Danish arranger Mette Dahl Kristensen were on a different but also very exciting assignment when working with singer/songwriter Lucio Mantel’s music.

A lot of emails cross the Atlantic these days: In Denmark Mette Dahl Kristensen is working on songs by the Argentine composer and singer/ songwriter Lucio Mantel to give them completely new musical arrangements. And on the other end of the line in Buenos Aires Mantel is looking at Mette Dahl Kristensen’s arrangements and now and then he may suggest some slight adjustments before she finishes the arrangements, which are eventually going to be shipped to a (high-profile) Argentine string quartet.

It will go on this way until the three parties meet in Buenos Aires for a three-day workshop in early December to prepare for a concert performance in the chapel of Centro Cultural Recoleta on Saturday 8th December.

“It’s different for me. VERY different”, says Mette Dahl Kristensen with a smile.

She is used to rearranging music by Danish and Nordic singers and has a lot of experience of doing that. But Lucio Mantel’s way of writing songs is quite different from what she is used to.

“Normally I have some approaches I can use when I’m arranging music which I know will yield particular results. But here I really have to dig deep into the tool box because Lucio uses completely different chords, and his expression is different and that calls for other solutions. It’s certainly fun to take on something so different. He uses other harmonies than those we usually do in the Nordic countries and some expanded chords – and other progressions and those elements produce a completely different feeling and vibe”, she says and adds that she had to decline a couple of songs that she didn’t think she could transform because the music she rearranges must somehow be compatible with her own sound and aesthetic.

“There has also been a minor language barrier”, she smiles and continues, “In the sense that with some of the songs I didn’t quite grasp the essence of the lyrics, and in those case I have had to rely on the language of the music: its chords, harmonies, and moods.” Needless to say, she is curious to see how it is going to work.

In the process Lucio Mantel has sent Mette Dahl Kristensen a number of songs – both recent material and older stuff, and so far six of them are ready. They need two more – just in case – so there are enough songs for the concert, which also includes music performed by the string quartet alone as well as by Lucio Mantel solo, before the three parties team up on stage.

In the first week of December Mette Dahl Kristensen is going to Buenos Aires with her viola and scores to meet Lucio Mantel and the Argentine string quartet.

The quartet consists of Spanish-born Marta Roca (among other things known from the internationally touring chamber music ensemble Camerata Bariloche), award-winning Serbian-born Karmen Rencar (whose merits include playing with Michael Bublé) Mariano Malamud on the viola (the opera house Colon among other things), and violinist Julio Dominguez (among other things 1st violinist at Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires). All of them top-class musicians who often cross over from classical music to popular music.

The three-day workshop for the Danish arranger, the Argentine singer and the string quartet will reach its conclusion on the 8th of December with a concert  at the chapel in the cultural centre Centro Cultural Recoleta in the heart of Buenos Aires.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).