By Laurent Guevara
Carlos and X Alfonso are the male representatives from a family of musicians, with different styles and objectives. Father and son in the same language and with different sounds speak of identity, religion, politics, dreams…
Carlos began his career with his wife Ele, musician graduated from the National School of Art. They met each other, had a family, always from the position that they were musicians; first in the vocal quartet, then in Sintesis. The children came later.
“When X was born we continue to work, of course. Then it was born the girl named M, and both of them got into the same world of music “.
As an unspeakable fate in families of artists, X admits that he is due to the environment from where he comes: “If you’re born in an atmosphere of music then you become musician. Is it logical, no? Not only from music, also from an artistic environment. The artists meet each other, musicians, painters, playwrights, and then a family of artists arises. ”
This is why he studied classical piano and integrates Sintesis for seventeen years, to then do his own work.
Carlos remembers that “after years X had other interests, different from those of Sintesis. He first joined his work to the group, but he could not develop two careers at a time. The same happened to M, but it is not a problem of conflict, it is a problem that you have to fly and if you have your own way of seeing things, it is very important you to come out of there. ”
But X explains that he never left the group because they are always doing projects together. Furthermore, “the conflicts within the family are only on working projects,” he says, “and there are not conflicts, but the way to reach agreements to achieve goals.
“What we always do is that when something is created we put it in the middle and then everyone has his own project… Wow! So I think things come out, we criticize ourselves a lot and try not to repeat ourselves and doing new things. So apart from what you create, it has to have family support for review and analyze it, and opinions motivate you to take it out to the public. That’s really a privilege. ”
In the seventies, Carlos Alfonso decides to play two problematic genres for the time: the rock and roll and Afro-Cuban music, “wrongly called Santeria music”. He recognizes that in the end that pertinacity gives a kind of benefit, but it is very little compared to hard work: “But I did not assume it; that was what I wanted to do and get the benefits I sowed. That’s what I planted and that is what I have collected all this time. ”
Carlos and X, formed in different generations, show different ways of understanding art and music. But without dealing with contrasts, Carlos says he is proud of his children’s career: “They are people who always bring me something, that impress me; they drive me crazy. When I see a work of X for example, I know that I will see something different, that I am before a work that will give me something. And in the case of M, she always surprises me.
“We were formed with other values. For example, when I made a song I always said: Will this song like to Mr. So-and-so? What will he say when hearing it? And many times, many songs were broken before their premiere precisely because we respected ethics. We were in the Nueva Trova movement. It was another era.
Then it comes the generation of X, the closest to Sintesis, along with Osamu, Roberto Carcasés, Descemer Bueno and Elmer Ferrer. They create other music, but still maintain the same aesthetic, a similar thought: searching for quality and the music has a value. They assume they work.
In the case of Carlos, older and with more experience, he has learned to judge things by the time he had to live them. “I’ve overlooked many things which of course at some point harmed me. But I do not hold any grudge; I think my country is one of the best countries in the world. When I tell it to people, they think I’m exaggerating, but I think that Cuba is wonderful. I have had the opportunity to be in good places and in bad ones too, and I’ve seen how people live, how they relate. My Cuba is my Cuba, eh? It’s the greatest thing I have “.
For X, it is a privilege to be Cuban. Referring to the art world , “it is a country internationally recognized in art, music, visual arts, everything. Politically, well, we are moving forward now. I hope the best, I have faith that it will always be for the better.
“Really I was able to do what I did because I live here. I was born here. I almost graduated in classical piano despite coming from a humble family, and that would have been hard for this world. I am a product of what I’ve lived here. All my work, my dreams, I’ve been able to do it here. Cuba is a country that has a mystery. “