“I think tradition is something living not something dead. It is the opposite of habit (…) It is not a habit; If a tradition is alive, it is a living thing and it helps.
That is one side. The other side is modernism;
Modernism is the result of an area of experiences. And one has to grow his way, so to say, in this field which is more or less unknown, un-proved and un-checked.
So I don’t see why the two things should be opposite; They both belong to life” Giorgos Seferis
Tango Traditional Vs Tango Nuevo
I remember back in 2008–when Tango Nuevo had taken over Europe–I was in a festival and the Dj during one of the milongas was playing the oldest recording of the oldest Tangos possible…
We were about to kill ourselves!
2018… Anything Traditional is the true Tango and we can’t even think of listening at another Gotan Project song…
Well isn’t life funny..?
In milongas, practicas even classes around the Tango world there is this debate on what kind of music should be played–traditional Tango or Tango Nuevo?
With the underlying question being, which one is the authentic Tango; the REAL Tango?
For years, I had a role in this game…
In the beginning, I was defending the Nuevo music bands, like they were my own…haha
You see… I had learned Tango listening to those very bands; and though I became a great defender of traditional later I have to say, on THAT music… I learned Tango well, VERY well!
And so maybe that was why I was saying things like:
“The beat is a lot more clear than the traditional songs” or
“This is the kind of music younger people can connect to” or
“This is 2000 and 8!” (all this was me, but maybe it was you too)
Then, slowly I started reading about the music, the roots, the tradition, the history of Tango. I got to learn and later understand and love that very tradition which in the past, I had so easily pushed away.
But I hadn’t learnt my lesson…
Yet again, now on the opposite side, I defended traditional Tango against Tango Nuevo…haha…
Saying things like:
“You have to learn the tradition, you have to at least attempt to understand what created Tango” or worse
“This isn’t even real Tango, it is club music” (all this was me, but maybe you too)
Now, I am asking myself, why..? Why do we have to choose one versus the other? Is this even a logical and healthy debate? Why can I NOT like both?
Tradition & Modernism — “They both belong to life”
When I heard this very old interview of Giorgos Seferis two days ago, I saw more clearly the answer to the questions above.
He says: “I don’t see why the two things should be opposite; they both belong to life”
Why waste time debating between traditional and Nuevo music when we can spend that time to discover and enjoy good music
And why debate over which is the real Tango when we can instead learn the tradition and explore the endless creative options we have in a modern society.
But most importantly instead of creating more and more separation in our communities why not work together to explore and learn from the past and take the tradition further by keeping it alive; by giving it new shape and breath; and most importantly by sharing it