Vida de artista Canciones de Leo Ferré(2007)
"This record is a small window through which to look out the immense work of Léo Ferré, the rebel star of the French song, whose career I followed with admiration during the years I lived in France. Without having thoroughly known his work before, I can still remember with how much excitement and numerous times I heard Avec le temps, one of those songs that justifies the life of an artist. Poet and singer of poets, Léo Ferré has always been a celestial body for me, different, disconcerting, huge, far... But time to time. Admiration debts always end up satisfied.
The CD you have in your hands is an original idea of Norbert Kalfon, whom I will always appreciate the given encouragement to make it happen. When he showed me the initial material for the forecasted songs I found the project as attractive as full of difficulties, being the lyrics the greatest of my concerns. The original texts were excellent, of course, so how could I translate them into Spanish without losing the intensity of its poetic beauty? And furthermore, could they still be sung without altering the original tune? The truth is that it seemed an almost impossible task. But Norbert insisted, and artistic insistence also knocks imagination. I consulted the circulating repertoire about the work of Ferre, finding most of them overly literal and unsuitable for singing. If it is already difficult to translate a poem, the challenge is even greater when it comes to the lyrics of a song, to the adaptation of accents, keeping the rhymes ...
So I decided go further and make my own version rather than a translation, a personal reading in dialogue and involved with the spirit that inspires the work of Ferré. I would not mind to get away from their literal words as I maintained their essential meaning, trying to keep the pace and the accomplice vision of his friendly mind. I was the taking the liberty to choose other references, other images and other contexts. Me in him, and within him, he with me. Each new song would have courage and grace for itself, without the need of an acclaimed author endorsement nor a lower apology for not achieving the miracle as it came from another language.
Finally, I was kept entertained with this task for one year, both splitting and identifying my respected Ferré. Frequently I went to my friend and poet Juan Carlos Mestre in search of his candle light to help me bend in the road. And I also went to ask to Agustin Garcia Calvo to deal with the song “Canción de Otoño” by Verlaine. On the other hand, Lola la Titiritera has always encouraged me and pointed some song that was not on the initial list.
As a result, this is the effort and result of the passion and searching applied. In any case, I have enjoyed doing this work, that has also helped me to definitely know an extraordinary poet and singer, and recognize him as a true master. When comparing the work and career of artists like Léo Ferré with what is nowadays around us, current misery hurts ear. Leo´s, of course, is another story, another memory, another sea."
With special thanks to: Agnès Jaoui, a precious present to sing with her; who appeared as if by an act of magic, without expecting her, out of sheer enthusiasm, with total generosity. José Luis Ordonez, " Josete", who encouraged each of the songs with his flamenco guitar and sound fixes. All the musicians that sound here: Cuco Pérez, evoking canteens and rivers with his accordion; Paul Martin, braiding and ticking percussion; Carlos Ibañez, fundamental bass; Eva Duran, with the pinch and lament in his throat; and Chano Dominguez, black sounds that bring up the white keys. To the brothers Peter and Paul Baselga from Infinity, responsible for almost all recording and emotionally get involved in the project. Fernando Deleyto, rigorous recording and mixing as well as attentive to the final editing. An to excellent team, yes sir.
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