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Dominican Republic: Goodbye to Composer Luis “Terror” Días

The community of Dominican Republic said goodbye to composer and musician Luis “Terror” Días [es], who died in Santo Domingo on December 8 of a heart attack and renal problems, according to Agencia Efe [es]. To the late generations, it is possible that Días does not strike as a familiar name, especially outside the Republic, where he was born. However, the revolutionary youth of the 70s decade saw the rise of his songs: plain and simple descriptions of the customs and sentiments of the Dominican people.

Photo by Reynaldo Brito. Used with permission.

Photo by Reynaldo Brito. Used with permission.

The nickname of “Terror” referenced his ability to mix agressively diverse rhythms, from rock and metal to merengue and dominican root songs, while mantaining his musical sensibility. His lyrics, of soul-rending nature, became a symbol of the fights and struggle of the 70s, reaching international impact.

The song “Obrero, toma mi mano”, that was recorded by protest music groups such as Los Guaraguao (Venezuela) and Expresión Joven (República Dominicana), was written by Días in 1974. That same year the song was presented on the festival “Siete Días Con El Pueblo [es]“, celebrated in Dominican Republic, featuring national and international artists like Mercedes Sosa, Lucecita Benítez, Danny Rivera, Silvio Rodríguez and duet Víctor Manuel and Ana Belén.

After the 70s decade, Días focused again on rhythms. In 1983 he wrote the song that would make him one of the symbols of the Dominican carnaval: “Carnaval (Baile en las Calles)”, a trascendental composition also known as one of the choruses from Shakira's hit single “Hips Don't Lie“.

An example of his music is “Las vampiras”, recorded by user Liberius in a concert of 2006:

His legacy includes composing more than 700 melodies, being an influence on artists such as Juan Luis Guerra and Fernando Villalona, as well as contributing to Dominican rock, of which he is considered a founding father.

Blogger Pedro Genaro [es] sums up the sentiment of many Dominicans:

Parafraseando la canción de Liborio del propio Luis Días (Luis Díaz Portorreal), el Terror sigue vivo, seguirá vivo porque su legado es enorme y de una calidad incuestionable. Igual que él, estoy en negación…el Terror sigue Vivo!

Paraphrasing the song “Liborio” of Luis Días (Luis Díaz Portorreal), Terror is still alive, he will keep living because of his enormous legacy of an unquestionable quality. Like him, I'm in denial… Terror is still alive!

Victor Manuel recalls the presence of the Dominican Republic [es] in “Terror” songs:

Los isabelinos tuvieron la oportunidad en una ocasión de verle en persona, pero mas lejos llego una composición suya que hablaba de una belleza única en nuestras costas “La Ensenada”, en el tema Marola interpretado por Sergio Vargas.

The people from Villa Isabela had the opportunity to see him playing live once, but farther reach had a composition he made about the unique beauty of our beaches “La Ensenada”, in the song Marola interpreted by Sergio Vargas.

User otonielcolas shares an emotive video of José Duluc (who played with Días in the rock band Transporte urbano [es]) paying his final respects to his friend with music:

Also, on the blog Duarte 101 reactions from the community on Facebook and Twitter [es] can be found.

Translated by Issa Villarreal

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