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Joan Manuel Serrat: The man who sings leaves; but Serrat stays | Culture

The man who sang this Wednesday at the WiZink Center in Madrid left around 11:30 p.m. He was wearing a green patterned jacket, black shirt, and jeans. He left with a mutis, almost without saying goodbye, he left the feeling that at any moment he was going to return, wrapped in the red velvet of the curtain that decorated the stage while it was playing. Party, the song with which Joan Manuel Serrat used to end his concerts lately. The gentleman who smiled and joked like a naughty boy, went off and good-bye. But Serrat, instead, stayed.

The man who sometimes posed as a singer-songwriter sang tunes from the Noi del Poble Sec, of course. But when we say his name, plain Serrat, we don’t usually refer only to a singer: we speak of a complex network of identities mixed between the Mediterranean and the Pacific, of a paradigm of plurinational Spain and of a Hispanicity born in Catalonia, rich, diverse and open to the world. That gibberish that paralyzes an entire political class but that instead he has been able to solve in four chords. Also of a kiss, a first love, a loneliness cracked in tears when rummaging through the closets and opening drawers. From the byways of our intimacy and the sentimental education of several generations, linked between the groove of the record player, the cassette tapes and the control of the streaming.

All this jumble was felt by those who attended the three successive concerts -on the 7th, 13th and 14th of this month- that have taken place in Madrid so that the man who sang Serrat said goodbye to the public and the public would definitely stay. To play with time, he started at the end and ended at the beginning. give him give himtheme of Son of light and shadow (2010, his last album composed entirely of poems by Miguel Hernández in his second work on the poet) opened the concert and Party, a song from 1970, closed it. In total 22 titles to review a career that has remained for life, for language, for music, for History. That is why Serrat has not left, nor has he retired, a lie, nor will he leave.

It remains in all of us as the resonance of a collective soul. This is what the Madrid public was feeling in silence when the man who sang to Serrat summoned childhood with My childhood, The furo carouseldedicated to his grandfather Manuel or the Lullabythat He evoked his mother. Not to mention the chill that followed her love songs, the volatile perfection of Lucy a Mrsposed as a hint to each mother-in-law who has thrown poisonous glances at the son-in-law who did not see the height or with that novel in couplet that is the Romance of Curro the span. He included it in one of the albums he least likes (Joan Manuel Serrat, 1974), but only for that work of art is it worth it from top to bottom. your name tastes like weed It was one of the most popular and chance is whimsicalaccompanied by Ursula Amargos, one of the most heartfelt.

Of course, the poets appeared at the concert, Miguel Hernández opened it with give him give himthe man from Alicante also nurtured the night with shadow and living memory together with Alberto Cortez with the onion lullabies and stirred consciences to the rhythm of for freedom. At that time, the public noticed the projections that accompanied the music in almost the entire concert. With good taste and transgressive sense, Boticelli shook hands, Leonardo da Vinci with the Gioconda tuned, Michelangelo, Banksy and Picasso, perhaps for those who are asking for its cancellation even in parliament, manipulating expert speeches in the year of its centenary, with all the cheap opportunism that defines them and without coming to mind.

The peaceful sense of existence was accompanied by the environmentalism to which Serrat and the man who sang appealed the moment they arrived. stop Y Mediterranean. Later, the two of them encouraged the public to sing those little things, a masterpiece of simplicity that connects Plato’s maxim -what is beautiful is difficult- with Machado. And precisely the Sevillian poet was sung later by whoever could, because at that point many had their voices cracked from crying. But that hymn to decency and the search that is sing It is not composed to be sung alone, as it is White town, another proof that Serrat can never leave because he mutates permanently among us, either through that landscape of emigration that he drew in notes and words 50 years ago and the present of empty Spain.

finally arrived Party, The gentleman left, it seems to catch an AVE to Barcelona, ​​where they say that next week he will also say goodbye in body and give his last concert on the 23rd. The band that has faithfully accompanied him remained on stage: Ricard Miralles and that piano with which he plays and dresses all the songs differently every night. Josep Mas, alias Kitflus, on keyboards, David Palau (guitar), Úrsula Amargós (viola and voice), Vicente Climent (drums), Raimón Ferrer (double bass), José Miguel Pérez Sagaste (sax and clarinet). Of course, Serrat had been sneaking into the bodies of all those present as part of our organism, to try to win the present battle of good against evil with his songs. Where the hell is he going to go, if not now, when we need him the most?

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