and isolation?  

  Antonio Birabent:   The pandemic was not an impediment, because we worked very well in the distance, he and I, with the assistance of Victor Volpi and Lolo Micucci, all four put together a team that was practically not seen, we just saw each other very in the end when we recorded the voices, we spent four months working without physical contact. The truth is that I've been doing records for a long time sometimes without being in touch with the people I work with, but great that year to do it and take advantage of it to do so many things.


  I'd like you to describe how important Inés González Fraga has on this second album you made with your father Moris.  

  Antonio Birabent:   It has the same importance as it had in the first, much, very, really, because beyond the bond we have with Pope, she is a link between us. It is a “link” in the sentimental sense but also in the practical sense, because my father does not use a phone, for example. Then my mother sometimes acts as an interlocutor, so she has always had a very important role on the album “Familia Canción”, as in this continuation titled “The Last Mountain”. In addition, she is the author of the album cover image, a no minor detail, is a great artist.



  How is this “playing with the new formats”? This new album with your father didn't go on physics at the moment. The last thing in that context was “Juglar Office.”  

  Antonio Birabent:   Well, I had a precedent that was “Cambalache”, a record that didn't come out in physical form, back in 2012, I find it hard to get used to it. Now, through the help of INAMU, we are going to make copies of “The Last Mountain”. I always prefer the physical disk to be there. When it is not, the album I released last year “The interior of the Volcano” is not manufactured, I always feel something is missing.


  I tell you that the two most ordered albums at the concert they gave with Moris in Parque Centenario, at the stall where they sold material “La ltima montaña” and “The interior of the volcano” were the most requested.  

  Antonio Birabent:   Yeah, I get it, I know, and I understand that's a good sign. On the other hand, there are discs that are difficult to manufacture. I also know that the number of discs sold now is much less in terms of quantity, I keep trying as much as possible to make some copies.

  During the last few years you kept your firm tradition of recording, constantly publishing and giving recitals in large numbers, a concept that in 2020 was minimally altered. Looks like there's no pandemic to stop you, does it?  

  Antonio Birabent:   Well, last year has been a season of many projects, many albums, this year too, I understand that I still like making music, composing, recording records, it is still a task, a craft, something that generates my joy, a very satisfying issue. What's more, I often find it like a balm to keep making music, I don't know, as long as I can and I feel like, I'm going to continue recording records, brewing and putting together musical projects.


  You described the process of your previous recordings as “voluntary quarantines” so what happened last year didn't take you as surprise, except for strictly news around the world.  

  Antonio Birabent:   It is true, I am very used to recording in my house from the album “Azar” that was in 1997, with my house turned into a recording studio, there are many years of “home recordings” and in that I am already an expert in truth, I am very tanned in recording in situations that are not the classics of study, therefore, everything happened in 2020 was not a difficulty.


  So you were a “pre-quarantine artist.”  

  Antonio Birabent:   I remember that recording at my house was not so common, then there were people who recorded in your studio, right? It's not that I invented it much less, but I did start at that time to do something that wasn't so common, that was to record the records without a studio and without a record company. And well, somehow I keep doing it.


  I've heard a lot of definitions of what pandemic and isolation means, but you made a very special description of this by denoting it as a “mix of desolation and euphoria.” It's quite a statement without stridence, but with a lot of brutal honesty, isn't it?  

  Antonio Birabent:   I understand we've been going through those two things most people in the past year, right? Grief and desolation in certain times and at times the euphoria of rescuing small moments of meeting humanity in everyday details, and part of the test has been to know how to balance between these two feelings, between joy and sadness.


Antonio Birabent


  How do you remember what was generated with the albums “Oficio Juglar” and “Flores en Versailles”, a project that did not see the light in physical format?  

  Antonio Birabent:   Well, the “Juglar Office” thing was something extraordinary, it's really a

very special thing, a book album, there we achieved something special, because musicalizar poetry and although it came out already three years ago, it still gives me a lot of joy to have achieved artists of the stature of Fogwill or Alejandra Pizarnik, Aurora Venturini, Vuarros, Sergio Bizio, name some, could have transformed them in song, it was a great joy, of course it makes me happy and there are still many people who tell me about that album.


  And the case of the album “Flores en Versailles”, which only came out in digital?  

  Antonio Birabent.   “Flores en Versailles” was a project we had with Marcelo DiFiLippo, last year we decided to release that album that we had saved and is part of the number of projects that I could realize during 2020, which we shaped it despite everything that was happening in the country with the pandemic and the demandemic and the most... aacute; s health issues.



  What importance do you attach to many of those songs being uploaded to YouTube, even with an illustration so people can listen to them on that platform?  

  Antonio Birabent:   The truth is that I don't have a theory about it, sometimes I upload an entire record, someone says “It's not good for you”, in the case of “El interior del Volcano” I uploaded it like this and someone convinced me to upload three or four songs, separately, a month and then upload the album. There are many musicians who do it in a much more strategic way than me. I do it as I can really, the passion of sharing and concretizing takes me ahead, then I'm going faster, for something I recorded more than 20 albums, I'm going faster than the situation progresses, then for this year I have armed another album with versions of strings, of songs of mine I don't know when it's going to come out, it's an album of songs of mine made with a string quintet. We did the project with Víctor Volpi, then I start composing in the last time, new songs for another album, I understand that I will not be able to release this year, I try as far as possible to regulate myself a little.


Antonio Birabent


  Since acting, you did a theatrical show called “I can't tell you how much.”  

  Antonio Birabent:   Yes, that was in 2019, before the pandemic, at the same time I do other things, I write, but this is going to be a very musical year. That show obviously aims to hold my acting side, of course, but this past year there has been very little work for me as an actor and I've put the energy into something else, well, I trust something this year will come up, I have the idea that something will come up from the acting, but I'm just waiting, no hurry.


  There are things in the music industry that live as if it were a decoration of your peers or context. That Mercedes Sosa at the time recorded a version of your song “Rio en spiral” is like a great recognition, even it wouldn't have been bad if that reversal went to his project “Cantora” in the format of duets, right?  

  Antonio Birabent:   Sometime someone who was in the production told me that one of the songs left outside the project “Cantora” was “Rio en spiral”, was on the list of the candidates, it is a joy that she sang it, every time I sing it... in fact I'm going to sing it in the Auditorium Belgrano when we play the album with my old man on April 9, I'm going to do a piano and voice version of “Rio es spiral”.


  How do you continue to be after so many seasons a songwriter so prolific and passionate about the music you do?  

  Antonio Birabent:   I never doubted that it was going to be otherwise, that I always understood when I started making music that this was for long, of course no one can know how long it will last by doing something, at all, but I always knew that enthusiasm and commitment was going to be.



Photos: Natalia Fiore (Press Agency Please And Thank You)


Publication Date: 18/03/2021

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