The correct perspective of the well known “Musica Cubana” in a contemporary classical view…
Whenever you think of Cuban music, contemporary classical isn’t the genre that comes to your mind. A group of American composers and musicians could not resist the opportunity to travel to Cuba and present their own music and seek out Cuban works. They traveled to the 28th Edition of the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music.
The American delegation of 10 different composers and 6 instrumentalists were teamed together under the American Composers Forum located in St. Paul, MN. The Havana festival is a week long concerts that have been organized by UNEAC, the official association for artists, musicians, and writers which is lead by conductor and composer Guido Lopez-Gavilan.
Composer Patrick Castillo attended the festival in 2014, when two of his pieces were performed as part of the program for Music from the U.S. He was the one American composer that was able to travel to the festival, just weeks before President Obama had announced plans to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.
Castillo stated that he was a delegation of one
While Castillo was in Havana in 2014, he stated that Lopez-Gavilan suggested that the ACF and Cuban festival create a continuing relationship. He stated numerous times that he hoped that all of the ACF’s composers would be able to come in the next year.
Castillo replied stating that he didn’t think that all 2000+ composers would be able to come to Cuba. That misunderstanding, and idea was formed and it picked up speed quickly in every home and around the world.
Castillo at that point putting together a chamber ensemble called Third Sound that would be able to handle new music as well as canonical works. The size and range of the group meant that Third Sound would be able to handle variety of textures and sounds with them when they traveled to Havana, from a movement by the ACF President Libby Larsen’s Dancing Solo to Michael Harrison’s Radians Phase II.
The ACF put a call in during the spring for Composers to submit scores that Third Sound would be able to take to the 2015 edition of the Havana Festival, with the intention of having all 10 composers accompany them to Cuba this round. The Americans were able to put on the concert November 17th at the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis, right in the city’s historic center.
In most regards, the dialogue between Cuban and U.S. composers is not new, it is a restoration of a much older type of exchange!!!
Why Country Music!
“I was driven to country music by the lyrics,” Dave Cobb quoted in an interview that was published recently. It surrounded the road he traveled from the rock scene in L.A to the handful of albums he produced that brought an essence of traditional country to the main stage in Nashville such as; Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson. “My main idea was to make the aspects I adored from other records achievable in the country music, focusing on the lyrics and voice. I am always in search for ‘THE’ voice.”
Southern Family, the concept album, was Cobb’s newest project to be released on his own Elektra Records imprint during March. It features, what he and his closest allies can refer to as, ‘honest’ music. Including some of his close friends, Isbell, Stapleton, Anderson East, as well as many more including his own cousin Brent. Brent has been the writer for many memorable songs by Little Big Town as well as Luke Bryan. Aside from his closest friends, some of the biggest country artists take part, such as, Miranda Lambert, Rich Robinson, and Zac Brown. “I asked my collaborators to tell their story of how they grew up,” says Cobb as he explains that whether the story was shallow or deep, he wanted them to take a chance they might not do on their own album.
“Simple Song” aptly opens the album up, preformed by John Paul White. Shortly after White had spoke with Cobb about the concept album, he wrote an e-mail explaining how he tried to focus on an imagined conversation of intimate subjects, one very bluntly honest, that had a message that screamed to be shared but shouldn’t be known by others. He took this and kept with simplicity in lyrics, and plain terminology while maintaining the melodically beauty. He goes on to write that he recorded with a group of session musicians, and Cobb, ensuring that everything you hear was done then and there.
Inspired by the lost work of Cobb’s that he favors, the 78’s out of print A&M release White Mansions, Southern Family attempts to recapture a similar feel to it. Being set in the time of the Civil War, White Mansions was performed by Americana music ascendants, Waylon Jennings & Jessie Colter, but was truly given life by the two Englishmen that wrote and Produced is (Paul Kennerly & Glyn Johns). Cobb holds a copy of the vinyl still, propped up in the Low County Sound booth window. “It’s the way the record makes you feel,” Says Cobb in reference to it exclaiming the cinematic nature that taps into a depth of emotion that stays inside a soft but steady constructed frame. Being original, but not by taking away from what creates country music, but while stilling the current and new levels of depth that can be reached, this is the direction of Cobb’s approach.
