Ignacio Santos, Orquesta Tipica Ciudad Baigón

I first found Orquesta Tipica Ciudad Baigón in the streets of Buenos Aires San Telmo in 2008. In 2017 I found them again in a Berlin Squat called Supamolly.

I met Ignacio in the hallway after a remarkable musical experience, and he agreed to an interview.

The first thing that I learned is that ‘Baigón’ is the name of a bug spray in Argentina, and ‘Ciudad Baigón’ is the name of a song by the biggest rock star in Argentina, Indio Solari, who subsequently wrote the lyrics for two of the Orquesta’s songs.

Ignacio learned that in English, the Orquesta’s name is a perhaps more typical tango reference to a “bygone city”.

The Orquesta was founded in 2007, by the pianist Hernán Cabrera, the contrasbassist German ______, Bandoneónista Nicolas _____ and Violist Gabriel _____ .
Ignacio joined in 2009. “Before, I played guitar. I was in a classical tango orquesta. We were always searching for a bandoneónist. Finally I decided to play. I didn’t have a great history of a grandfather playing bandoneón.”

The Orquesta is 14 people including the sound and light technicians.

new tango music

“It’s very difficult now in Buenos Aires to have a whole Orquesta, difficult for money, and for time. The idea of an Orquesta is dead in Buenos Aires. But the sound is unique. You can’t create it with a smaller group.

“Our first disk is all classsics and one new song, “Permiso”, but our idea was always to compose new tangos. The second and third disks are all our own, new music.

“In Buenos Aires, there are very few dancers dancing on new tango music. It’s easier for them to dance on the old songs that they already know. I worry that some musicians play tango for dancing as work, not art.  Many of musicians in the orquestas who play old songs for milongas also play new tango music in other orquestas, but it’s easier to make money playing old songs. Our violinists also play in classical music orquestas, their day job is classical music, and at night tango.

There are also places and audiences for listening to new tangos. In a concert the orquesta can attract people to listen, but only 3 or 4 milongas in which you can play new tango music and the people will dance. I feel that bit by bit, every year the dancers open more.

In Europe, the people have more open minds for listening and dancing. The people here want to dance and they are more open to all music. They dance on Chopin, Rock, folkloric. The important thing to them is dancing.

But it’s very difficult and expensive for us to travel with 14 people! We sometimes can’t afford to accept the invitations we receive.

On our first tour, we only paid the cost, but this time we we will make some money. But for us, for all the musicians, the most important thing is to play! 

We want to grow and create. It’s important to travel to meet people, this inspires new music. We make a tour every two years. In Europe we have the opportunity to play for 600 people. In Buenos Aires this doesn’t happen. We play in our own place, “Galpon B”. It’s a concert place for rock and other music, but the regulations for dancing make it difficult to invite dancers. We play there twice a month, on the first and third Thursdays.

Now I play with four different groups, with more or less fusion.”  Two of these orquestas, Ciudad Baigón and Alto Bondi don’t play milongas, only concerts and independent festivals.  What is important for us is to make a show, with light and good sound. In milongas it’s acoustic and without any staging. No piano. It’s not a good condition for making a good show.

In Buenos Aires, our show is one hour. In Europe we play two hours. Ciudad Baigón is dark, powerful, climax and tension all the time, with nice melody of violin, with elements of classical music and rock.

 

It’s not school conservatory music. It’s more an explosion, movement, dancing with the instruments, party, the night, beer. Alto Bondi is ‘Rocker-style’, with electric guitar and pedals and composition, a fusion with rock and candombé, but not electronics. Dark. The important thing is to create a good music, music that I like and that my friends like. In Alto Bondi, all the five musicians compose. I love rhythm and changes of rhythm.

Tango is Latin American rhythms with European instruments. And Tango is the voice of Buenos Aires … The old tango was the old Porteño speech, very fast, different from other parts of Argentina. Tango was played very fast. D’arienzo was for that time, for yesterday. Then came a time with more tension, this was the ultimate point of Pugliese, the voice for now.

Rock musicians have a choice to play old songs too – or they can play new songs. Queen tributes are great, but I prefer new music.

For me, it’s tango. It’s the tango of these days. Ciudad Baigón and other groups form the new tango music of Buenos Aires.

The old musicians are dead. Our generation is the new tango.

new tango music

I want you to know that you are not alone…

… neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

My deepest desire is the same as all my students and friends … those who have yet to start dancing and those who dance a lot.

It’s partnership.

One thing I’ve learned on this quest, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start Building them.

I’ve written a 10-step Action Plan.

Are you ready to find the Partners you want?

 

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

2020 TangoForge

6-19.February Wellington NZ
7-9 February Bruges Neo Tango

…DISTANCE…

See you at

Reflect and Train

and

Exercises from Maui

Themes

Important Insights

Books

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

We didn’t start online education in March of 2020. We started in 2014. Learn more about our Digital School