Entrevista sobre un regreso con Bernardo Bonezzi

(Interview on a Comeback with Bernardo Bonezzi. clic on Read More for a basic English translation)

El pasado enero publicamos una entrevista con Bernardo Bonezzi aprovechando la salida al mercado de dos discos de bandas sonoras: las de Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto (1995) y Sin noticias de Dios (2001), conjuntamente por un lado, y la de Mari del Sud (2001), por el otro. Apenas dos meses después saca dos discos más. En total, cuatro. En tiempos tan inciertos como los actuales, constituye todo un acontecimiento. Estos dos discos no son de bandas sonoras, sino que pertenecen a la también extensa labor extra-cinematográfica del compositor, uno de los referentes de la llamada movida madrileña, aquellos dorados años de la transición que generaron un movimiento cultural alternativo, atrevido y diferente. Con solo 13 años fundó el grupo Zombies, con el que grabó el hit Groenlandia. El álbum La esencia de la Ciencia tiene once canciones y un tema instrumental y Esencias es un disco que recoge versiones instrumentales de las canciones del anterior. Pero Bonezzi no se conforma con eso e inicia una gira por toda España donde cantará temas del álbum y de su repertorio. Llevaba 30 años sin pisar un escenario como cantante. No hemos querido dejar de aprovechar la ocasión para hablar con él.

  • La esencia de la Ciencia es tu quinto álbum en solitario (sin contar claro tus bandas sonoras) ¿Qué tiene de diferente y qué has querido expresar?

Vivimos en una época en la que todos los valores se están perdiendo. Yo soy agnóstico, y como tal creía en lo que era científico, en aquello que era empírico. Pero incluso hoy la ciencia se cuestiona y es terreno resbaladizo. De hecho, ya la física cuántica cuestiona incluso a Einstein…He querido dar una visión irónica, reflexiva, observando el mundo y tratando de explicarlo con música, que básicamente siempre ha sido el punto de partida de la Ciencia y el Arte. Lo he hecho con una música que yo considero muy divertida, aunque tenga en algunas canciones letras duras, pero siempre desde un punto de vista optimista.

  • La canción “Como en un espejo” tiene esa doble vertiente: la música es alegre y la letra es amarga, ¿Tiene relación con todo aquello que explicaste en la anterior entrevista en The Spanish Connection?

Bueno, la canción surgió a partir de la muerte de uno de mis más queridos amigos, Sigfrido Martín Begué, excelente pintor y que de alguna forma me dejó un sentimiento de soledad. Sin embargo, al final volví a inspirarme nuevamente en el cine, en éste caso en la maravillosa película de Ingmar Bergman del mismo nombre. Y aunque personalice la letra, ya que la canto en primera persona, en realidad estoy casi interpretando la soledad e incapacidad de la maravillosa Harriet Anderson, protagonista de la película. Por suerte en mi vida real ni estoy solo ni me pasan esas cosas…

  • ¿Con este disco estableces algún tipo de vínculo con los años de la movida o con Zombies?

No tengo nostalgia de aquellos tiempos. En realidad fue una época difícil. Groenlandia es hoy considerado un clásico del pop, pero en su momento fue muy complicado que llegara a la gente. ¡Por entonces quienes triunfaban eran Los Pecos!. Yo me siento ahora mucho mejor, más sereno y mis años haciendo música de cine me han dado mucha confianza y flexibilidad. He aprendido mucho y este es un disco de mi presente, no de mi pasado.

  • Con una trayectoria tan amplia en el cine, ¿es fácil componer no pensando en imágenes?

En el cine, por lo general, siempre he tenido bastante libertad creativa y aunque es cierto que te obligas a responder a las exigencias de la película, en la mayoría de los casos no he tenido presiones para hacer música que no quisiera hacer. Ahora, obviamente, por mucha libertad que te de el director, siempre tienes que ceñirte a una historia, unos personajes, etc., con lo cual la libertad creativa siempre se debe ceñir a ciertos parámetros. Son procesos diferentes; en ambos se sufre pero de maneras distintas. Lo que pasa es que en la soledad de mi estudio el proceso creativo de la música para un disco no tengo presiones externas, y eso me hace sentir algo más libre, porque no debo responder a otras exigencias que las mías. Me gusta hacer música para películas siempre que estas me estimulen a hacer algo creativo, al igual que me gusta hacer música pensada para un disco porque es la manera que los compositores nos expresamos de forma más libre…

  • Y ahora no solo lo publicas sino que te lanzas a los escenarios. ¿No te asusta?

Cuando empecé a hacer el disco no me lo había planteado, simplemente compuse las canciones. Luego sí me vino la idea y tuve muchas ganas de hacer directo. Por supuesto que además de canciones del último disco, La esencia de la Ciencia, también tocaremos otras de toda mi carrera, como GroenlandiaExtraños juegos, etc. Me apetece mucho tener contacto directo con el público.

© Conrado Xalabarder y MundoBSO, 2012

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A Look Back Without Anger Interview with Bernardo Bonezzi

(haz clic en Read More para acceder a la traducción en español)

In the music world since 1978, Bernardo Bonezzi (Madrid, 1964) is one of the referring names of the so called Movida Madrileña, those golden years of the transition that led to an alternative cultural movement, daring and different. With only 13 years he founded the group Zombies, with whom he recorded the hit Groenlandia, to be followed by two more albums before his meeting with Pedro Almodóvar, who by then was beginning at the cinema, with whom he recorded an album and wrote the songs of his second film, Laberinto de pasiones (1982). From there, a meteoric career in film and television, translated into over 50 titles for both media, a Goya Award and three nominations. Coinciding that Quartet Records has released his scores for Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto (1995), which with he won the Goya, Sin noticias de Dios (2001) and Mari del Sud (2001), we have talked with him about these three titles, about the reasons for his professional separation of Pedro Almodóvar and the causes of his eclipse as a film composer.

