Daniel Melingo Q&A
Ahead of his appearance in Hall Two tonight (Tuesday 13th November, 8pm) Daniel Melingo answers questions about his music, his city and his inspiration.
Q. Your songs clearly tell stories – could you explain the kinds of stories you tell to an English speaking audience?
DM: I’m telling the histories of personas, of people, these are my personas, the lost people of society, the down-and-outs, the deliquents. There are folkloric songs, song of love, fantastical imaginary worlds.
Q. Tango and the roots of Argentinian music inform your work. Who are your influences amoung the greats of Tango?
DM: Fundamantelly Carlos Gardel, who died in 1935, he created the style of tango cancion and, for me, embodies the soul of tango.
Q. Your stage show is theatrical and you take on different personas in your music. Can you talk about some of the personas you inhabit?
DM: They are lost people: there are songs that speak of imgainary, fantastical people.. people inside jails… drugs addicts in the neighbourhood.. Jack the Ripper… metaphorical animals.. I inhabit these characters in the 3rd person.
Q. You played pop music in the past. What drew you to Tango?
DM: My background is in rock and pop but tango has a strong Argentinian identity and it is the folkloric music of my city, Buenos Aires. Rock is molded from other musics but always with this feeling of tango. Everything is tango, it’s all in the rhythms. Tango is this generic word but it’s constructed from so many styles and so many influences, it’s a music of mixtures.
Q. Buenos Aires – the home of Tango – is a city with a world-wide reputation. Can you say what it means to you?
DM: It’s the city that I was born in and where my family is. To me it’s the heart of tango, the music, the earth and the people all mixed together, and it’s where I’m at home.
Q. Your performance has been described as Kafkaesque – can you describe the literary influence on your work?
DM: Tango has many absurd situations which parallel Kafka. My influences are the old poets of Lunfardo, the lost poets, this is the literary form of tango. These Kafka influences are inside Lunfardo.