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G. Beytelmann – First chapter

This man, which one knows the course in France better, delivers to us his life in Argentina and his acceptance of thepassage of interpreter and arranger to the life of type-setter, whom it definitively chose.

G.Beytelmann: I was born in a family from amateurs from music, in a village which is a city today: Venado Tuerto. My father was a violonist amateur of talent. Many things passed by the music.
I was thus very designated, as of cinq-six years, to accompany my father. I learned how to play the jazz and the tango, musics familiar to the full extent of the term. I did not know how ‘ toplay or not the tango’, I was born inside.
The music was practised enormously. In my village, there were five orchestras, each one composed of twelve or thirteen musicians. It was really a plentiful time of alive music.

When I finished a part of my studies, at twelve years, after thecollege, my family not having the means, it was necessary that I work.My father proposed to me to pass an examination to play in the orchestra of ball where it played. The orchestras of ball of thetime functioned on the base ‘ Típica’ and jazz. In other words,there were the orchestra of tango, but also the jazz band which could play as well of the mambo, of the rock’n’roll, of the musics of Glenn Miller, as variety. With the characteristic which the majority of the musicians played several instruments. In my village, the first instrument was the bandonion, with the saxophone like complementary instrument.
I passed the examination, where it was said to me that as I did not have enough technique for the tango, I would play of the jazz. But as I liked that, I could play of time to other of the tango,by preparing the pieces sufficiently, to make me the hand on the repertory.

I began my life of musician of ball. One made me to play generally last passage of orchestra, when it did not remain any more in the room but drunkards or men who had not found of partner, i.e. where the prestige of the orchestra was not concerned any more. I went up and I played two, three topics. Thus I know practically by heart, it to have played, a good part of the repertory of the typical orchestra, the Forties at the end of the Fifties. I did not think that it was a chance. For me it was normal, all that.

At that time, about 1958-1959, one heard tango everywhere. If you had so much is little interest, as a musician all was at your disposal. Moreover, there is a fairy which sealed forever my life of musician, it is the privileged situation of our room to be slept with my sister and me, who gave on the Central Club Argentino where were done, in spring and in summer, all the balls of tango on the ground of tennis shoe.
Venado Tuerto is in the south of the province of Santa Fé, between Buenos Aires and Córdoba, the Atlantic and the Andes, in fullpampa. It was a small but very rich place, equipped with a good infrastructure, located at the crossing of several roads. All the orchestras of Buenos Aires which left in round made a halt with Venado Tuerto and played at least once there.

As of my early childhood, I knew the orchestra of Pugliese with the mythical instrumentalists who played fifteen meters of my bed! With my sister, one climbed the palisade to go to see the musicians. The orchestra of Salgán, that of Francini/Pontier with Julio Sosa, of Agostino with Vargas. I remember all. About midnight, my mother called us, one was going to lie down by leaving the opened windows, and the orchestra continued to play ‘ for nous’. I think that that had a determining importance.

At the beginning of my adolescence, after Piazzolla, Salgán, Pugliese, I made a discovery which upset my life, it is Thelonius Monk. I then started to play of the jazz like insane. I always played of the tango, but I played of the tango as I speak.
By doing my work of musician of orchestra of ball, I discovered,on the heap, which I wanted to be a musician. I arrived at the music of the XXe century through Monk. Some started from Alban Berg, Schönberg, then forked towards other musics; not me. I bought discs of Monk, and I tried to imitate it. When the moment had just decided if I would be a musician or if I would make another thing of my life, at the end of the college, I chose musician.
I thus left the house, against the opinion of my father who, anymusician who it was, did not find really catholic that I become to it me too. It was one important moment, because it was necessary meto defend the veracity of my intentions. I left in Rosario, I passed another examination to the institute of music of the university, and there I discovered the desire, at the bottom of me, tobecome type-setter.

During all my life with Rosario, I practised the music as in my village; I played in the cabarets and I accompanied the singers by tango who passed. I learned much with Goyeneche that I accompanied several times. I also accompanied Montero, all the singers who counted at the time and earned their living by singing tango. And I continued to play of the jazz, and to form me at the university.
For reasons which touch with survival, work with Rosario being very difficult, I left. Work had changed radically. The orchestras of tango started to disappear, those of jazz started to more be able to live and the ball was replaced by the sets pop: electric guitar, low and battery. I decided to change city.

I left to the adventure to Buenos Aires. I had no contact there. I made like everyone, I went to knock on the doors. I knew a musician who had played with me in Rosario. It introduced a pianist to me who left for Aruba, a small colony Dutchwoman in the Caribbean. It left me its work of musician of cabaret.

One day, a director telephones to me, it was making documentary files on Eva Perón: a woman, people. He asked to me whether I wanted to take part. He did not have money but I accepted. I thought of a mixed vocal octuor which was called ‘ Buenos Aires Ocho’. They accepted and I composed the music. To use the bandonion, I contacted Rodolfo Mederos, which I did not know but that one had recommended to me. There were also other musicians, who became thereafter friends ‘ porteños’.
I made the music for this film which never left, the dictatorship of the time having prohibited it, and which thus did not have life. But people who had produced film had organized a private projection to which the scenario writer Leopoldo Torres-Nilsonhad assisted. The following day, it did what is necessary to find me and give me appointment. Of documentary it had liked themusic, it finished the assembly of a film and proposed to me to write the music of it. I left with the book, I worked a little. I called Torres-Nilson which came at home and which I played what I had written. It liked the music. Result of the races: this film ‘ Mafia’ became a success.

Me which tried to eat tous.les.jours continuously to study, I was taken in the storm of the success of film. In six years, I made forty film musics. It was a madness. And very quicklyalso, the variety called me and I started to do many recordings for all the Argentinian variety. But as I played with certain musicians of studio who made jazz-rock’n’roll, I recorded also much with the singers of rock’n’roll.
I was the arranger of all these people-there. I was taken in this strong gale which left me the small catch of way that I wantedto follow. People spoke about me, I had articles in the newspapers, I started to earn money. My life was extremely disturbed. It was a sequence of opportunities, as that can arrive in this medium of the show-bizz.

I had become musical director of a very important company of discs, I continued to make new films, I turned with the singers of varieties which counted, I made spectacles of rock’n’roll with orchestras and the important rockers of the time. And after, clash.

Being militant policy, I left Argentina in soixante-douze hours.My life in Argentina was finished. I remember very well that on the aircraft which brought me in France, I promised myself notto more make things which I had already made.

Matter collected by Solange Bazely in November 1999.

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