Gustavo Santaolalla

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Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla on 9 March 2007
Background info
Full name Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla
Also known as Moviola
Birthday/Birthplace (1951-08-19) 19 August 1951
El Palomar, Argentina
Genre(s) Latin rock, electrotango, film scores
Profession(s) Musician, film composer, producer
Instruments Guitar, charango, ronroco, singing, piano, bass
Active Years 1967–present
Worked with Bajofondo

Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla (El Palomar, August 19, 1951) is an Argentine composer, musician and music producer, twice winner of the Oscar Award presented by the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences. Hollywood, for his work as a musical composer.

All of Santaolalla’s work has combined elements of rock music, folk, pop, new wave, African rhythms and Latin American popular music. In the seventies, led the band Arco Iris, one of the pioneers of the “Argentine national rock” in experimenting with sonorities.

In the nineties, his production with diverse artists was key in the Latin American rock boom of the time. A phenomenon that brought the genre to an unprecedented level until then in quality and resonance.

Today, he is one of the most awarded and recognized musicians and producers on the continent.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Biography

His professional music career began in 1967 when he was sixteen years old and founded the group Arco Iris, an Argentine band that amalgamated rock and traditional Argentine music in cooperation with ‘national rock’. The band was also part of a yoga community led by Dana Winnycka and her partner Ara Tokatlian. Her first hit, Blues de Dana, song winner of the Beat Festival of the International Song of Mar del Plata in 1970, was dedicated to her.

Since 1969, Gustavo maintains a friendly relationship with León Gieco, who even accompanied him as producer of the album from Ushuaia to La Quiaca. He also maintains a friendly relationship with Charly García, who participated in the party organized in Argentina for the celebration of the Óscar award.

While still a teenager, he fell in love with Dana, a woman thirteen years older than him and dedicated several of his songs then as Who is that girl? (1970). However, the strict requirements that Dana imposed on the community (prohibition of meat, alcohol, drugs, and especially sex), led to the rupture of the community and the band in 1975. A year later, he formed Soluna, where he played with the pianist and singer Alejandro Lerner and his girlfriend (at the time) Mónica Campins. Together they recorded only one album (Energía Natural, with Charly García, Mauricio Veber and Rody Ziliani as guests 1977).

Gustavo Santaolalla, at the Casa Rosada, 2007.

As a consequence of censorship and artistic limitations in Argentina during the last military dictatorship, Gustavo emigrated in 1978 to Los Angeles, California, a city that would be key in his career (and where he still lives to this day). During his early days in the United States, he adopted in his work a sound more in keeping with the under music of those years, such as punk and new wave and formed the band Wet Picnic with whom he would be his great work companion: he also Argentine Anibal Kerpel (ex Crucis). In his periodic trips to Argentina, he produced Leon Gieco’s hit album Pensar en nada (1980) and released his first solo album, simply titled Santaolalla, whose broadcast cut was the rock song “Ando rodando”, which became a remarkable success of radio broadcasting, positioning itself in a prominent place in the history of Argentine rock.

Already in the nineties, Santaolalla became a key surname during the explosion of Latin rock at that time, being a music producer of important bands and artists from the continent such as Caifanes, Maldita Vecindad, Los Prisioneros, Jorge González, Café Tacuba, Divided, Phobia, Molotov, Bersuit Vergarabat, Julieta Venegas, Juanes, Jorge Drexler, La Vela Puerca, Árbol, Puya, among others, whose albums produced by him have earned a place among the best rock in Spanish and have shaped to a continental map of alternative music. According to Gustavo himself, all the albums he has produced have been made by musicians who have poured an identity into their songs and that is related to the search he has made in music.

In the same decade, Gustavo published new solo productions: GAS (1995) and Ronroco (1998). The latter was a disc of instrumental themes, played mainly with the Andean instrument that gives it the title. Curiously, it was not published in Argentina and technically its promotion was null; It was not even presented live because Santaolalla did not have time in the midst of so many projects. However, Ronroco finished a production praised by the critics and a cult material at present. This material would bring Gustavo professionally to the world of cinema, since the director Michael Mann decides to include a theme from the aforementioned album for the soundtrack of the film The Insider.

As of that moment, Santaoallla would dedicate itself fully to the production of film soundtracks such as Amores Perros, 21 grams or Motorcycle Diaries. He worked on the instrumental part of the soundtrack of the movie Brokeback Mountain for which he won the Oscar in 2006. From this soundtrack, A Love That Will Never Grow Old won the Golden Globe for best song. He has also won a BAFTA Award for Motorcycle Diaries and another for Babel, for which he received the Oscar for the second time in a row in 2007. It was even rumored that Nelly Furtado thought of him for the production of his new album entirely in Spanish. p>

In 2008, she participated in the MTV Unplugged of Julieta Venegas, where she played the banjo in the song «Someday». Already before, in 1995, he had participated in the Unplugged of Café Tacuba, as a guest musician in two songs.

He created the soundtrack for the award-winning third-person shooter in the horror-action-adventure videogame The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for PlayStation 3.

On July 8, 2014, Gustavo unveiled his new solo production: Camino, composed of 13 instrumental tracks -among them The Journey that he had been presenting before- and which, according to his own author, is the continuation of the album Ronroco. Since 2001 he has been a member and co-founder of Bajofondo.

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