Contemporary musicians, traditional style

Pate de Fua, a popular acoustic band from Mexico, talks about their unique musical style

October 28, 2011 05:35 pm | Updated 05:36 pm IST

The Mexican band Paté de Fuá. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

The Mexican band Paté de Fuá. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

You eat ‘Pate de Fua', it is a Latin American cousin of the French ‘Pate Foie Gras'. Then, why does Yayo (pronounced sha-sho) Gonzalez call his band Pate de Fua? In halting English, which sounds more like Spanish, Yayo (vocalist and guitarist) explains why. ‘Pate' is a kind of paste, a mixture of various meats, herbs etc and ditto ‘Pate de Fua'.

The band's musical signature is a melding of music styles (or influences). It spans different periods of time and space. Primarily, in spirit, this band is acoustic and then there are the various styles such as jazz, waltz, tango, tarantella (Italian), paso doble…a few styles or genres, the band makes music in.

The six-member band from Mexico comprises besides Yayo, Guillermo Perata, Alexis Ruiz, Luri Molina, Victor Madariaga and Rodrigo Barbosa. Yayo and Guillermo are Argentineans and the others are Mexicans.

The band was in Kochi, Thursday last, to perform as part of a program organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). India is the band's first stop in their maiden trip to Asia. They performed at Delhi and Jaipur before coming here. They can't stop raving about the response they got for their performance in IIT, Delhi.

In a feat rare in contemporary music, the band boasts of an amazing line-up of instruments (horn, different kinds of accordion, guitar, banjo, drums, bass etc).

The band members are adept at more than two instruments. The effect is something like our classical music. Since the band is grounded in the genre of acoustic music, the accent is more on the instruments than the lyrics. The lyrics simply complement the instruments. Yayo and Guillermo compose and arrange the music.

The Fua Pate's music is the kind that transports one to another place in another time. There is a certain old world, old fashioned charm to the music. No bang, clang and cacophony but “popular music, where it means that the music is popular.

Youngsters are a big presence in our concerts,” says Alexis. This despite the ‘huge fan following that rock music has in Mexico.' Rodrigo clarifies that a huge fan following on Facebook is proof of Fua Pate's growing influence.

Since their songs are in Spanish the inevitable question what do they sing about? ‘Many things. Love, music…,' says Yayo.

Essentially all those emotions fast becoming old fashioned in a world living faster than the speed of light. ‘El Valescito de Don Serafin' tells the story of Don Serafin who lived long, long ago and played just one song or the extremely popular ‘El Fantasma Enamorado' which speaks of a ghost in love. Luri says, “We are modern or contemporary musicians singing in a style that is traditional.”

Going the pop/rock music route would have been easier compared to the music which Fua Pate creates. The arrangements are complicated and the end result is sophisticated, “maybe, but those who come to our shows don't find the music complicated, sophisticated yes. Our lyrics are simple ,” says Alexis.

He signs, off on behalf of the band, with “we are set for the launch of our next album.”

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