The Lope de Vega Theatre hosts this Wednesday the premiere of 'Un día Lobo López', a documentary by Alejandro G. Salgado on the process of creating the album 'Échate un cantecito', a classic of Spanish popular music
This afternoon at the Lope de Vega Theatre, the Seville European Film Festival is hosting the premiere of Un día Lobo López, a documentary about Kiko Veneno directed by Alejandro G. Salgado and competing in the New Waves Non-Fiction section. Before this first screening, at a press conference at the Seville Center Hotel, the festival's headquarters, those responsible for the film and its protagonist, presented by the festival's director, José Luis Cienfuegos, explained the details of the project to the press, which is an immersion into the life and artistic universe of Kiko Veneno, taking the recording of his most emblematic album, Échate un cantecito, as a starting point.
"It is one of the films that we carry in our hearts this year", began Cienfuegos, who considers that Un día Lobo López, in many aspects, offers an approach "unprecedented in the history of Spanish documentaries, as it not only talks about music, but fundamentally consists of showing how an album is made, which makes the music itself another protagonist", together with Kiko Veneno himself.
"For us it was very important to be able to premiere the film here, and also to do so in a competitive section. It's a great gift", said the film's director. "We wanted to make a little piece of Kiko's life, a crucial and decisive piece in his life, coexist with another little piece of Seville, also decisive, which has to do with the transformation that the city underwent in the years leading up to the Universal Exposition of 1992. Then, during the course of the filming and mainly during the editing, the team and I began to try to take all these elements to a terrain in which we felt more comfortable, with more formal risk. Above all, we wanted to get away from the clichés of so many music documentaries. And in the end we ended up relaxing", Salgado added with a laugh.
"Kiko was very generous from the beginning. Besides, he was very clear about where the story was, in those years when he was preparing Cantecito", said Salgado before giving the floor to the musician: "For me, that record was like getting out of Alcatraz. I had to make the hit of my life, and I had better get it right. I had to do better than well so as not to go back to prison, which was the impossibility of making a living from music", said Kiko Veneno, whose creative rebirth is precisely captured in the documentary, which focuses on the period 1989-1993, during which the singer, guitarist and composer gave himself a new lease of life, guitarist and composer gave himself one last chance to make a living from music before throwing in the towel, after having materialised with Veneno, in the second half of the 70s, one of the most visionary projects of that time, and after having then fallen into a hard desert journey full of artistic setbacks and personal frustrations.
Kiko Veneno, Alejandro G. Salgado, José Luis Cienfuegos © Lolo Vasco
"The only thing I told Alejandro at the beginning," explained the composer and performer, "is that I didn't want one of those documentaries where people are talking all the time. I wanted action, movement and a lot of music. From that point on, I just made myself available, because I've always admired the world of cinema". The film, in fact, brimming with music, and with musicians who, accompanied by their respective instruments, share the passion and the behind-the-scenes of their craft, shows how the ten songs that make up the classic Échate un cantecito emerged and took shape. "We were very clear that we wanted to make a musical film, not just talk about music. And then, when we started filming, we realised that making the documentary with that premise gave us a lot of possibilities to play with filmically", explained Salgado.
This is how the filmmaker from Seville referred to the meticulous editing work on which Un día Lobo López is built and to its daring formal approach, in a double-screen format, thus creating two windows in which images that confront the past with the present are framed. An exercise in dialogue between two times that Kiko Veneno himself has carried out in his inner self. In this way out of the particular hole in which the artist found himself at the end of the 80s, the support and confidence injected by Santiago Auserón, another fundamental figure of Spanish popular music in recent decades, first as part of Radio Futura, later with his personal project Juan Perro, and to this day as an acute and lucid essayist, was fundamental.
"We constructed the album with a lot of parsimony, with a lot of precision, although sometimes you think that in music everything comes out a bit improvised. I'm still amazed at the ease with which that record travels through time, which means that it has become a classic. Today I'm still amazed at how all of us, the team of musicians and sound engineers, managed to build something so classic and so accurate. At the time we weren't aware of it, we thought we were making just another record. Making the documentary has helped me to realise to what extent the pillars of that album were solid".