As a country music lover and appreciator of the art form, sometimes it takes you by storm, you are never really drawn to it by a specif matter, I believe you are simply born with that hunger and when that hunger meets the right “food item” it becomes magic.
Music Hits…choice or chosen
There are so many selections of music out there that sometimes we can get lost within the chaos from the past, present and future when it refers to how music hits affects our daily lives.
It may seem simple to some, but to most the border line in figuring out what is their preference as to what society is demanding for them to like is quite thin.
Now in days technology has intervene into our daily lives like never before, of course, before technology wasn’t as advanced, but still, it has become almost an essential rather than a luxury.
Have you heard about the new tech savvy “object” called Proximity Marketing, which is the first and most advanced direct response marketing that will monetized your FREE WiFi Services, WiFi proximity response.
This cool and advanced technology works in ways that businesses all over the world can benefit from when they market their business online – check it out if you are a nosy bunny!
We are talking mobile marketing that can be personalized to any market and anywhere such as Miami in South Florida, Brazil, Japan and more…
What does this have to do with music selections?
Well, think about it, this mobile proximity hub works in ways that it pretty much knows the things you want (ex. Food choices, electronic items that you are in the market for and more) and the music hits is based on popular demands where science becomes a role in figuring out the hits, base, style, beats and so on that society is craving and willing to accept at the current moment.
It’s basically the same thing in ways that it is to project the near future so that the product can be a better service to you, the individual, so that from today on, you are kind of told what to do from your own sub-conscious.
As we become more and more prone to the vulnerability of technology roles in our everyday lives, we have to be careful not to fall into every hole out there, we must choose wisely our daily choices in music, food, even ads that once were just propaganda and now is ruling our lives…it even tells us what to do, without we knowing that we are being told what to do, and eat etc.
So instead of following trends, be alert and become a leader rather then a sub-consciously follower!!!
Music is one of those subjects that is so simple to describe and speak about and yet so complex. Music can mean so many things to so many different people at so many random times.
As we look deeper into the richness of the background in music, let’s focus on how the majority, not all of course, are automatically thrown into the same flow of music types as the world’s vibes sends them.
Let’s begin dissecting how music has been known to significantly shift the path of a newborn…
As babies, parents can have a huge influence into the way a child grows up seeing the world of music! Are the parents listening to the old school classic with piano solos and instrumental overdose? Or are they into the hip 21st century country style beats?
A child is born into the world a blank canvas where we responsible can mold and create path for them, painting the canvas in all different colors and strokes!
The personality will always be there, some more mellow, others hard to break, but the “blank canvas” will always be there to shape, and you may always throw paint on top to mold it a different direction.
As adults we can choose and listen to whatever we feel appropriate at any time we like, and I believe the wealth of listening to those sounds at your leisurely time is pure luxury…
The freedom of listening to a song at any insignificant time, just because, is the same analogy as having a limo picking you up from an awesome party instead of having to drive yourself a car that may not make it to point B. It’s the freedom, the wants, the abundance, the whole fantasy that we all want and not all can have!
Music is that want that most can have, so enjoy the luxury of listening…the beats that rocks your moment and takes your breath away!
Did you know that that when creating music you are not only creating words, that will become sentences, which will then be added to rhythms and beats which will then be edited into a song that will become poetry to someone’s ears?
It is quite incredible what really happens behind the scene in a recording studio!
The emotions, the creativity, the art, the words and lack of words…the electrical beats to microphones to laughters and tears, to screams and frustration…it’s all about the sweat and love for the final outcome.
A recording studio is a place where recording sounds and mixing comes together. A correct and well designed recording studio is usually done by an acoustician to get the best acoustic sound. In simple wording, it is a specialist that will make the space ideally designed to block out any outside or inside noise that interfers with the best quality sound that you are trying to persive.
Recording studios are used mainly for musicians and when placing voices over main artists for advertising purpose, television, animation, musical and classical sountracks and many other related subjects.
A common recording studio (or the most typical) consists of a room (studio) where an instrumentalist and a vocalist performs, the (control room), usually face to face, is where the sound engineers creates their professional audio mixes with specialized software, computers and other special hi-tech wares.
