– What is the essence of tango, for you?

ROVIRA: I see four essential elements: rhythm, certain characteristic melodic patterns, some harmonic links and images. When I compose I think of certain images impossible to disconnect from tango, starting with the city.

– The changes in the musical structure don’t modify the essence of tango?

ROVIRA: No. the tango that we write is “from the hip up to the head”. Free from the confines of dance, little attention is given to the type of measure that we use. It doesn’t matter if it’s written in three or four beats.

-Who do you speak of we you said “we”?

ROVIRA: Piazzolla and me (the avant-garde). There are some who deny that what we do is tango; for us, quite the opposite, tango is the starting point. The difference is that we add the knowledge of musical technique.

Rovira con humo

The following is an excerpt from an interview made by Hiber Contreras in 1966 by the weekly newspaper “Marcha”, edited in Montevideo. It’s also worth mentioning that in the Buenos Aires of that time, Rovira and Piazzolla were ignored by the media. This interview was made in the café Gotan where they were both playing the same night, each with their own musical formation.