,, Tango music has been developping since the beginning”, Tanya Schaap explains. She is the artistic director of Tango Extremo since 2003. Today, the band can be considered to be one of the most leading tango ensembles in the Netherlands. ,, It’s nice, with respect to the history, to seek the renewal of the tango”. In 2009 Tango Extremo was the first non-Argentine band at the Tango Festival in Buenos Aires. The orchestra is often seen in Dutch theaters and concert halls.
Full of love for the music she describes how that affects her every time: ,,Whenever I play, I feel the atmosphere of Buenos Aires. I can smell the city. It is the melancholy in the music which makes it very recognizable. You could say that the music stinks like that city can do”. It was love at first sight. Yet while studying classical music at the conservatory she came in contact with tango. ,,I got a tape of someone showing the music of Sexteto Major”, she explains. ,,The atmosphere in the music touched me. I immediately had the feeling ‘I need to do something with this’. So I switched to the tango training”.
Schaap also recognizes the feeling of tango music other musical styles. She is influenced by that while making her tango arrangements. ,,In fact, from the very beginning of tango music, the music develops my the influence of other styles. And that’s good, because it means the survival of this music genre”. Because the musicians of Tango Extremo have different backgrounds and bring their experience they create beautiful tango. ,,Of course we also play the classics. And occasionally we find a piece that fits into the tango. Such as “L’amour des vieux amants’ by Jacques Brel or ‘village’ by Wim Sonneveld. Very danceable and the song feels very tango “.
For Schaap the power of the tango is in the variety. ,,Nice old tango music interspersed with exciting newer arrangments”. Tango Extremo has a nice mix of music for dancers and music lovers. The orchestra gets also influenced by what happens on the dance floor: ,,We watch the dance floor. So we can customize the playing speed of the dancers. The interplay is really interesting for us. That keeps the music alive. “