Rosario Bléfari

Rosario Bléfari was born on December 24, 1965 in Mar del Plata. At five years old, her family moved to Bariloche, where she lived until she was twelve. When she was five years old, her parents, who worked at the Hotel Provincial in Mar Del Plata, moved to Bariloche to work at the Hotel Llao Llao, which was part of the same hotel chain. During that time, Rosario spends her days being the hotel's darling between the kitchen, the laundry room, the laundry room and the hotel parks. The family lives for seven months in the hotel, in a basement room until the hotel closes. They stay at the hotel until the supplies run out, and the owner offers them to go as landlords to take care of a house. In this house, “Residencia La Argentina”, she would live until she was twelve years old and then move with her parents to Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, they are going to live in a three-story apartment on Avenida Libertador, in front of the rose garden, where there were two service rooms, one for Rosario and another for her parents.

Her first years in Buenos Aires were those of the return of democracy. Rosario was a regular attendee at the “Sala Leopoldo Lugones” of the General San Martín Theater, which showed non-commercial films. There she met the German director Jutta Brückner, who showed her a path of freedom and experimentation. Rosario, at that time, was a 24-year-old drama student who was surrounded by visual artists and who knew how to play the guitar since she was a child. At her house I had heard chamamé and among her musical influences were Paloma Valdez, and in turn also, The Velvet Underground.

Rosario began her musical career in a duo with Wolly Von Forester. They played slow songs. Some of her presentations were at Cemento, located at Unidos 1238 in the San Telmo neighborhood, which was a famous cultural place of the 1980s scene. But that group ended soon, a series of disappointments ended up diluting it.

At that time she met Fabio Suárez, an acting student, thanks to Vivi Tellas and Daniel Melero, who were already references in theater and music. Rosario relates that stage, in some interviews, as a braid between love and music: getting together to play was getting together to fall in love.

The Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Telmo was the center of the cultural scene of the eighties and the Bolivia bar, located at México 345, was one of the places where the most experimental and new bands went to try out. In addition to that, Bolivia was one of those bars that were stations of generation and circulation of underground culture. In 1989 the group “Suárez” took the stage for the first time. There were four guys playing with their backs to the audience, and a woman, Rosario in front, singing and dancing with her feet glued to the floor, with short black hair.

That same year that Bléfari was singing on stage as the leader of his band, Charly García released her album “How to Get Girls.” Much later, Rosario will tell on Twitter that in the first years of “Suárez” he visited Charly García and showed him his songs, he recorded them and advised him never to write songs with “tú” (in Argentina the “tú” is used) “you” in most of its territories). They never saw each other again.

Rosario had actively lived Buenos Aires culture in the post-dictatorship eighties (starting in 1983). The ebbs of horror and secrecy were still active in the collective memory, and the “under” culture was an alternative path for that free energy that had resisted beneath the surface. Rosario was formed in that environment but she transcends it. “Suárez” was born in those years but it is a transition band, that is, it is neither from the eighties nor the nineties. That clandestine halo, hidden in the “off” circuit by necessity, became in the nineties the affirmation of independence as a mode of production and as a method.

For Rosario, the familiar was essential. The observation of simple things, of what is close that is looked even more closely until it looks monstrous or divine. The lyrics of his songs talked about the cities, the forests, the rivers that he lived in or heard about. The word “Suárez” was present in their conversations, it designated the family they made up, it was much more than the last name of one of them. From the beginning, “Suárez” was part of Bléfari's method: using the elements and words at hand, combining them in new ways and making the result always sound bright and renewed.

The expected method would be that, after playing a few times live, the next step would be to record songs in the studio and then release an album. But it was only in 1992 when in the compilation, produced by Pablo Schanton from Ruido magazine, “Suárez” recorded his first songs, among them: “Brilla”, a ballad in which Rosario sings with extreme lulling softness.

In 1994, Suárez's first album, “Hora de no ver,” and the promotional video clip that the band made with Esteban Sapir arrived, which was promoted on Music21 and MTV, the music channels of the time.

But Rosario's imprint transcended the musical. Not only was she the leader of a rock band, nor was Suárez just a band. But they were part of a young advance that the commercial culture of the 90s left out. Bars, magazines, artists, clubs, writers, filmmakers were part of what would be known as the “alternative scene.” There were no labels or listening possible for Rosario and her band, so they created their own label, Feliz Año Nuevo (FAN). And they were part of a circuit of friendships based on empathy and need rather than a chosen community. Los Brujos, Juana la loca, Babasónico, were the most notable references of a community that was finally diluted by the force of the market.

By 1996, Suárez had already recorded two albums with her own label: “Horrible” (1995) and “Galope” (1996).

There were no words to define Suárez's proposal, the press chronicles spoke of noise and naiveness, in Spain they were associated with the new “intimate minimalism”, close to bands like “Le Mans” (with whom they would record in 2000) or “ The good life".

The third album, “Galope”, was released in November 1996, and a year later, in Spain by the Bailanta Records label, from the directors of the magazine Zona de Obras. Having played very little in Buenos Aires and smaller cities, Suárez went on tour to Spain. “For us it was unusual because, with the exception of Bahía Blanca and La Plata, we had never played outside of Buenos Aires,” Rosario acknowledges in an interview conducted by Yumber Rojas, in 2018. His poetry, like his voice, was also going to break borders. , like this poem that is a song in Horrible and then opens Galope: “Porvenir”.

