Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Peasant Pleaser of CMJK


That image above is from a picture post card of the Cuban poet Ortelio Hernandez from his tenure at CMJK-AM, a radio station in Habana, Cuba. His nickname was "The peasant pleaser", and he was a member of an art movement called the "Repentistas." Repente doesn't translate into English directly. It means both "Suddenly" but specifically sudden movement or impulse. The movement was active in Cuba but also  so in Brazil and other parts of South America.

Their music was mostly built around improvisation and rhyme which were expressed both in poetry and song. That scant information has led some ethno-musicologists to make comparisons to modern rap music. Many go as far as to claim that it is the beginning of hip hop. Very little is written about him or the movement. It's most popular figure was probably Nicolas Guillens, who was from Camageuey, like Ortelio. The best reference I've ever found bizarrely came from the HTML source code of a page of spam. It was probably spidered and harvested form a pdf somwhere, undoubtedly used just to troll for key words. The term "Pero hay una avalancha de decimistas que enriquecen este género dentro de la décima.">"decimista" below is a 10-line poetic structure also called the "Peruvian tenth."I've added other links as footnotes where I thought it was needed.


TRANSLATED:
The repentistas poets, Manuel Soriano, Azael Diaz, and Juan Antonio Diaz, along with tresero Leandro Rojas and Luis Emilio Rios, guitarist, composer and sonero, surprised the fighter Ariel Sigler Amaya at home doing live a peasant shindig "Singing in the Freedom" on the channel 41, AmericaTV, transmits Key Guajira Sunday poets were in the room watching TV to enjoy the transmission of pre-recorded on the estate Rancho Bejucal and devoted entirely to the figure of Ariel program Sigler Amaya, country music and their representatives in exile is committed to freedom of Cuba and prove it in every presentation and every detail of these moments you to mark the commitment of artists to freedom, Down with the murderers enjoy forts, Rich tunes, guajiros points, wildcat sounds and other genres of Cuban country music every Sunday intertwine to offer an attractive party of men and women from the countryside, where flowers lute and improvisations with disputes arising from the bottom repentistas same heart of the Isla.

Por Ernesto R. del ValleSiendo boy still, running around those streets full of dust or mud, in my childhood neighborhood, Villa Mariana, a working class neighborhood, north of the city of Camaguey, It was used to listen every morning very early the tinkling of those bells and bells worn by horses walking leisurely and sometimes boring, pulling wooden carts and four wheels filled with sacks of charcoal for sale, in that overwhelming and magical reality The muchachada heard between 12 and three o'clock, a replica of those jingles, much stronger and faster. The animals were returning from the sale of the day, sweating under the sun dog days of August, however they did with the speed of peaceful rest before him and regustazo of that deck of grass that adorned with green, the dust blackness coal residues. Alongside this page manners who daily lived to get to and from our school, we kept, at least I heard on the radio at noon at the Three Villalobos with stellar voices of Rolando Leyva, Miquelon; Ernesto Galindo (after Eduardo Egea), Rodolfo and Jesus Alvariño, Machito ..

There was a program that either I missed it, the peasant singing program in tenths, and other repentistas poets, two uniquely trapped forever in me, is Ortelio Hernandez "The peasant pleaser" and his counterpart which I only remember his surname "Machadito" [Carbonell] In my nine years, I produced a kind of morbid restlessness, hearing the voices of these poets singing their tenths remember nor knew what they were singing and asked someone "about tenths," he explained, from there I put more attention to the words that rhymed and could not answer the thousands of questions that come to mind. They were popular poets. Sometimes the guitar saw the ready mounted on a bicycle to go to the radio station, which I think was the Camagüeyano.

With this note I want to input two Cuban decimistas that despite reside in Miami, have left the Arique your legs and still entrenched in the sudden octosyllable. Neither has published books, neither have their written tenths, we have had to ask for the cooperation in this blog, memory write some of his texts, which agreed to cordial.El way repentismo in Oral tenth is a phenomenon that still studying art critics. The "already and now" of the poet in a dispute, beset by musical notes of a three accompanying guitar forward in time what the poet should say eight syllable timed way. I say you have to be born for that. Although there are schools to teach repentismo, I wonder, but how, in what way does "doing" a poet with these very special conditions. I know from reading, there are men and women without great knowledge of history, or science, philosophy or anything, and yet say one tenth with a depth such that one is really stunned. Feijoo, in his travels through these fields of Cuba, has left hundreds of examples of natural repentistas. But there is a flood of decimistas that enrich this genre in the tenth. Many well-known, others completely unknown but tenth in them emerges as spring water.

