This project, the musicians, the sound chosen in the mixing and mastering, etc... Everything in this new album was done for a specific reason: to show the listener the concept of the story being told. My story. One of the essential parts for this to come alive was establishing the order of the songs:
-I Fall In Love To Easily:
I know that perhaps you would expect for a 19 year old to start his debut CD with a powerful, explosive, exciting piece. Instead I chose to place this beautiful ballad composed in the '40's by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in the beginning because I felt that if I was to share my story with you, this song would definitely let you know who I am.
Original Composition. I enjoy movies very much and, as many people would, sometimes I like to create my own scenes... There's a man walking in a city very early in the morning (about 5 o' clock), there's not a lot of people and you can already see the sky getting blue but the sun hasn't come out yet. This man walks by a very tall building whose roof had been burning the night before. He starts to see the ashes falling on his black coat as he sinks in memories, thinking about this fire that was there but isn't anymore... This man is me.
Original Composition. Many of us caribbean people, when we move to the US, one of the first things we want to experience is seeing, touching and playing with snow. I woke up in my apartment in Boston on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of October and as I look outside my window : there it was. Gorgeous, white and magical. You may notice that this sounds a bit childish but for a musician and a composer it is essential at times to give freedom to the child inside of him. This child can provide us with extraordinary imagination...
-Interludes: A year before recording this album, I took my quartet back home to Puerto Rico to perform on different venues and do small tour. In two of the gigs we did, there was moments of true connection. Spiritual, mental and musical. I chose to retrieve these few seconds and put them inside this album so that they would live and not vanish.
Original Composition. All my life, I have lived relatively close to the beach. This piece shows my perspective on the beautiful process of dawn in the coast of my beautiful island. Conceptual elements (such as the the bass sliding the high B with the bow symbolizing the sun coming up, the mallets hitting the cymbal and right after the brush shivering over the snare representing the water crashing into the shore and then coming back making a sizzling sound, the chords interpreting the unstableness of the small and quiet waves and the flute using harmonics to bring out the gulls, birds, etc) were utilized to make the piece more cinematic and visual.
Original Composition. Dedicated to my friend Elise Rucquoi.
-Yo Tambien Soñé / Guaguancó de los Sueños:
Yo Tambien Soñé is a Tango composed by Luis César Amadori in the 1930's and then recorded by the great Cuban group "Los Muñequitos De Matanzas" in a traditional Yambú style. It talks about disappointment, struggle the bitter/sweet experience of dreaming and memories of Love and childhood. Guaguancó de los Sueños is an original composition inspired by the vision of being in the middle of a savannah under a very starry sky surrounded by wild animals...
-Ocean In Between
Original Composition. If there is a climax in this album, this is probably it. It is a very soulful and sexy piece with a hip-hop / Neo Soul feel to it inspired in a girl that I met in France. Right before I returned home, I asked her: "Do you think that the Ocean is too big for us?" She said: "No."
Written by John Coltrane. Beautiful tune recorded by Trane between (1963-65) in the album "Dear Old Stockholm". I used this as an expression of gratitude to God and the most appropriate ending to this project.
The musicians: Chad Selph (Keys), Charles Burchell (Drums), Zwelakhe Duma (Bass). Special Guests: Don Ngatia (Voice), Andrew Burglass (Guitar) and Marcos Lopez (Percussion). All students from Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory.