Magazine AM:PM
Reviews From left to right: Luna Manzanares, singer and conductor of the Adolfo Guzmán 2019 contest, and Alieny Abreu López and Yasniel R. Ciscal Jiménez, composer and performer respectively of the song That night of August, eliminated in the first round. Photo: RTV Comercial / Alzara Communication Group.

Adolfo Guzmán 2019 Contest: Week 1

With the Guzman it happens as with Dracula, A Star is Bornor It. Embalmed bodies in perfect condition, so they are recycled every time. The bad thing with these recycling is that the "perfect state of preservation" is a euphemism because the seams become increasingly noticeable and the smell of rancid becomes progressively unbearable. It doesn't matter if RTV comes feat. Manolito Ortega and his scheme of "modern audiovisual goldsmithing"; it doesn't matter that they assimilate structures of reality, who try to sell more contemporary dizque sounds or that dress composers and performers with the last regret of fashion: the contest is a wounded beast of the past that seeks to sublimate the cheesy in an era that has ceased to be cheesy (at least the way in which the 20th century traditionally understood it).

This week the basic scheme of operation of the contest was presented in its first stage: with the conduction of the singer Luna Manzanares (charismatic, but they either give him a richer script or she must win in ease and resources like entertainer) the participants (composers and/or interpreters) are succeeding whose performance is evaluated by a jury composed of Beatriz Márquez, Edesio Alejandro, Adalberto Álvarez, Yianela Pérez, and Israel Rojas. This cycle is interspersed with the familiar interviews in which participants talk about their motivations (which could be shorter), and brushstrokes of the process of "construction" of the song.

Surprisingly, given the lavishness of the image, exist certain mismatches of audio quality at times, an irony considering that it is the focus of the event. Regardless of the genre of the song or the content of the lyrics, it is in the presence of the typical sweet arrangements and performance that characterize the competing song of the Guzman, I do not know if on the initiative of the conductor, Carlos Gaytán, or the direction of the Program.

Interestingly, what puzzled me most about the program were not the things I could foresee (style, structure, staging, and others) but the jury's performance. Leaving aside my disagreement with basically every decision they made at night, I was very frustrated to see how they, ignoring their pedigree, reacted to each song with insipid comments of little critical depth. Essentially all participants and songs were good and there was nothing particular to point to their performance. And yet, somehow, they managed to give non-perfect and different scores.

We continue dragging that vice of saying nothing that compromises our criteria, even if your job is precisely to exercise your criteria. To be a juror (and more to be a juror of a television contest) is about riding a character that has to connect with the viewer, it is about being charismatic and argumentative, of earning the passion or hatred of viewers, but never their boredom. The lesson, which at this point should be more than learned, is simple: being good at something does not make you good at judging it. Bad for them because they do not value their musical knowledge and end up being just some celebrities who go on TV, and bad for the direction of the program for not stopping that practice.

Although at times unjustifiable mischief was perceived in a production of that caliber (a cut to an intervention by Edesio Alejandro, a certain throat of Israel Rojas when he sang Buena Fe, to mention a couple of examples), in general it is an effective, bulky television product the way RTV Comercial has accustomed us. He still has many weeks to go, and there may be some (or not) some deficiencies along the way. I don't know what Adolfo Guzmán would think of all this, he would probably be happier if they just sang his music. If second parts have never been good, I don't know what's left for the fourths.

The songs

That August night (composer: Alieny Abreu; performer: Yasniel Siscal) / Score: 81.2.
A son that did not seem much to me but that seen in retrospect was not so bad, considering what came next.

Poison (composer and performer: Camila Daniel) / Score: 83.
A bowling alley that could have run with better fortune. I like the passion with which its composer defends the song, passion that unfortunately fails to convey the same way on stage. It was one of the two songs of the night that I enjoyed.

Like a song life (composer: Orestes Espinosa; performer: Yaremi Verdi) / Score: 83.2.
Too bad. An insufferable song in an insufferable voice. Somehow he managed to convince the jury that it should happen.

hopefully (composer and performer: Yamohe) / Score: 86.4.
hopefully, Seriously?! It is obvious to that imposing mulatto that there is plenty of courage to name hopefully to a song in Cuba, and also to plant an intertextuality that tastes like plagiarism.

What you miss me (composer: Andrés Ramírez; performer: Omar Ross) / Score: 85.8.
The air is forgiven - that I say the air, the window - to Luis Miguel of the interpreter for his vocal conditions. I see you future in a contest of this kind.

And everything else (composer: Aris Garit; performer: Thalía Martínez) / Score: 83.
My favorite song of the night, a good text packaged in a son, a challenge for the young performer who was able to get quite airy.