(original text in Spanish after the break)



ORIGINAL TEXT

"Los poetas repentistas,Manuel Soriano,Azael Diaz y Juan Antonio Diaz,junto con el tresero Leandro Rojas y Luis Emilio Ríos,guitarrista,compositor y sonero,sorprendieron al combatiente Ariel Sigler Amaya en su casa realizando en vivo un guateque campesino"Cantándole a La Libertad".a las 6.30 horario en que el canal 41 AmericaTV,trasmite Clave Guajira los domingos estaban los poetas en la sala frente al televisor para disfrutar la trasmision del programa grabado con antelación en la finca Rancho Bejucal y dedicado enteramente a la figura de Ariel Sigler Amaya,la música campesina y sus representantes del exilio esta comprometida con la libertad de Cuba y asi lo demuestran en cada presentación y en cada detalle,disfruten ustedes de estos momentos que marcaran el compromiso de los artistas con la libertad,Abajo los asesinos castros!Ricas tonadas, puntos guajiros, sones montunos y otros géneros de la música campesina cubana se entrelazaran cada domingo, para ofrecerle una atractiva fiesta de los hombres y mujeres del campo, en la cual florece el laúd junto a controversias e improvisaciones nacidas desde el fondo mismo del corazón de repentistas de la Isla.Por Ernesto R. del ValleSiendo muchacho aún, correteando por aquellas calles llenas de polvo o fango, en mi barrio de la infancia, Villa Mariana, un barrio obrero, al norte de la ciudad de Camaguey, era costumbre escuchar todas las mañanas bien temprano el tintinear de aquellas campanas y cascabeles que llevaban los caballos en su despacioso y a veces aburrido caminar, halando los carros de madera y cuatro ruedas llenos de sacos de carbón para la venta, En esa apabullante y mágica realidad, la muchachada escuchaba, entre las 12 y tres de la tarde, la replica de aquellos tintineos, mucho más fuertes y rápidos. Los animales regresaban de la venta del día, sudorosos bajo la canícula solar del mes de agosto, no obstante lo hacían con la rapidez del plácido descanso que le esperaba y el regustazo de aquel mazo de yerba que adornaba con su verde, la negrura polvareda de los residuos del carbón. Junto a esta página costumbrista que a diario vivíamos al ir y regresar de nuestra escuela, no dejábamos, al menos yo, de escuchar en la radio a las doce del día a los Tres Villalobos con las voces estelares de Rolando Leyva, Miguelón; Ernesto Galindo (después Eduardo Egea), Rodolfo y Jesús Alvariño, Machito.. Había un programa que tampoco me lo perdía, el programa campesino en el que cantaban décimas, además de otros poetas repentistas, dos que de manera singular quedaron atrapados para siempre en mí, se trata de Ortelio Hernández "El Guajiro Complaciente" y su contraparte al cual solo recuerdo por su apellido "Machadito" A mis nueve años, me producía una especie de inquietud enfermiza, escuchar las voces de estos poetas cantando sus décimas, recuerdo que ni sabía que eran aquello que cantaban y le pregunté a alguien "son décimas" me explicó, a partir de allí le puse más atención a las palabras que rimaban y no podía responderme las miles de preguntas que me venían a la mente. Eran poetas populares. A veces los veía guitarra en ristre montados en una bicicleta para ir hacia la emisora radial, que creo era El Camagüeyano. Con esta nota quiero dar entrada a dos decimistas cubanos que a pesar de residir en Miami, no han dejado el arique de sus piernas y siguen atrincherados en el octosílabo repentino. Ninguno de los dos tiene libros publicados, ninguno de los dos tiene sus décimas escritas, les he tenido que pedir, para la colaboración a este blog, que escriban de memoria algunos de sus textos, a lo que accedieron de manera cordial.El repentismo en la décima oral es un fenómeno que aún los críticos del Arte estudian. El "ya y ahora" del poeta en una controversia, acuciado por las notas musicales de un tres y la guitarra acompañante que adelanta en el tiempo lo que el poeta debe decir de manera cronometrada en los octosílabos. Digo que hay que nacer para eso. Aunque ya hay escuelas para enseñar el repentismo, yo me pregunto, pero cómo, de qué manera se logra "hacer" a un poeta con esas condiciones tan especiales. Conozco por lecturas, que hay hombres y mujeres sin gran conocimiento de la historia, ni de la ciencia, ni nada de filosofía, y sin embargo dicen una décima con una profundidad tal que uno queda pasmado realmente. Feijoo, en sus correrías por esos campos de cuba, nos ha dejado centenares de ejemplos de repentistas naturales. Pero hay una avalancha de decimistas que enriquecen este género dentro de la décima. Muchos conocidos, otros totalmente desconocidos pero que en ellos aflora la décima como agua de un manantial."