Lydia Orsi

García Blaya - Todotango.com at "Buenos Aires Cultural", Tortoni's Magazine

icardo García Blaya told us: «Unlike other traditional media, being capable of generating emotions turns out a major challenge for digital media.»

Talking about Tango is diving deep into Buenos Aires, into Gardel’s voice and smile.

Talking about Tango is vibrating with beats on Afro drums and with black bodies dancing Candombe.

Talking about Tango is stepping into a barroom near the waterfront witnessing how a Cuban sailor holds the swinging waist of a criolla girl to the beat of a Habanera.

Talking about Tango is accompanying a bandoneon in an incredible trip from the suburbs to downtown, from the suburbs to Paris.

Talking about Tango is understanding the depth of its lyrics, is dancing the intensity of its bars (blend of habanera with candombe, of milonga with fandango).

Talking about Tango is merging into a spell shared by all those who with their sensitiveness make us say: TANGO IS TODAY.

And we share the tango spell with the lawyer Ricardo García Blaya, director of www.todotango.com, author of the books Tango en Buenos Aires and Tango Argentino. Memoria y testimonio, contributor to different magazines, emcee and producer of radio programs, owner of 40.000 digitalized tango recordings.

To approach the tango universe two requisites are needed: to know and to love like in the teaching-learning relationship.

From the words of the man interviewed his knowledge and his passion for tango will spring up: concepts, winks, nooks and crannies, details of the one who searched, conceptual depth said with academic simplicity and flying over, the vehemence of the one who believes in his work and loves it. His deeds will speak for him.

The todotango.com website is his consecrating achievement: the most complete and visited multimedia file about tango in the world.

What does it offer?
Contents with quality of style, with historical accuracy and with a selection of subjects and protagonists.

These contents include all the stages of tango that display stories, art releases, chronicles, photographies, lyrics, sheet music and, among many other things: complete recordings.

The texts belong to the most important writers in the genre: journalists, historians, musicians and a staff of over 80 contributors.

Each piece is especially edited for a special public.

For those who will look through this tango window, it’s interesting to tell them they will find 1.500 musical numbers to listen online, over 4.500 lyrics, 1.400 sheet music copies, 2.500 articles.

In sum, Todo Tango includes Transgressive Tango, Testimonial Tango, Triumphant Tango.

Who is the offer for?
Visitors return frequently because the contents are being updated for 12 uninterrupted years.

The Spanish-speaking community massively drop by and it is very important for: those far from the fatherland that need to stay in touch with their roots.

It is amazing the participation of communities that speak other languages.

When a tourist arrives in Buenos Aires, already knows thoroughly, thanks to the website, the “tango scene” of this city.

200.000 users are registered and, in the latter years, 300.000 deliveries of varied materials have been made.

The directory has over 1.000 links with other websites of the genre.

The forum La Mesa del Café is one of the pillars of this interactivity; it has already collected hundreds of messages.

How is made the offer?
In order to establish the interactivity, the website todotango.com has a system based on a complex state-of-the-art database that allows to handle information in a simultaneous way; this makes that visitors may connect among themselves and with the site.

What is the offer for?
For generating strong emotions in visitors through an extensive provision of multimedia contents.

The visitor is touched because his/her choices are given in multiple formats: audio, video, image, text... He/she can watch Carlos Gardel singing in his movies, can play on his instrument any of the 1.500 sheet music copies available. It is a task carried out with capacity, discernment and much devotion for tango.

Making use of emotion as a tool converts the site into a suitable medium to transmit and receive messages. Visitors are grateful to us and express the profoundness of their feelings.

This file, unique in the genre due to its contents and the way it is spread, draws attraction, generates curiosity, stirs up international interest, achieves recognition and rescues tango pioneers from oblivion.

An entrance door for the beginners and those who are within the tango phenomenon, a mandatory point of reference.

A virtual community with strong sense of membership and close ties among the members are achieved.

Backed by knowledge and emotion www.todotango.com is waiting for you to enter this so peculiar world foretold by Arolas, Bardi, Cobián whom its director, Ricardo García Blaya usually mention as referential names.

Two anecdotes:
1. An user from Colombia, frequent visitor of the website, by e-mail asked us to send him the tango “Estás conmigo” with music by Carlos Lazzari and words by Carlos Bahr for a widower friend of his that was agonizing and wanted to listen to that tango before his final hour. He said that it was the last tango he had heard when his wife was very ill in bed before her death. We sent him the only rendition we had: the one by Juan D’Arienzo with Armando Laborde on vocals. This happened in February 2002. By the beginning of March we got a grateful answer that informed us that his friend succeeded in listening to the number and passed away a few hours later. We arrived on time.

2. Another user, an Argentine based in Malaga that emcees a radio program, asked us “Copetín vos sos mi hermano” by Carlos Gardel. It was for an old Andalusian little man that was in a hospital. The old man told him that Gardel himself had given him the record in a advertising promotion made by the singer after his recitals in Barcelona. That day the man who was quite poor was in the theater hall and was unable to see the show but went home carrying the record as a treasure. He kept it in a wardrobe but did not play it because he had no record player. Thereafter the civil war destroyed his house and, consequently, he lost the record. We sent it and time later he answered that the old man did no other thing but listening to the recording all day long. The nurses, the doctors and other patients had learnt the lyrics by heart after so many times of listening and begged him to return the record to the one who had given it to him.

© Lydia Orsi, for Buenos Aires Cultural, Year 14, nº 178, 2ª period, march 2011. Declarada de interés turísitico por la Subsecretaría de Turismo del Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Cover picture by Rubén Landolfi. Salón auditorio de la Academia Nacional del Tango.