A MUSICIAN FATHER NEVER DIES
The collaboration, the complicity, and the close relationship I had with my father, allowed me to enjoy the musical creation from all angles and genres: chamber music at the March foundation, where I saw and heard random music and electroacoustic music for the first time, the symphonic premieres at the Teatro Real, at the Arriaga, in Bilbao, in San Sebastian, theatrical music with his night rehearsals and Sunday assists to the María Guerrero theatre for years (we had a box just for us) La Feria del come y calla, El Cocherito Leré, El Pájaro azúl, Platero y yo, the long recordings of film music at EXA studios, a lot of films, days and nights of compass, last minute photocopies, , of blocks, of nocturnal mixes that I attended without sleeping, the collection of his Goya Award for the best original music, that he did not attend because there was a match of the Athletic and that was above all else, the movie scripts he sent me to read and then tell him what they were about, the Weeks of Religious Music of Cuenca, Sundays at the Retiro, the concerts of the municipal band, music for television, , Plinio, Verano Azul…the composition for the TV program La Clave, with J. L. Balbín sitting to the right of my father on the piano, our house always filled with curious persons, musicians, actors, directors, instrumentalists, painters, sculptors, writers that my father introduced me in the bars of Madrid and to whom I later studied in Literature in the institute … anyway an enviable base formation that I did not appreciate at the time, because they were friends from home. Nothing more and nothing less. Our home, in Calle Ruiz in the district of Malasaña, in Madrid, It was a nest of fun, creation and satisfaction assured for all who passed by house, during the day and on creative nights. In addition, all this was decorated by the magnificent meals and dinners my mother made. Antonio Giménez-Rico, Pedro Olea, Roberto Bodegas, Frade, Dibildos, José Sacristán, Ana Belén, Concha Velasco, José Hierro, Balbín, Halffter, Marco, many and great painters, maybe his dearest Friends, journalists… everything that I lived, and learned from what they did, from the political talks, that I never missed, and in those that I learned more than I was able to understand, they made me conform a character and a passion for life that I hope will last what lasted my father. A lifetime. When I decided to dedicate myself to teaching, my father warned me: let them sing and have fun. Do not bore them, but show them the happiness that music can provide transmit, your passion… but how difficult it is to fulfill it with current programs, it’s so hard… He was right. I am in Fuenlabrada for almost 20 years at the Victoria Kent high school, for me the best one in the world, trying to transmit the passion like my father said with the most beautiful subject in the world. Music.
Liliana A. Bernaola
The wonderful process of being a child again
(Written, with much love, for Sergio Pingüi, alias “Chencho”)
There is something very special that happens to me whenever I meet my childhood friends. There is some kind of intimacy that is created suddenly because, even if it is not rational, we share something deep from the past. It is like set up a shortcut to a special emotional intimacy that only exists when you share your past with someone else.
Moreover, when you meet with a group of persons with whom you share that past, that intimacy, the process is really enriching. For me, that has always been the real conflict of Peter Pan. Not that of a child who does not want to grow up, but one who doesn’t realize It does not matter to grow up, as long as you’re able to still being that child. You are only a child once and it is those memories that make us what we are. There are so many things from my childhood that I appreciate in my heart, good and bad, that made me be what I am, that I consider the most important and influential happened to me in life. In addition, when you do not want to stop being a kid, you let this experience to transform you and become something more. Those beautiful moments build and shape the pieces of our being, and create our personalities. Friends, adventures and the moments that we live as children help us to develop our sense of self-confidence, leadership, independence, courage, empathy, limits, etc. And those Sundays at lunchtime in 1981, I was lucky to enjoy with my family the creation of one of those moments.
The great memories of childhood use to be related to funny times, with our loved ones, or both. However, I remember listening to a wonderful and catchy tune while I watched that gang, with which I felt identified, get together, living their little adventures. It became part of me, so much that I whistled it when I went out with my bicycle to look for my friends. That is a moment of pure magic that I owe to a master like Carmelo Bernaola. A sound from my childhood that made me wish to be a normal kid. Like these, I saw on the small screen. I did not want to be a hero, I did not want to be a cowboy, I did not want to be a soldier. I just wanted to enjoy living life with my friends, with the normal worries that assail us as we grow up without us ever realizing. In USA were the Goonies, in Spain we had Tito, Pancho, Piraña and company. The formula of the gang as the basis of our personal and emotional life, is the perfect formula for young people (of age or spirit) to identify with any fiction. If not, tell it to “Stranger Things.” That master of the television that was Antonio Mercero achieve that the idea of the summer holyday worked like a Swiss watch. That had multiple meanings: the adventure, the encounter with the unknown, the learning of extracurricular aspects of life and (without realizing it) the verification of the freedom that came timidly to Spain, knocking on our door without pounding it. The children of that moment simply felt identified with the children on the screen. Also with its vicissitudes and ethical dilemmas. Trying to respond to our necessities and not to adults. Without intermediaries. Although this strange TV “family” had such special and close “parents” as Chanquete and Julia. It was as if it moved by a thin line that separate the progressive from the conservative. I have always been convinced that “Verano azul” it was also an adult series. That was Mercero’s ability and one of the reasons why despite being a series product of a time, its history and its emotions remain universal and shared by new generations. The music of Bernaola manages to become the emotional expression of the plot and direction of Mercero.
Achieve that our relation with the past, that mythification with which we usually look back, to our childhood, becomes an infinite summer. Even though the master has over 300 compositions throughout his career, nobody can resist the pull of this everlasting summer.
Besides that, the open title from “La clave” that keeps playing in my head after listening to so many Friday nights. However, he was also responsible for many more sounds of my childhood. “El cochecito leré”, “Mambrú se fue a la guerra” or the “Athletic de Bilbao, anthem”. Nevertheless, it is curious that despite this impact, the soundtrack of “Verano Azul” never was published. Except the memory of a cassette that my father used to put in the car when we were traveling, including an adaptation of the music of the series by María Jesús and her accordion.
The series was a national phenomenon that reached 20 million spectators, and the main actors came to have a popularity never seen before. “Verano azul” was a revolution both for its script and for its production It was a series that arrived at the right time and changed to one generation and ( for sure, the next). Was able to reflect all that convulsion and transmit it through the eyes of a children and music that is already part of our memory. That master who was Tom Stoppard used to say that if one “carries with him his childhood, never becomes old”. And in Spain, it has been two masters like Antonio Mercero and Carmelo Bernaola who made those words come true. They gave us to drink from the fountain of eternal youth to a whole country at a very special moment. Making us return to our childhood, with that gang, to the beaches of Nerja, every time we see a repetition of the series on TV. Now, with these notes, we are back pedal with them, whistling that delicious tune of the credits.
Fernando Fernández Jiménez