Sonidos de Cuba (Sounds of Cuba)
In March of 2010, I travelled with my fiance to Cuba for ten days. Despite the short amount of time I spent there, I was overwhelmed by the complexity, culture, rhythm and pulse of the country. I brought with me a Zoom H4N portable recorder and gathered various snippets of the rich acoustic landscape. After returning home, I began using these recordings as a foundation for my own music. I spent many hours editing, warping, looping, filtering, sampling, and mangling the sounds to distil them into songs. Over the next three years, I created an album of electronic music that attempts to tell the story of this visit. I made this music in an effort to relive and restructure not merely the recordings, but the memories of my time there in order to share this journey with others. Hopefully you’ll feel transported as you listen and enjoy these Sonidos de Cuba. Continue reading “The Stories behind the Sonidos”
Sonidos de Cuba is now live and available for download from Bandcamp and CD Baby. I’ve also ordered a limited run of CDs with beautiful artwork by Tania Clarke of Side-B Design.
You can get the album through either of the links below:
My subscribers may have received a flurry of e-mails in their inbox yesterday. I sincerely apologize for that! I was diagnosing a problem on my website that made the widgets appear at the bottom of the page, and the apparent solution was to republish every post. I didn’t realize that it would e-mail each post again! You’ll notice that the widgets are back at the side of the page, and now there’s a nice little Bandcamp store ready for action.
In the next couple days I’ll be making a more detailed post about the album, describing and explaining the stories behind the songs and the recordings used in the songs.
Check out the cover art for my album! It was recently finished by the beautiful and talented Tania Clarke of Side B Design Studio (side-b.ca) who also happens to be my wife. She took some gorgeous photos during our trip to Cuba. If you’d like to have a look please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidebdesign
In other news, my show at Sequential Circus 11 on August 18th was a lot of fun! I was pretty nervous leading up to (and during) my set. I’ve never sweat so much while playing and my slick lips had a hard time hitting my higher range. I was feeling pretty sloppy with my trumpet playing, and not feeling too good about my performance until after I finished. I received a good round of applause and was given a lot of congratulations on my set so I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought! The rest of the evening was fantastic.
Phonotactic had a great journey of a set using Ableton and a Kaosspad. He went from mellow funky dubby music to thumping floor fillers. Then Tarekith took the stage with his Elektron duo (Octatrack and Machinedrum). His set was smooth, cool, and full of slick production. Next, Dark Arps emerged with gut throbbing basslines and tech funk delights. My friend dubbed him the Techno-borg as he was wearing a Sci-Fi suit that glowed and flashed to the music. It was hot enough there in shorts and a T-shirt so I imagine he was baking in his Borg suit. Muxx followed him with a high energy techno set that reminded me of fun times in early raves. His “One night in East Van” had the whole crowd chanting along with him. Lastly Vincent Parker switched things up with psychedelic synth washed dubby beats. Good times indeed!
The Sequential Circus crew should be posting the sets on their website soon if you’d like to hear them for yourself. I’ll post a link once they emerge. Meanwhile, I’m working on sound design for one of the rooms at this year’s Dunbar Haunted House. It’s turning into a fun creative project making the atmosphere for a Daycare of Doom. I’ve even done some voice-acting. Just one song left to complete for Sonidos de Cuba. This one’s called Ascensor (for now) and features a recording of the elevator in our apartment in Vedado. It would only go up to the 7th floor, but our Casa Particulaire was on the 9th so we’d have to hoof the last two floors. Working elevators are something I never realized I took for granted in Canada until then. Once that one is finished I’ll spend some time mastering the album and then I’ll be able to finally unleash it on the world!
Back in March of 2010, I travelled to Cuba with my fiancée. We had a great time soaking up the culture, music, and architecture around Havana and Vinales. While there I also did a number of recordings with my Zoom H4N. Since then I’ve been using those recordings as the foundation for an album. The first three songs are now posted in draft form on my soundcloud page here.
The first song uses recordings from the Vancouver Skytrain serving as a departure point and a contrast to the later songs. Calle Musica features a recording from a cafe in the Plaza De Armas. You can hear the clatter of cutlery and dishes along with the chatter of the restaurant patrons mixed with the music from the band. Jinetero uses a recording from Jose Marti Square. There was a large crowd of Habaneros gathered there talking and shouting passionately at each other. I was told they were probaby talking about baseball.
I’m trying to finish up the album by the end of the year. We’ll see how that turns out, but I will be posting more songs as they materialize. Hope you like them!
KPhanie included my remix of “Sour Grapes” on her “Glory of the Singles” EP available through CD Baby.
And here’s her site: