Ramblings and Purgings

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

On the other side of the river

I am not a music connoisseur. I do not pretend to have perfect pitch or know musical terminology. What I do know is what music I like and what music I do not like. And even music I don’t like sometimes grows on me and I end up loving it anyway…

A few weeks back, I went to see “Motorcycle Diaries” and absolutely fell in love with the music featured in the movie. In particular, the song Al otro lado del rio (On the other side of the river). This song moved me and had a quality about it I had not come across too often. Was it the gorgeous guitar that evoked feelings of the sun glistening on river water? Was it the sweet and gentle voice of the singer, Jorge Drexler? Was it the lullaby quality to it that made my heart feel hope and melancholy all at once?

Imagine my surprise to hear the news that, this gorgeous song, to which I have been listening almost religiously, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.

My pride for this song swelled when I also found out that this was the first song in Spanish to have ever been nominated for such an accolade.

A couple of nights ago, the song was rewarded, justly in my opinion. However, it was performed by Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana and not Jorge Drexler, something I found a little strange…Although they did an OK job of it, they just could not project the sweetness of the original.

So, the following day, I wanted to check Jorge Drexler’s website to see what was being said about the win. Unfortunately, whilst there I made a very sad discovery…

It turns out that the reason Jorge did not perform his own song at the Oscars was because the producers of the show never gave him the chance to do so. They preferred to get a much more ‘well-known’ person to interpret the song for ratings purposes, rather than to stick to the true spirit of the song and have its creator sing. Jorge says in a press release letter written on February 24th, that he would have loved to perform his own song but has nothing but praise for Banderas, who behaved in a very tactful and respectful manner, despite the circumstances.

I found all this to be very sad and made me feel very disappointed and angry. Despite this, Jorge’s letter was so elegant and hopeful that it made me very proud of him and very fortunate to also have the ability to speak the same language.

If you have not had a chance, listen to his song at www.motorcyclediariesmovie.com


  • Oh that is sad. You wonder how many original artists get ripped off cos they aren't well known enough. Btw the wedding flowers are stunning. I can't wait to see them in real life!

    By Blogger pipstar, at 7:15 pm  

  • How typical. That’s the Oscars for you. Big and Brassy.
    I was really impressed by the movie but as usual I didn’t really hear the soundtrack- I get too swept up in the story and the emotions that the music creates to focus on it much. Now, however, I shall investigate at your recommendation. Thanks Pusekatt!

    By Blogger Franky, at 10:45 am  

  • Pipstar - Thanks for your comment re the flowers :-)
    And yes, you do wonder how many people are ripped off because they are not well-known or d not have the "right look" - I mean really, how else can you explain Britney Spears!
    Franky - Yes, the Oscars are just an advertising monster ;-) Have you had a chance to listen to the soundtrack? I hope you enjoyed it!

    By Blogger Pusekatt, at 5:12 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home