01 SolidaridadDistancia
Solidaridad Tango
3AM FISH RECORDS 3AMFR02 (solidaridadtango.ca)

Toronto-based Aparna Halpé is a Sri Lankan-Canadian tango violinist, arranger and composer with over a decade of experience in the traditional Argentinian form. In early COVID-time 2021, she founded Solidaridad, an all-female Toronto tango ensemble comprised of Valeria Matzner (vocals), Halpé and Suhashini Arulanandam (violins), Esme Allen-Creighton (viola), Sybil Shanahan (cello), Shannon Wojewoda (bass), Elizabeth Acker (piano) and special guest Eva Wolff (bandoneon).   

Halpé’s English lyrics are not in traditional tango Spanish. Thu opening track’s intense spoken poem Winter’s Coming sets up the tango. The moving recitation And I Have Been Looking is about the deaths of three indigenous women. The closing poem The Dance with unexpected background subtle instrumental held notes, gives thanks to indigenous peoples and land acknowledgements. 

Solidaridad expands tango soundscapes throughout. Argentinian Petalo Selser’s complex Deriva’s opening traditional tangos develop into the low string groove as other instruments play percussive beats, held notes, high pitched strings with slides, melodic conversations, a short slow section and closing rhythmic cadence. Wolff’s arrangement of José Dames’ Fuimos features a comforting calm bandoneon with technically challenging musical tango flavours in varying tempos. In YYZ, Halpé takes on arranging her self-described tango homage to the rock instrumental by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Neil Peart with contrasting Sri Lankan folk music and rhythms in riveting tango/rock sounds with alternating loud and quieter sections, rhythmic banging, faster repeated melody, slow final crash and closing laughter!!

Inspired by COVID grief to exuberant happiness, Solidaridad’s “Toronto tangos” are perfect!

Listen to 'Distancia' Now in the Listening Room

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