Martín Barea Mattos (Uruguayan Artist)

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on August 19, 2012

Martín Barea Mattos is a Uruguayan poet, musician and performer. He was born in 1978, and (to this date) Martín has released four books of poems. His most recent title is “X Hora X Día X Mes”, a collection of poetry he published in 2008. And that also happens to be the name of the band he currently fronts. X Hora X Día X Mes recorded “Odisea en el Parking Planetario” [Odyssey in the Planetary Parking] in 2010, and the band has been playing the album ever since, honing its live act.

I became acquainted with Martín last year, when he was a guest speaker at a poetry workshop I attended. His artistic vision and commitment made a deep impact on all the people who were there that day. And I have wanted to feature him on MusicKO ever since.

A month to this date, X Hora X Día X Mes played a defining gig at the Teatro AGADU in Montevideo. At around that time, Martín was interviewed by Cooltivarte. You can read an English translation of that interview below; the original is found here. It is an excellent way to become acquainted with his work, as he elaborates not only on his role as a musician but also as an artist.

In addition to Martín on voice and guitar, the band is made up of Facundo Fernández Luna on guitar, Pelao Meneses on percussion, Luján Fernández Luna on accordion, flute and vocals and Juan Tolosa on electric bass.

All the photos that you can see on this post come from Cooltivarte’s director, Federico Meneses.


For those who are getting acquainted with this project now, how would you introduce “X Hora X Día X Mes”?

“X HORA X DÍA X MES” is a musical project that keeps the emphasis on what’s being said. The texts themselves are what shape the music. The album can be downloaded at www.feeldeagua.net.

Is there a reason the album has been issued independently? Is that an artistic gesture?

The album has been issued independently because our art is not something that could be labeled as massive. It gives us the chance to do things as we see fit. Artistically, it enables me to lead the course.

At this point, what are your musical references?

Personally speaking, my references go from Charly García and Leo Maslíah to Fernando Cabrera and Darnauchans, and certain stages in the music of Jaime Roos and Caetano Veloso. Throw the Beatles and Kiko Veneno into the mix, and that’s it!

If you had to pick three songs that are representative of your work, and that you would recommend to someone who’s new to it, which would they be?

“Autocracia”, “Para los que Sueñan Despiertos” y “La Verdad de la Milanesa”. Urbanity, waltz and hypnosis.

Why have you chosen to make the album downloadable online? What’s your take on spreading music through the Internet? Many musicians claim that it fosters piracy.

For those of us who are not a big business, the Internet lets us show people what we do. And when people know what you do, they can then go and see you live. And this must be made clear from the beginning: piracy has always existed. The thing is that now it’s hit big fishes where it hurts. The fact remains that if you like an artist and his artwork, you’ll go and buy his albums.

How do you see Uruguayan music nowadays?

I believe there’s a sustained output of good quality, leaving aside the many hits that you can hear on the radio. I also like to see how big bands make it internationally: El Cuarteto, La Vela, etc.

What do you think about the Premios Graffit?

It’s a business accolade. It’s awarded to those who are in the business. That’s OK…

Which current Uruguayan performer or bands do you like?

Personally, I like El Dúo Melódico, Buenos Muchachos, ET & Los Problem, Tango Villero…

Do you think there are few venues for musicians to play?

There are very few venues for musicians to play. There are no bars or discos. We have less and less places where we could meet. The few venues we have are actually saturated.

What’s the most important thing for a live show to go smoothly?

Everybody should know what they should do, and when they should do it. And of course, to enjoy doing it…

Can you recommend three good discs to us?

On a whim: “Tim Maia”, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie and “Estrilicia” by Spinetta.

In general, how’s your creative process?

It’s my way of living.

Are your writing a new book?

Yes, it’s titled “MADE IN CHINA”. I hope to have it out by Spring.

You have written poetry from the very beginning. Have you ever been interested in creating any work in prose?

No. I’m interested in pouring poetry in a narrative manner, but not in prose itself. What I like is the chance to write poetry that’s not weighed down by its usual form.


You can download “Odisea En El Parking Planetario” at www.feeldeagua.net.  The album is also available at www.cancioneroazul.org. And this is the MySpace profile of X Hora X Día X Mes.

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