Written, arranged and with musical production by troubadour Raul Torres, the song celebrates the 328th anniversary of the Athens of Cuba and brings together, note by note, all features of Matanzas.
The belonging, the nostalgia, the unconditional love that has sustained the city in the hardest days, the joy and rhythm, but also that quiet stillness with which one approaches the edge of the sea, Matanzas as a feeling that exceeds the geographical limits it’s mapped from the soul of the singer who thanks for his best inspirations and his first big dreams.
Raúl was born in Bayamo, there’s a special place in his heart for the little town of La Julia and a beverage made there is always at hand, but ... "being from Matanzas is something you carry proud, you don't need to be born in Matanzas. I believe that doesn’t happen anywhere else. At least I haven't seen it. You are proud to be from Matanzas when you discover the beauty of this place, the corners, the people, the stories. That somehow gets into you as a son from Matanzas and, in turn, the city is assuming you as its own child", explained Raul Torres.
This isn’t the first time Matanzas inspires little Raul (thus, with the diminutive that makes him more familiar, the boy who sang for the first time at age five in the Palmar de Junco):
"Each of the songs that I’ve written to Matanzas has a different atmosphere because they have been written in different circumstances. This city always has resources to inspire a singer, a poet, a troubadour. Matanzas can be sung from many angles, it’s an endless source of inspiration, so culturally comprehensive, so spiritually rich. Matanzas is just that, pure constant inspiration."
As for the motives that specifically led him to this song, Raul commented: "I’ve been watching lately that there’s a kind of renaissance in our culture." Then he recalls "those improvised meetings in the parks of painters, poets, writers, troubadours" and he gets carried away by the most lovable optimism: I believe that, somehow, that spirit of Matanzas in the 80’s is being repeated, when there were competitions of trova songs, poetry contests, literary workshops, plastic artists who painted at concerts, that was Matanzas. I believe that Matanzas was the cradle of that mini cultural revolution that had an echo in other places, because I was touring Cuba at that time and Matanzas was very revolutionary in the entire artistic field. That faded away for a whole bunch of economic situations, but I see that art is being more supported right now and you find more corners reconquering every day that spirit of Matanzas,".
Still untitled, the song grows in the interpretations of Matanzas instrumentalists and singers, some who were willingly trapped between its bridges, others who have their cradle there and many who have lived the experience of moving away and verified the urgency of always returning: Lien Rodríguez, Alfonsito LLorens, the chamber choir under the direction of Maestro José Antonio Méndez, the improvised oral poet Orismay, among others who have a special meaning for the author:
"For example, in the case of Nuestra América, Luis Llaguno, they have been like my godparents from the beginning. They were one of the groups that supported me the most, they sang my first songs. They are excellent musicians but they are also like my family. The poetry by Zaldívar, someone who is a beacon in my career, the first concert I did in my life who encouraged me to do it and who directed it was Alfredo Zaldívar. And I already knew his poems to Matanzas, he is very inspired by the city ...
But I think that the most important thing, the richest thing, is that each artist is legitimizing the song itself, that's why we didn't want to bring in other musicians from outside, there’s enough talent here to achieve a fine job".