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Oye cómo va Illustration: Nelson Ponce

Thank you, Edesio

I told Edesio Alejandro that I knew he had had some disagreements with Fernando Perez when doing the music of Havana Suite. "And who told you that?" he asks. I swear I had heard it, maybe on Radio Rebelde, but how does one get involved in this kind of shit? What the hell does one do journalism for?

I'm going to another ask and Edesio insists, but we manage to get out of the subject and then the conversation clandestinely leaves the suite and we start talking about how one has lived so many years listening to this man.

We remember the more than one hundred songs that he made for The Wizard of CachumbambéEdesio then tells me that he tried to spin ballads, but with children's themes. I remind him of one of the songs and he laughs: "How is it that you remember those songs? Yes, compadre, because those things accompany you.

Musicians can go around imagining success or maybe they just want to experiment and find new sounds, like Edesio, who was one of the pioneers of electroacoustic music, but what they sometimes ignore or may not know deep down is that they are leaving quotas of themselves in the lives of others.

Edesio, for example, recorded with the Moncada Group. Founding a hopefula, and they made a video clip that was popular like few others in Cuba. We are talking about the time when Mirtha Medina paralyzed the island, the time of Ania Linares, Maggie and Luis; a time when Rumbabana and Ricardito were almost mandatory, and, well, Los Van Van. Well, Edesio Alejandro made that clip and tried to modernize the sound of television and he had to deal with rock, rap and song.

In addition to the above, all his work for the cinema can be found: Clandestinos, Hello Hemingway, Caravana, Madagascar, Havana Suite or Martí, the eye of the canary. In addition, he wrote a rock opera and made the documentary film The 100 sounds of Cuba.

I interviewed him for my radio program, we talked for about an hour. At times I was afraid he would get bored, but in the end I realized that having lived with many of his themes helped us to sustain the conversation. Edesio -in white, with that beard, his hair fluttering behind his back, the same returning to the electronic sound with Black Angel that rediscovering, if that is possible, Adriano Rodriguez - has marked routes.

Today he is working on two films from Madrid, according to several websites. It is also said that he is suffering from cancer and is trying to make a life in Europe when the Island is facing other dreadful moments.

Edesio Alejandro never stops making music, it's impossible. Many of his pieces are part of my soundtrack, the ones with Moncada, his Banda de Máquina, his irreverent look, that hair that we couldn't imitate without them announcing scissors, that rap that he played at home when it was so complicated to have a Run-DMC or a Grandmaster Flash.

I review everything and I remember that I was able to interview him and get away with it, even when I went in with a bad step, because his relationship with Fernando Pérez -he told me- was always perfect. There are the films, there are the records. Edesio Alejandro has left us all that work so that we can understand the world in his own way, a world where there is room for all the rock, all the rap, electronic music and, if that were not enough, songs sung by Adriano Rodríguez or written by Chano Pozo. In these dark days I go back to those moments and I thank Edesio Alejandro for teaching me, even though many things hurt, to "found a hope".

Rogelio Ramos Domínguez Writer of verses and songs. Full-time journalist and especially father of Claudia Ramos. More posts

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