Singer-songwriter Raimon celebrates his 50th anniversary on stage with a retrospective exhibition
Raimon is one of the most important artists in the Catalan language, and is part of the group of singer-songwriters of the ‘Nova Cançó’. Raimon’s protest songs became true popular anthems against Franco’s dictatorship, with titles such as ‘Al vent’, ‘Jo vinc d’un silenci’ and ‘D'un temps d'un país’. His songs and concerts were often censored. With a style combining simple musical guitar arrangements with literary and direct texts, influenced by the French Chanson, Raimon highlighted the value of the Catalan language, as it was being persecuted. Born in Xàtiva, in Valencia, he has also defended the unity of the Catalan language. The exhibition shows a wide range of documents from the artist’s personal archives. It is complemented with films, conferences and a concert at the Liceu theatre.
Barcelona (ACN).- A temporary exhibition in Barcelona will pay tribute to 50 years of Raimon\u2019s artistic career. This veteran musician is one of the most important artists in the Catalan language, being part of the group of singer-songwriters known as the \u2018Nova Cançó\u2019. He is also a leading representative of the protest song movement, as his creations became true popular anthems against Franco\u2019s dictatorship, with titles such as \u2018Al vent\u2019, \u2018Jo vinc d\u2019un silenci\u2019 and \u2018D'un temps d'un país\u2019. His songs and concerts were often censored. With a simple style combining musical guitar arrangements with literary and direct texts, influenced by the French Chanson, Raimon highlighted the value of the Catalan language, as it was being persecuted. He put music to poems from Medieval and contemporary Catalan classics, such as Ausias March and Salvador Espriu. Born in Xàtiva, in the Valencian Country (also known as the Valencian Community), Raimon has also defended the unity of the Catalan language, before those that, mainly for political reasons, insist that Valencian is a different language to Catalan.
The exhibition will run from the 7th of November to the 26th of January, in Barcelona\u2019s Arts Santa Mònica, in Les Rambles. \u2018Raimon. Al vent del món\u2019 (Raimon. To the world\u2019s wind) displays a wide range of documents from the artist\u2019s personal archive, representing an intimate biography of the song-writer. It shows concert posters, pictures, censored programmes and letter exchanges with artists such as Miró, Tàpies, Alfaro, Fuster and Espriu. The musician stated at the opening of the the exhibition that \u201Cthis is not the end\u201D. He just wants to \u201Ckeep going, keep going and keep going\u201D. Besides the Arts Santa Mònica\u2019s display of personal documents, three conferences about Raimon\u2019s work will also be organised. In addition, the Catalan Cinematheque will run a series of projections related to the artist and Barcelona\u2019s Liceu Theatre will host a concert on the 30th of November, for which tickets are already sold out.
It was 1962 when Raimon went on stage for the first time in Barcelona. He was in his early twenties. 50 years later, he wanted to celebrate the date by opening part of his personal archives to the public. The exhibition \u2018Raimon. Al vent del món\u2019, which takes its title from a verse of \u2018Al Vent\u2019, one of his most famous songs, will open its doors on Wednesday and will run until the 26th of January. During the opening, Raimon said he has a \u201Cbitter-sweet\u201D feeling of satisfaction about the work done, but also of sadness for those who are no longer alive.
The singer-songwriter, who was one of the most combative artists against Franco\u2019s dictatorship, stated that the retrospective exhibition \u201Cis not a full stop, but the view from a landing in a stairway that is always going up\u201D. His idea is to \u201Ckeep going, keep going and keep going\u201D. However, he wanted to celebrate \u201Ca nice moment\u201D as it is the half century of an artistic career, which allows us to have a look back on the work done.
The exhibition shows a small but representative part of the artist\u2019s personal archive. It allows understanding of the importance of Raimon\u2019s songs in the 1960s and 1970s, in the years of Franco\u2019s dictatorship and immediately after. It puts in perspective Raimon\u2019s influence on a generation and also his international projection, having shared a stage with Leonard Cohen and The Kinks, among many other international artists. In fact, it reveals Raimon as one of the leading personalities of Catalan culture in his own right, being not only an indispensable piece within Catalonia\u2019s musical fresco, but also in the in the history of the 20th century.
Raimon\u2019s loving partner, Annalisa Corti, has been one of the most essential people behind this exhibition, as she took care of selecting the documents to be shown. The selection includes pictures, press clippings of national and international newspapers and magazines, as well as posters and programmes from some concerts. It also presents the artist\u2019s intimate biography through Raimon\u2019s correspondence with plastic artists such as Antoni Tàpies, Joan Miró and Andreu Alfaro, and with writers such as Joan Fuster and Salvador Espriu. In fact, some original works by Tàpies and Miró are displayed in the exhibition, as they were on the covers of Raimon\u2019s albums. The exhibition also includes books written by Raimon or others focusing on his life and work. Furthermore, it displays articles written by Raimon, in Spanish for the \u2018Destino\u2019 magazine and in Catalan for the \u2018Diario de Barcelona\u2019 newspaper.
One of the most interesting parts of the exhibition is that devoted to the censorship by the Franco regime. It displays censored original documents, such as some of Raimon\u2019s compositions, as well as forms authorising or forbidding concerts.
Raimon said to be \u201Cvery happy\u201D with the exhibition as his professional life has been his whole life, and \u201Cthis can be seen\u201D in \u2018Raimon. Al vent del món\u2019. \u201CI overlap with this country\u2019s collective life\u201D, he said; an overlap that is pictured in this exhibition.
The exhibition aims to recognise the Valencian-born singer-songwriter and \u201Cthe international dimension\u201D he had, as \u201Ca representative of the country\u2019s concerns\u201D. It also aims to make the younger generations discover his music, by putting it in its historical context, next to the historical and political events that Catalonia has gone through.