Hello friends of Tango in the Spring,
As most Canberrans know, each time I DJ in Canberra I post my playlist with a few comments on what I did on that particular night. I do this because I think it might make a way in for newer people, or those who want to know more about tango music or DJing but are not sure where to start. …And, really, I just like talking about tango music.
So, here are my thoughts and playlist from my TISP DJing, in case someone is interested in something like that.
When I sat down at the DJ desk on that Saturday night, I didn’t have any plan as such, except for a plan for the overall arc of the night. It was a longish milonga, so I planned to give the night two emotional peaks: one at 10:30 ish, then to bring it down to a bit of a softer feel, and then build it up again around midnight-ish. And then keep people dancing until 1am for a happy conclusion.
I wasn’t sure how many people would be there at the beginning of the night, or who they would be. So I had a few vague options as to how I might start the night in my head but nothing concrete.
When I finished the sound check and looked around the venue and breathed in the ambience, my mind was immediately set for romantic and sweet. So, that’s how I started, and stuck to that for the first four tandas or so, then I started towards a bit more rhythmic energy from Di Sarli 40s instrumentals. Then, I slowly added darker shades of tango emotion, peaking at the Pugliese/Chanel tanda. Then I eased the emotional intensity to make a contrast but at the same time I tried to keep the melancholic undercurrent so that people would be ready for the second peak in a relatively short cycle. I made the second peak with Troilo/Marino.
Of course, this flow was constructed based on how I feel the music. Everyone gets a different feel from those pieces of music. And who we are dancing with, how the floor is flowing, the venue, the sound quality, all contribute to our experience and impression of a particular tanda. So we DJs only can make a partial contribution to the dancers’ experience. But I hope people enjoyed the night as much as I did. I had a ball DJing there.
I’ve uploaded my playlist if you are interested.
Cheers, and I thank dancers and my fellow DJs (Pat, Jarny, Mo and Jamie) for giving me lots of food for DJ thoughts over the weekend.