The crows in my lyrics are those dictators who sent the little sparrows to war

By Beverley Knight

Sparrows and Crows, written by Ale H, reviews the heartbreaking fate of thousands of young Argentines who were sent to the Malvinas war that occurred in 1982. They were, for the most part, between 18 and 20 years old, and they did not have training, vocation nor resources to face a military conflict. The responsibility for this happening lay with those who were in charge of the last civil-military dictatorship in Argentina, which occurred between 1976 and 1983, a date on which, in addition, 30,000 people disappeared. It was a dark, very painful time. “The crows in my lyrics are those dictators who sent the little sparrows to war.”

Ale H is an abriveation of Alejandro Hochbaum. He’s a family man and a musician from Argentina in South America. Without the support of his beloved wife, Ingrid, he’d feel lost in the woods. She features in every decision he makes, artistic or otherwise. Together, they manifested the artistic project Ale H, with Ingrid’s social communications background adding a fresh perfective to Ale’s creative ideas. He knows, in his heart, it’s a dream partnership.

As a child, he happily sang and danced around the place while listening to all types of music. But it wasn’t until he was twenty that he picked up his first guitar. “I felt mature enough to make decisions and could afford to study music.” Like many before, Ale learnt the songs of composers he sincerely respected. But something wasn’t sitting quite right. Their stories were theirs and not his to tell. Determined to create a sound that suited him, he began experimenting with music that reflected his personality. He found his voice.

“The compositional process is magical. From one moment to the next, where there is neither a sound nor a letter, a small cell begins to exist that grows over time. Then It becomes a vessel that manages to communicate what we feel.”

Primarily, the musical genres he focuses on are Argentine folklore and rock with a drizzle of pop if he’s in the mood. Lately, electronic sounds have pulled him in, and he feels open to new combinations. “I love experimenting with different tones and shades that I incorporate into my music.” The next thing he’d love to try is collaborating with other artists for even more texture in his art. “It’s something I haven’t been able to do much of yet. I would love to feature in other musicians’ works with my guitar, my voice or through musical production. It’s part of my short-term goals.”

In his past four albums, there are distinct themes. Lyrically, his music expresses a deep-rooted love for Ingrid and his near and dear, with songs dedicated to his children. “You’ll also hear topics related to nature, the care of natural resources, water, trees, rivers, the sea.” Putting pinpoints where he’s been on our planet also influences his writing. “Travel is a strong source of inspiration when composing.”

There’s no use in Ale feeling rushed to market his work and pump out any old content. With Ingrid by his side, he’s working on creative and sustainable strategies and not about bombarding people with empty promises. “We’re currently testing strategies on Instagram to expand the community of those interested in my music. For my latest album, Transiente, we’ve developed a distinct logo. We do all of our work independently.”

Music is for absolutely everyone. Ale’s sound is in place, but his biggest obstacle is performing live shows with accessible price points. “The current political and economic situation in Argentina doesn’t help. It costs a lot for people to invest in a ticket for a show.” So he wondered what he could do to make his gig inclusive. After discussions, a venue agreed to sell the tickets as cheaply as possible without making a loss. “We don’t want anyone left out and think the gig will have a great turnout.”

Ale plans to keep pushing the live element of his creative vision and has a band that he entrusts with his music. “I’m fortunate to have a great team with me: Andrés Albarenga on percussion and Germán Güidi ​​on bass.” Along with Ingrid, they are the ones who push him to continue rehearsing each week and get out there and play for people. “Luckily, we have live dates booked until September. But that won’t be it. We’ll strive for more.”

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Ale H