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Vayo Raimondo is one of only a handful of artists in the history of tango who both writes and sings new music. He also works on other genres, Latin, classical, and world songs. While he sings primarily in Spanish he is equally expressive in English. All of these attributes are spotlighted on his two new albums, simply titled Tango and Gaucho.
Vayo's singing style is smooth and melodic, but also powerful, soulful and dramatic. While his album “Tango” relates to urban life, “Gaucho” is a collection of musical images from the rural life of Uruguay.
Vayo values the traditions of tango music. The link between his new music and the old tangos is his exclusive use of acoustic instruments. Interacting with musicians who are masters of the tango genre, Vayo inhabits the mood of each theme and develops the drama of the lyrics with a new point of view.
In his continuing evolution as an artist, Vayo keeps tango and his gaucho music alive and vital, and makes them speak to today's audience. Focused on the message, he fashions his singing manner and phrasing to tell the story in the lyrics. He feels that the mood and state of mind of a theme are of outmost importance and that the musical ensemble must also be consistent with what is being expressed.
In Vayo's words:
“Music must speak for itself and no degree of explanation will make it intrinsically better, except that understanding heightens appreciation. We travel in new musical directions expressing not only the tango of today but also assimilating other sounds and ideas that cross cultural borders. While tango is as universal as the classics, its creative roots and character originate in the urban culture of the River Plate. ”
“Just like the Fine Arts, popular music has the power for existing in new parallel worlds or for clarifying realities. Each musical theme is an individual experience for every listener, just as is for the songwriter who creates it. The concept for a new theme could grow from an instant captured by the memory, from condensing years into a few tones and verses, or simply from the travels of the imagination. Tango can be the embodiment of dramatic depth and elegance. ”
“During our intense sessions in Montevideo we record our music with minimal rehearsal to keep it as fresh, spontaneous and as expressive as possible. After I select my own new material, I speak to the musicians about the intention of the work, the musical structure, and tempo. Following my arrangement or instant pointers, we develop the pace, rhythms, transitions, and variations to the melody. A few passes to polish the phrasing and to hear the ensemble are enough to move into recording. We usually capture the performance we want in one or two takes, at most three. Spontaneity makes the work exciting as musicians bring together their own surprise of discovering new music and their instinctive interpretation. ”
“At first tango was simply a part of my formative life, and later a sentimental way to remind me of my past. Eventually I understood it is important to not only keep tango alive, but make it relevant for contemporary audiences. While I continue to relate to the music from the past and its traditions, the music I make today must be reflective of our present world, and perhaps the future. ”