Antonio Birabent gets confused in the city. It’s not like I’m drifting and stunned in the streets, sidewalks and buildings. None of this. Birabent gets confused because he gets lost in the crowd, in the corner of any bar. And one more among many that give meaning to the urban landscape of Buenos Aires. “In a way, being independent or being recognized on the street and asking for your autograph are two styles or two ways. But what I do is first. So, I understand that it’s okay to manage myself in those two waters“Says this musician, actor and lover of speech who moves with the same ease on a stage of the underworld of Buenos Aires or turning on a television for HBO. “Independence has to do with one’s place. But really we are nowherewe are all trying to survive the chaos that touches us and to move forward with what we do, ”says the artist from 53 years oldwho chooses the low profile as a lifestyle.
Birabent presents two important innovations. The first is that the Friday 8 to 21 will appear with his father, Morrison La Humedad Coffee (Carlos Calvo 2540). By the end of 2020 they had been released the last mountain, the second album in duet with Moris. “It’s an intimate concert. will be at the piano Lolo Micucci. The piano takes us to an ancient place of great purity, ”says Birabent. “the last mountain it was an album that somehow went back to producing it empathy what sex family song in 2011, which has to do with the fact that a father and son come together to compose and sing. Then, of course, comes the music, but there is something earlier that is human. And that part is the one that awakens and produces the most harmony with the listener, ”she understands.
The other novelty that lights up his days is the publication of his first book. Three (Malisia, 2022), which it will be released in April and will be presented on 7 May at the Book Fair, is a book of short stories, “observations and some memories”. “There is nothing that hasn’t happened. I only tell situations that in one way or another happened ”, he reveals about the autobiographical and traditional tone of the book. The title, meanwhile, refers to his father, his son Oliver and to him “It’s a line of three hearts beating at the same moment, space and time”, explains Birabent, seated at a table in his favorite bar, Varela Varelita.
-When did the idea of making a book come about?
-In 2000 I started writing short things, which I have kept. Time has passed and I have not done anything about it. And in 2018 I went to live in Rio de Janeiro for a while, to work. And then I started writing a lot. In the absence of Buenos Aires and in the absence of my family. And I realized there was a book. helped me see it Giovanni Giuseppe Becerra, friend and great writer. So, I started thinking about what that book would be like. And understand that those observations, memories and little stories could leave a mark. And then there was work, time, a lot of paper and a lot of pencil. I wrote everything by hand. At one point Juanjo said to me: “Antonio, urgently transfer it to a computer”. He cost me a lot. Notebooks and notebooks written in small print. But it was very helpful to write the old way, because I felt it was a very direct connection to my spirit. And then moving it to the keyboard was a way to polish it. I also understood that it was a book that came out independently, with a small publishing house, like Malisia.
-Sometimes the style of the stories recalls the engravings of Buenos Aires by Arlt or the existentialism of Scalabrini Ortiz. Is there anything of this literary tradition linked to the daily observation of the city?
-The other day I was shooting a movie at the Maipo and we went with the crew and the actors to have a coffee where the corner of Corrientes and Esmeralda meet. At one point I said: “Here I am at the corner of The man who is alone and waits (1931) “. Scalabrini Ortiz, Arlt and the list is long, they are observers. I spend my life observing it and no doubt I inherited it from something family. I think about my old man’s lyrics and he looks at the city all the time. But I liked that dynamic of trying not to write songs. But to write something else, a put me in another format. And don’t think about the verse and the chorus. It was also like starting over. And I also understand that the book is an inheritance for my lineage, for my son. There is something very optimistic about the whole book: my father, my mother, my brother, my son, us from the city. And I like being able to capture it so privately, because they are very intimate reflections, publicly. And hopefully they have value for other people. Because what I am telling is not so special, it is special for my family, but for the next family it is the mirror of other situations.
-Where does your fascination for the city come from?
-When we returned to Buenos Aires in 1987 I was 18 years old. My experience with Buenos Aires was very short, because we left in 1976, when I was six or seven years old. We returned twelve years later. but immediately the city touched my heart. I remember someone once challenged me, I who wrote – and I say this without false modesty – think more songs about Buenos Aires than any Argentine rock musician in the last 25 years, asked me: “What is it that you make such a difference with yourself, what’s the matter with you in Buenos Aires? ” And in sync I said: “I can cry for the city”. And not of pain, but of emotion. From Love of Buenos Aires. And at one point it was very strong, especially in the Buenos Aires (2003), Time and space (2005) and demolitions (2007), which are three albums that practically talk about Buenos Aires … after which I forced myself to write about other things.
-In the book, however, there are situations in Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, Montevideo …
– I like cities. And I understand that even if I am from Buenos Aires, I think that if I had been born, for example, in Mendoza I would have found pleasure. I like the belonging and I always fight for my belonging and that of others. Many times I meet people who say to me “I live in a small town, how nice it would be to go to Buenos Aires”. And I find it nice to go to your small town! We are so fascinated by what is foreign, we are so dazzled by things we do not know, that it is good to compensate a little and say: “What, I like this place which is my place.” Because if desire isn’t always very far away, right? Globalization has brought this to paroxysm, because we feel “citizens of the world”. I don’t feel like a citizen of the world, in any way. I feel like a citizen of the place where I am. But in the two months that I lived in Rio de Janeiro, I felt I was a bit of a local.
-In the book there are several recurring topics: exile, travel, love, the city, the family, existence. But your old man, Moris, whom you call “El”, appears often. Did you want him to be a central character in the book from the start?
-It was totally unintentional, but I quickly realized that I had to portray those moments with my father and that connection that we have so special, from so many hours and hours of conversation. And it seemed nice to me to achieve that communion between something that is so common: we have parents and some of us have children. When these two poles are present, the other human being is in the middle and must be in that place until time passes. And I thought that place was so obvious but on the other hand so mysterious. I am standing between a child and a grown man. AND I’m balancing. I liked that role of “balancer” between my son and my father. We decided to mention it as El and without accent. There is a game with spelling. When I got the last reading, I could read it absently and thought, “How funny this family is.”
-Another recurring theme in the book is that of communication / lack of communication. Is it something that worries you?
I feel more and more the digital autism. And in a way I’m against it. The girl just said to me: “Your glasses look so good.” And I tell him: “I find it hard to wear glasses”. Because I feel a little stuck. We are surrounded by obstacles: digital, the chinstrap, modesty, the difficulty in opening up, headphones, screens. I still really like going out on the street and not knowing what’s going to happen to me. I like that uncertainty. and I feel it if we are thus protected, the level of uncertainty drops a lot. What happens in this bar, the people chatting and laughing at that table, is still full of hope for me. On the disk or (2016) there is a song called “Charlemos” and I will play it at Café La Humedad. It is even provocative to say “let’s chat”. I like to talk on the street, to be available, to smile at a person. Because if I don’t feel we live in community, it’s a verse. If we lose the notion of being even, it is easier to dominate ourselves. The more alienated from the interaction it is also easier to live in sadness.