Sometimes there are smaller rooms added (isolation rooms) if the artist, or whom ever is playing has a high and loud instrument such as drums or electric guitars, that can out-do the sound of the actual singer trying to use just a microphone.
Let us not even begin to talk about all the electrical wiring and electrical “bill”, since the whole room must be done by an “isolation”specialist where the wires are all pre-meditated and carefully designed since there are so many instruments and computers that required volts.
Sometimes though, when you are good, you are good…meaning that if you want to build a kick-bu** studio but are scared that the possibility of going totally bankrupt before even a single is recorded, you can still do it…there are things you just don’t need, somewhat of a luxury that you can always add on later on, after your track hits #1.
Let’s start with a really good computer; since now in days everything is all about tech-smarts, you wanna go deep pockets here.
If you are already using your own record and editing system, and it’s working well, keep it, but the DAW (software used to record, edit and mix music) is awesome, and don’t forget the DAW remote!
The audio interface, a really good microphne (depending on the specifics of your music, choose wisely), headphones, studio monitors (speakers that are customed with ‘frequent response’ that turns sound in to “better” audience sound.
Cables (1 – XLR cable for the microphone and 2 more for the studio monitors), basically all you need to start with…later on you will have more cables than you can count – or manage!
Acoustic panels are important, do it right the first time around. Bass traps, difussiors, control service for mixing – easier than a computer, software plug-ins, an uninterruptible power supply (known as UPS), monitor isolation pads, studio monitor stands, secondry monitors, snake cables, direct boxes, vistual instruments, a MIDI controller, a rack case, a power conditioner, a microphone preamp, a headphone amp, a monitor management system, digital converters, digital master clocks and analog hardware.
Don’t be discouged, you probably know what 95% of these does and are relatively simple to connect…as you get deeper into the music world you will eventually find your personal style and I guarantee there will be additions, but you are pretty set with these.
Now go make music happen…
As the world become more and more aware of our international abouts and how poverty is becoming almost an epidemic within our country and throughout the world, it is hard to comprehend how music is so deeply attached to this title.
For the longest time, music has not only being a way to express feelings or send a message but it has become an international way to speak without talking.
Lyrics can have a huge influence on your current mood, especially when facing such disastrous outcomes that we hear about in the media now in days.
The mechanism of creating deep lyrics lies on the writer being knowledgebale on what he or she wants the crowd to perceive…to make you happy, or to make you cry…for you to get up and dance, or sit in a corner in silence in remembrance of ‘something’ you have been thru.
As we all know, of course, that every writer has their own set of “rules” when it comes to writing his/hers next hit sensation, including if the room has windows, the view thru the window, the painting job done on the walls (color on a wall is more powerful than you know), the sounds they hear and much more.
Only those few artists that really find deep in their hearts the understanding of the everyday joe is successful in writing not only lyrics to a song, but poetry to the ear.
A song has been known to heal sorrowful souls, to being someone’s companian when feeling lonely, to change minds and touch the heart.
If you really think about it, a song can be, in some cases, a natural medicine!
Now, has music now in days an everyday essential or has it become a luxury whereas many individuals in very rare and remote places have no access to neither a radio, or a TV or a CD or nothing that allows the vibrations of music to play.
I believe we have become greedy in some ways, expecting and demanding the use of music. I believe that the saying “you will only miss me if I am gone”; those words should apply to music just as much as anything worth keeping, for today we are here, but tomorrow is another day, who knows where you will be.
The correct analogy would be that music is indeed a luxury, for if, or when you no longer are able to pocess it, it will be missed and you will wish you had taken advantage of it while it was so ‘easy’ to hold on to…
Listen on my friends and keep in mind that somewhere out there (not too far from you) there is a soul that could have been saved by the lyrics and/or rhythm that you just heard…so keep it close to heart and dance!!!
Sometimes we can let very simple obstacles to ruin our days, because we are in a hurry or simply because we don’t take the time to stop, count to 10 and and reset our senses and our minds. It was very funny the way that my tuesday went from great day to disaster and from disaster to amazing day…. and this is how it happened: