A Sara made of memories

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Sara González, to what to doubt, is one of the most important female voices that the Nueva Trova has had. Since the formation of the ICAIC Sound Experimentation Group, where she was one of the few women who participated in this milestone of Cuban music (as far as we know, the other woman in the GES was the oboist Ana Besa), Sara made clear her worth as interpreter and as a composer. His legacy requires study, and his work, analysis. In honor of the truth, the troubadour deserves a good biography.

Therefore, even if it does not completely fill the biographical spectrum, it gladdens the news that the house Ediciones Unión recently published the book in 2018 Sara González With hardships and patience. It is a volume that brings together testimonies, anecdotes, photos and that forms a kind of choral memory to honor and remember the artist. The compilation, by Mayra A. Martínez, counted on the advice of Diana Balboa, companion in the life of Sara, and the collaboration of the writers Reynaldo González, Sigfredo Ariel and Olga Marta Pérez.

The first section brings together some of the interviews that the artist will offer. There is also a section devoted to publishing several of his compositions. It must be said that in this area, although Sara did not have the abundance of other authors, she did achieve very good successes. In fact, she once confessed to us that she was motivated more by working on demand than by her own inspiration:

I liked, for example, much more that work, whose word is very ugly, ugly, it seems another thing when you name it: And it is to work by order (...) I tell you that the vast majority of my work has been written to order (...) On request I did the work with Martí's verses; made to order The victory; Many of the things that I did for the cinema, I made them by order on cinematographic image. I think I have done few things that are not custom made.

Then there are other parts of the book devoted to listing his discography and the inclusion of the notes that accompanied several of these phonograms. Also, this volume compendia a good number of photos, cartoons and plastic works where the artist was the main reason, in particular, a tribute that would give the troubadour, in a collective show, a group of some of our most talented creators. Here, also worth an underline to the splendid vignettes of Diana Balboa, who introduce several of the sections.

Sara González in the Adolfo Guzmán contest, eighties. Photo: courtesy of Diana Balboa.
Sara González in the Adolfo Guzmán contest, eighties. Photo: courtesy of Diana Balboa.

Throughout the text, highlights the presence of various signatures of the Cuban musical paranas and culture in general. In addition to those already mentioned, who also contribute their words, other significant figures also contribute their criteria. Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Augusto Blanca, Vicente Feliú, Amaury Pérez, Leo Brouwer, Pancho Amat, José María Vitier, Lázaro García, Pablo Menéndez, Pepe Ordás, who was for years his companion with the Guaicán Group, Abel Prieto, Abel Acosta , are some of those gathered in the book. There is also the voice of troubadour and music colleagues Liuba Maria Hevia, Marta Campos, Lucía Huergo ... There are press releases, poems, testimonies from writers, journalists, friends ... From all these memories emerges a woman, a human being with defects and virtues, a committed artist, a dear and remembered friend.
So, although we believe that Sara González is still owed a biography (as Noel Nicola, as Santiago Feliú, as several others), this book comes to cover an important gap. If we do not preserve the best of our musical legacies, beyond the discs themselves, the always voracious oblivion lurks crouching to go cover them and erase them. Be welcome then Sara González of paper and memories, but still able to jump back to life, her unmistakable voice, which continues to sound from the ground, from the glory.

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