Rafa G. Escalona Padre de una revista de música. Procrastinador profesional. Su meta es ser DJ de una emisora en la madrugada. Príncipe del aleatorio. More posts

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  1. Ariel Díaz says:

    I can not be happy

  2. Patricia says:

    Cool. I agree with each and every opinion

  3. Mabelsax says:

    Rafa loved it, you know well what you are talking about and hopefully more press deigns to say what is obvious in the television shows, maybe one day we will have the general quality we deserve

  4. Yamile says:

    I must start by saying that I could not completely see the new RTV installment, because my way of watching Cuban TV is intermittent ... depending on my domestic work. But I am worried about the way AM: PM magazine is assuming criticism, the image that comes to mind is a boot crushing any material with joy. I am not against criticism, at all, what is bad, is bad, period, but there are many ways, which are also professionals to approach a material critically. And the author, not yet happy with this, in the end he tells us his opinion of the interpreted topics, in my view, this was totally unnecessary, particularly as a reader I am not interested in his criteria. Let it be clear that I respect the work of the magazine and its collaborators very much, but it had to be said and I said it.

  5. Adolfo Guzmán Contest: MORE LIGHTS THAN SUBSTANCE

    When a project presented assumes an aesthetic so different from the one that preceded it, it is preferable (and it is lawful) to clearly mark it with another name. And so, one already knows what it is going to.

    On Sunday night on Cuban TV, I saw more of the same: a light and copyist aesthetic / false and repetitive support videos / a jury in trouble, which after the show, is called to exercise an immediate criticism, so many times impressionist / promotion of young interpreters, always valid; but that in more than one case, they do not reach the height.

    Time is fast, time has passed since those calls for the Adolfo Guzmán competitions that brought together the main musicians of the country, although more than one theme, more than one performer, more than one author beats in the minds of those who already joined some years. There must be a reason. And I do not speak of imitations, nor of a clinging journey to nostalgia; but of conceptions, of a respectful memory.

    The brief tribute to Juan Formell was the saving tone. I don't close doors to what will come, I hope it's better; I point that out, that the porch has left me a bad taste.

    A friend asked me: will this be the cut of all the contests in this country? Will be?!

  6. Hjandy says:

    Maybe the solution is AM: PM ... Maybe a team like yours (AM: PM) can save our country from shows of such a bad bill, so lacking in talent, empty of content, with facilitating juries and all that string of imperfections that you manage to see everything you look at. Enough already !!!! Or better, make your own audiovisual products for the Cuban family! Sure ... they will save us from so much mediocrity ... now seriously ... Why not see the good side of this product? (The stimulus to creation, depending on a gender that is a pillar of our national culture) Why talk so much ...?

  7. Rene Rafael Esquivel Sarria says:

    There is an old saying that “It is not the words that offend but the way they are said” although sometimes a harsh criticism is preferable, as we Cubans say, that makes us hate the one who criticizes us but makes us reflect and After a while we are better thanks to that hardness; say, Thank you, you were right.
    I have said on several occasions, as it has been raised by all artists and people in general the lack of professionalism of Critics.
    When will be the day that each artist anxiously awaits the morning exit of the press to see the specialized opinion of the putting of his work and take this opinion seriously. ????
    As for the Adolfo Guzmán contest, I must say with all honesty my total disagreement although I must say that I am not a specialist, but if I am wrong and I hope that it is so, it will be of great importance for me to acquire knowledge and culture.
    Why do I totally disagree?
    A contest has its own Dramaturgy and its own Objectives, and on the basis of all this it must be structured artistically.
    The contest Adolfo Guzmán, It is the summit of the music of the musical power of Cuba, which involves a whole nation; Grandfather, dad, baby, black and white, students, workers, housewife, scientists, doctors, farmers all mixed ; CUBANS.
    It is not a youth contest, it is not a contest to look for a voice or the best interpretation, or the best orchestration or the best arrangement. On that basis the show should turn, on its OBJECTIVE “The composition that identifies the evolution of the Cuban song .
    Cuba 🇨🇺 moved around the Contest; say composers, arrangers, singers, designers etc, to the Cuban, was and must remain a Madness. And this is eternal that has nothing in contradiction with modernity and new ways of presenting the show "IT IS THE CONTENT" THE SOLID ARGUMENT "
    Fifth: If this is the most important spectacle of our country and we want it to be seen and respected outside our borders and, why not, a product that generates well-being for all; Tell me then:
    What singer would we play the compositions?
    Who would we put on a jury to select the best?
    Who would we choose as arrangers?
    Who would we choose for the general direction of the show?
    ? Given the magnitude of the show? What would be the chosen theater? I think there is a very close relationship.
    Think that this is the selection of coaching players that we are going to take to the Tokyo Olympics.

  8. Mavelys says:

    It makes me laugh this criticism seems to bother someone pseudointelectualoide if you watch Cuban television will realize that few programs with bill raise with a quality considered the current culture of our country, as he speaks in this article it seems that Guzman never liked me, I feel that the considerable change that has taken place in this new installment of this space is worth it, with a renovation that it deserves.
    The only thing I can say is that my whole family enjoys it every Sunday with each new installment and it makes me a pleasant moment at the end the contest is a pretext to show part of the current song of people who want to expose their talent or not, since in other spaces they don't do it or if they do it in an unattractive way for the taste in general.

  9. Deborah says:

    Artículo super disfrutable. Hay veces, y no pocas, que necesitas leer algo así. Me quedé con las ganas…!!

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