Matías Mauricio

Real name: Mauricio, Matías Emiliano
Poet and lyricist
(7 July 1978 - )
Place of birth:
Lanús (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Roberto Selles

egretfully, in the present days, only a small handful of tangos are sung —always the same ones-. Nobody –or very few, which is like to say: no one- is concerned about spreading the new samples of the genre, within a long and carefully planned scheme to sweep away our roots.

However, in the latter decades, an almost hidden but true pleiad of tango lyricists have appeared –most of them with a thoroughly innovative inspiration-, among whom we have Matías Mauricio. But the only thing that is true is that poets are timeless.

Besides being an amazing lyricist, he is also an exceptional avant-garde poet, who has released until today, only one poem book: Bandoneón blindado (2010) and Julián Centeya, a biography and unpublished poetry (2014) co-written with the writer of these lines. Apart from that, he has been awarded with prizes like the one given by the Círculo Poético de Madrid in 2009, for his poem “Taller clandestino”.

As lyricist, he has also been awarded with a first prize for his waltz “Capullo de miel”, with music by Javier Arias, in the category Song of the Contest «Hugo Del Carril» 2012, in which he was also awarded for “Hoy por ejemplo”, in the category Unpublished Tango Lyrics, that same year, among other awards.

Some of his tango lyrics, with plenty of astonishing images, like the following: «¿Te acuerdas esa noche vestida de neblina?/ temblabas en mis brazos cuando te di de amar» (Do you remember that night dressed with fog/ you shuddered in my arms when I nurtured you with my love)(“Un cielo y un jazmín”, waltz with Edgardo Acuña). «Ya sé que no vendrás pero te espero/ sentado en el umbral de la esperanza,/ las flores del geranio ya se han muerto/ mi casa sin tu voz ya no es mi casa» (I know you won’t come but I wait for you/ seated at the threshold of Hope,/ the geranium flowers have decayed/ my house without your voice is not my house anymore)(“Ya sé que no vendrás”, with Saúl Cosentino); «Se me dio por acampar entre tus brazos/ y en un viejo hotel de paso/ nos echamos a volar» (It occurred to me camping in your arms/ and at an old passing hotel/ we allowed ourselves to fly) (“Historia de un adiós”, with Eduardo and Nicolás Guerschberg). «Homero, el de la luz en la palabra/ el de los pájaros en llamas/ tan profético y astral» (Homero, the one with the light in his words,/ with the birds aflame/ so prophetic and astral)(“Mimo”, with José Ogivieki). As shown above, it’s a refreshing surrealist touch. But it is not an imported surrealism, his is a criollo surrealism –as Nicanor Parra said regarding his own poetry- and like what happened to Francisco de Madariaga, which «allowed him to develop strictly American elements».

But his activity is wider, since we know he is educator at the Seminario para Formación de Letristas «Homero Expósito» (Seminar for training lyricists) of the Academia Nacional del Tango, Academician of the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo and director and publisher of the Mandrágora Porteña collection, of the Milena Caserola publishing company, and columnist of publications like Tinta Roja, Punto Tango and Zona Sur Cultura.

Then, Matías Mauricio is a poet truly rooted in tradition but, at the same time, no less authentically has he joined the ranks of the evolutionists.

Besides the porteño stuff, Matías is not alien to the poetic-musical expressions of the whole country. Here we have as samples: “Triunfo de Santos Vega”, a triunfo with Andrés Pilar, or the zamba “Responso para un viejo hachero”, with the same composer, or the chamamé “Canción para una niña guaraní”, with the writer of this portrayal.

Coming back to tango, let us say that, in spite of what some people who know nothing about the subject hold («Tango is something for old people» or «Everything has already been written in tango», we are used to hear here, there or everywhere), Matías Mauricio’s tango –like the one of others of his peers- it is no longer the one of the city with the little streetlamps, big corrals, grocer’s shops with drinks counter or the streetcars -which, on the other side, can also be evoked, why not?-, but instead the Buenos Aires in which we are living every day. Let us quote a few clear examples about it: «de un cielo ya tapado por monstruos de hormigón» (of a sky already covered up by cement monsters(“San Pugliese”, with melody by Eduardo and Nicolás Guerschberg); «La cara de la muerte se oculta en los tejados,/ un ángel y un travesti se encuentran en un bar,/ al fondo de la calle dejaron olvidado/ al pibe que limpiaba tu vidrio con un pan» (The face of death is hidden on the roofs,/ an angel and a transvestite meet at a barroom,/ carelessly they left the kid, who wiped your glass with a loaf of bread, back in the street)(“La otra Buenos Aires”, milonga with Pablo Nemirovsky); «Es cierto que el dólar sube/ pero el hambre sube más,/ Buenos Aires, a los gritos,/ pide pan y no le dan» (It’s true that the dollar rises/ but hunger rises more,/ Buenos Aires, shouting, asks for food but they don’t give it) (“Milonga que pega duro”, with Miguel Barci).

In sum, an author is his oeuvre. Let us leave the reader within the reach of the healthy shivers and warmness of the oeuvre of the poet I have tried to present.