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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Uruguayan Recording Artist Sees Music as Ritual, Emotional Journey

MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan recording artist Rossana Taddei hailed the importance of music as a ritual and a communicative process linking the performer and the audience.

“It’s an emotional, collective journey. It’s a ritual. Music is a ritual. The arts are rituals. They’re communication. Each song leaves you with something,” Taddei, who was born in Montevideo in 1969, said in an interview with EFE in this capital ahead of a concert on Friday at the La Trastienda event venue.

Both the performer on stage and the people in the audience benefit from that experience, according to Taddei. “You always come away with something that changed you.”

The recording artist, who spent her early childhood years in Lugano, Switzerland, therefore urged Uruguayans to show more curiosity toward culture because it “feeds the spirit.”

“There needs to be an understanding that works of art, stage productions, concerts ... are important in life,” she said.

Accompanied by Gustavo Etchenique (drums), Santiago Montoro (guitar), Alejandro Moya (bass) and Gaston Ackerman (keyboard), along with several guest musicians, Taddei on Friday will perform songs from her latest album, “Cuerpo electrico,” as well as selections from her usual repertoire.

Her latest album marks a return to the fast-paced rock sound that was typical of her early career and also of Uruguayan popular music in the 1990s.

“After the end of the dictatorship (1973-1985), there was a cultural explosion or need or escape valve, and a ton of rock & roll bands appeared. And now I’m returning to that genre that’s so nice and direct, putting my own mark on it with lyrics that in some parts are more poetic, more metaphysical, dream-like,” Taddei said.

The recording artist is continuing her predilection for switching genres from one album to the next, having explored jazz, pop rock and folk. She has avoided flamenco though, saying it would be a “lack of respect” to try her hand at that art form given her tremendous admiration for it.

Taddei also has composed music for a play by Ivor Martinic titled “Drama sobre Mirjana y los que la rodean” that will be making its debut at the Comedia Nacional theater in Montevideo, saying she is thrilled about that new facet even though the many tasks it involves – from composing alone at home to attending rehearsals and heeding the instructions of the director – make it a full-time job.

Taddei also is a strong proponent of a greater role for women in society, and in the arts in particular.

“Women in music is like women in any other ambit; this profession, like the vast majority, is a man’s world,” she lamented, adding that “I don’t know how long it will take before women are no longer ‘the sisters of,’ ‘the daughters of’ or ‘the wives of.’”

Taddei was part of an artists’ collective that mobilized in protest after not a single woman was included among the list of performers at the Beer Week festival in Paysandu, Uruguay, in April.

“In the interior of Uruguay, you really see this machismo. South America, in general, continues to be very machista,” she said. Nevertheless, “in Uruguay (women) are working arm-in-arm, looking to move forward and show what we’re doing.”

Referring to her upcoming performance, Taddei said “it’s always like the first time when you go on stage,” a mix of “nervousness, anxiety, butterflies in your stomach.”

But “you go from a bit of anguish to extreme happiness,” she said, noting that all of those emotions are part of the “ritual” of music.


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