La jugada de todos los tiempos

The move of all time (2022)
Published by Ediciones Negra40, Barcelona.

It is a book containing two works of sound poetry with instructions for their performance: “La jugada de todos los tiempos” (2022) and “Vocal-a” (2017).

I presented the book in June 2002, at the Animal sospechoso bookstore in Barcelona and in November of the same year at the beautiful Suena Washington space.

Graphic design by Mariano Losi

In May 2020, the writer Pablo Brescia proposed me to write the article “Maradona and Music” for the book “Diego Armando Maradona: A Socio-cultural Study”, which would be the first volume dedicated to the star’s impact on contemporary culture. In that work I focused on an experimental idea: that Diego’s body received from the age of 11 the asymmetrical impact of a sound produced by thousands of people in stadiums and on public roads, and that the ways in which his body absorbed and returned those sounds to society were the trigger of a vast corpus of songs that continue to multiply today as an inexhaustible echo. The piece “La jugada de todos los tiempos”, for two reciters and which inaugurates this brief book of sound poetry, is one more case of this particular semiosis arising from the encounter of Maradonian sound and the various forms of cultural appropriation that art offers.

This sound takes me back to an emblematic musical form of the baroque, the fugue, based on a main theme that flees throughout a work from other themes that try to reach it in a dizzying contrapuntal chase. If Bach, the composer who probably crowned this technique, had seen Maradona play ball, I think, he would have embodied in him the consecrating theme. Since history did not allow us this whim, well, why not take this job. This is the subject matter in this piece with which half of this book is served.

The second, “Vocal-a,” composed in 2014, that is, eight years before “The Play of All Time,” is a poem about the space that the voice occupies in a place and how the space in which the voice sounds is constitutive in its timbral nature. My voice doesn’t sound the same in the bathroom at home, in a cab or in a concert hall. My voice does not have a sound, it is an abstraction. It is inexorably subject to the place where it is produced. This modest confirmation defines something central to poetry: that its strength is nourished by contingent conditions that generally go unappreciated because the edition is often stronger than its practice. Therefore, Vocal-a is a poem with instructions for its interpretation. It is edited, it is true, but only to be said, interpreted.

I leave open the meeting of these works for those who want to get involved with their reading and execution. In both-I’ll just say this-merodea the excess and the calm, the feint, the acceleration and the pause. Gestures, in short, that put music and soccer in phase.

Martín Virgili
Heidelberg, spring 2022.

Excerpt from the book in PDF