For Rejtman, who directed her in films such as “Silvia Prieto” (1999) and “Rapado” (1992), Rosario was pure stage presence, something that distinguished her from other professional actresses, she did not compose a character, but rather her character contaminated the whole scene, the same way he did when he wasn't acting. This is how Rejtman remembered her: “I don't think there is a character similar to Rosario in the history of Argentine art and music. We would have to think, perhaps, of Violeta Parra in Chile or, perhaps, Patti Smith.”

It is often said that it is the standard bearer of indie and self-management, and although it is very true that its mode of production was based on craftsmanship and self-sustainability, it is also true that some flags were built in lost battles: “We stayed in the under because we never had another chance, and because it was our decision. I wasn't going to wait or undergo a casting. She did not want to be chosen or discarded by others, and at the same time we never had a proposal, ever,” Rosario told Romina Zanellato for her book “Shine the light for them” (2020). She inhabited that duality, between being independent and knowing that independence was impossible: “I think I am independent and although I am not because I depend on everything, I will try to survive, there is no other choice. We will crochet our disks, one by one, I don't know, something like that”; she said a few years ago, in a 2018 interview.

A bit of this dependence is portrayed in her latest book: “Money Diary” (Mansalva, 2020), the link with the economy defines part of Rosario's method, for whom it seemed to be much easier for everyone to get money .

Rosario was a woman in a man's world and she learned to use that to her advantage. Another element of the method, also economical. In the documentary “El arte musical” (Ugazio, 2020) Rosario chats during the recording of her latest album, she tells the sound engineer that she heard talk about feminist twerking and how you can use what was previously oppressive for your own fun and pleasure, “ like me, who put myself naked on the cover of a book,” she says, “not for them, for me” (she refers to the cover of “Before the River,” a book of poetry edited by Mansalva in 2016).

In 1999 she arrived “Excursiones”. Suárez's most “marketable” album, to enter the new millennium prepared for the adventure of finally entering the cultural industry. The album opens with “Río Paraná”, for many the band's anthem. On one of the few times that Rosario set foot in the city that bears the name of his name (Rosario, in the Province of Santa Fe, crossed by the Paraná River), someone asked him why he wrote that song if he had never lived near the river. Paraná, and she said that the lyric refers to family stories in which her grandmother crossed the Paraná River on an unstable raft to get to a dance on the other side of the river.

In 2001, along with the crisis that shook the country, the “Suárez” group broke up. And Rosario begins a solo career: “The first time I played without the band, I perceived the same insolence,” he acknowledged in 2006. What follows are seven solo albums and band projects with new musical partners, such as “Los Mundos Posibles” together to Julián Perla and “Sué Mon Mont” together with Gustavo Monsalvo on guitar, Marcos Díaz on bass and Tifa Rex on drums.

But in parallel to her musical career, Rosario continues to participate in films, on TV, where she had a column about books, in plays, she continues to write and studies Writing Arts at the National University of the Arts. Rosario never stopped, she always went cautiously and stubbornly behind what she was looking for, “confidence is trained,” she titled her last text published by her, on June 21, 2020. And she was in constant exercise.

In 2004 her album “Estaciones” was released, and there she managed to impose her own songs, without the public continuing to ask her to play Suárez's hits.

In 2008, “Calendario” was released, an album that Rosario made practically alone; she wrote, produced, recorded, edited, sang, and played. There are no choruses, and in fact there are songs in which you don't even find a phrase that is repeated,” says journalist Lucas Garófalo. “I wanted to make my own calendar, since Julius Caesar left us his, try to put together my own grid and do it in my time without external dependencies. In this case, taking my time meant not waiting, not being delayed by external causes, as far as possible,” Rosario told Julia González in an interview. They are cinematic songs, with melodies and incidental arrangements, stories where the main characters are fictitious or someone else. Rosario was based on a method that Arturo Carrera and Teresa Arijón used in the book of biographies “Teoría del cielo” (1992).

In 2011 she released a band album with “Privilegio”. And in 2013 Rosario put together an Indie supergroup with musicians from other bands on the scene: “Sue Mon Mont”. Since then, Rosario has made it a habit to generate projects in which her significant figure spills power and visibility. To “Sue Mon Mont” we can add “Los Cartographers”, his joint work with Nahuel Ugazio and Romina Zanellato in an advanced visionary of the podcast, “Paisaje Hidden”, the provisional partnerships with other musicians with whom he tours, the books of poems, or “Los mundospossibles” (2018), a very compelling duo with Julián Perla, where once again the melodies support everything and love is expressed.

In 2019 “Sector Off” is released, the band is made up of Alejo Auslender (electric guitars), Nicolás Merlino (electric bass), Federico Orio (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Rosario herself (vocals, acoustic guitar). It is another Rosario album, in which all her sides come together at the same time. But it is the last one that Rosario releases as a soloist. The last one, “Por last time”, an EP by Suárez, from 2020.

At the beginning of 2020, Rosario went to rest at her father's house, in the province of La Pampa, the medical recommendation prescribed reducing stress, her body had gone through cancer whose treatment left her in a state of immunosuppression. The closure of provincial borders, her isolation and quarantine found her there, living with her father, in a provincial house with a garden. While she passes the time, she makes works remotely, posts on her networks, puts a tent over her own bed, hangs shelves, discovers her indigenous roots and reads, Rosario writes. And she writes about her method:

“In the previous installments I was trying to present a possible method of my own artistic endeavor, a way of doing the things that interest me that consists of approaching them all at the same time, starting and abandoning, continuing, attending to, crossing, advancing and discarding,” he related.

“I can say at this point that my method works, I'm sure, but this experiment got out of hand: now everyone in the world is trying it.”

Rosario Bléfari died at the age of 54 in La Pampa, on July 6, 2020, as a result of a heart attack, after having battled cancer.