When I had my first encounter with Agustín Díaz Yanes, he brought me an album of Jimi Hendrix, which in itself was unconventional, and he said he liked the electric guitar. I showed him an album of Robert Fripp, that he liked. We finally decided that the best thing for the film was a music that reflected the miseries of the protagonist: a theme with a trumpet to emphasize her need for redemption, with an almost epic tone, and another theme with sax, operating as her cries of despair.

  • It does not seem to be made to facilitate the viewer’s empathy with the protagonist, but to expose her crudely and, somehow, to let her alone at her own danger. And you did it with very little music
Only 18 minutes of music. And at specific times to avoid overloading the film. It was the right thing and the music was inserted only wherever it was really necessary.

It was a bold score, but the movie itself was too. We did not want to resort to the obvious (choirs and violins to Heaven and percussion and aggressive music for Hell), but something that were different. Díaz Yanes had as reference Les 400 coups (1959) by François Truffaut but I found more points in common with Godard’s Bande à part (1964). As in the movie it is mentioned several times Blaise Pascal I included  the triangle for some instrumental games, but the basic idea was that there were not many differences between Heaven and Hell, so the music should not make such distinctions and create some chaos.

  • The film however was a failure. It was not understood?

I think that if the film had other approaches, less ambitious, it would have worked much better. It was made big, with Victoria Abril and Penélope Cruz, but surely it would have been better to have become more like an independent film. However, the process was quite disconcerting: I got to mix the music in the same studio and while the film was edited so that when I finished a block, it was inserted into the movie, but not thinking globally but more in filling it, patching. It was all very frustrating and depressing. I think that Agustín Díaz Yanes had not entirely clear what he wanted.

  • Mari del Sud is a comedy. In what genre do you feel most comfortable, in comedy or drama?

I like most the drama, I feel much more comfortable in the melodrama, but nowadays there are not melodramas at least as I understand them, as those great movies of the Fifties in which there were many taboos and in which conflicts were created for ethical or moral matters. But today, with the loss of values, the melodramas have become for the soaps. For example, today that a 16 year old girl gets pregnant is not a moral conflict. In a way, the movie that I have done that comes closest to these approaches is El amor perjudica seriamente la salud (1997), in which the music I made had a very clear references to the great Hollywood melodramatic music in the 50’s.

  • Within the comedy genre you have have made frivolous, commercial music, but also more serious music
It depends on the kind of movie. There are some comedies with a more subtle, black comedy, and others that what are looking for is the laughter of the audience. It’s the kind of music I prefer, but I was always called for light comedies and I ended being a little tired.
  • What happened with Pedro Almodóvar?

With Pedro I had many differences of opinion in Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988). In those days there were no libraries or samplers, and it was difficult to make demos, but he wanted to hear all that I composed for the film. He came every night to my house to hear the day’s work and, in principle, all I proposed was okay to him. But after these meetings and once I gave him all my work I did not hear from him nor of the movie, until I found out (not by him) that my music was being replaced by pre-existing music, especially in the moments that I thought dramatic as the scene where Carmen Maura sees his bed on fire, and where he placed the Spanish Caprice, by Rimsky-Korsakov, provoking laughter in the audience. It’s funny because Pedro has a huge stylistic consistency and criterion in visual themes but not in the musical, for him everything was pure patch. I think he has learned over the time and now he knows better what to do with music. And I was increasingly noticing the difference of opinion… for example, Juan Gatti made ​​for him some credits reminiscent of Vogue magacine in the 50’s, that is the ultimate in sophistication, and he could not think of anything better than to put a ranch, which is a completely popular music. When he told me Look how well it fits! I remained silent, not knowing what to say…

But mostly it did bother me much that he did not let me know what he was doing with my music and our relationship suffered. I stopped talking to him when he began talking about himself in third person. Not only was me, but many who knew him in the days that he made his films in super 8., Including Carmen Maura. Now we do not maintain contact. Occasionally we see each other and greet cordially, but the times with Almodóvar are a thing of the past.

  • And what happened with the Spanish cinema? There was a time you did not stop working, but then came the void, in movies. Did you feel forgotten?

There was one year, in 2001, in which I came to work on five films: Desafinado, Gaudí Afternoon, Mari del SudL’amore imperfetto and Sin noticias de Dios. I ended creative and physically exhausted, and it was really frustrating to see all those films failing, one after another. As much as I had worked on them, it was very depressing. Then I decided to take some time off and I started thinking about writing my own music, that which I wanted. I published my first album, La hora del Lobo (2004) and although I had ​​some proposals for films, I was not interested. So I stopped being in the market because they thought I was not interested in doing films, but what I wanted was to make not big films, but films like I did in the Eighties, with a plot and interesting characters, and 20 or 30 minutes of music. I’m a little tired of the big orchestras, now it seems it has to be with major orchestras. But they stopped calling me and yes, I felt forgotten by the film industry. In any case, I think that Spanish cinema should look more to the European cinema than to the American.

  • However, you have not stopped: after La hora del Lobo three more albums have come and you are about to launch a new, La esencia de la Ciencia. If it is OK with you, we will talk about this work as soon as it is released

Fine!. It will be on sale next February, 13, and after 30 years, I’m going to do live concerts. We’ll talk soon.

© Conrado Xalabarder y MundoBSO, 2012

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