Wednesday 30 January 2008
Road Songs (Tranquillo)
Sometimes I wish I was a bird and glide over the throng of cars populating our avenues, roads and streets. To be able to work out whether car A will move into the space that car B just vacated. To witness the amalgamation that occurs whenever there is heavy traffic near a roundabout. The red car will join the green car even though the driver forgot to signal left as the law dictates. Motorists changing minds at the last minute. Unpredictability galore.
Music is like that. And as I get older it is this type of music, bastardised, mulattoised and mixed that I drift towards. This is not a post for those purists who swear by unadulturated music, but then again, this is a blog that celebrates difference with a difference. Recently and on another blog I was discussing Silvio Rodríguez' song 'Melancolía' and how the tune is based on Beethoven's sonata 'Pathétique'. Amazing.
My first offering has the wrong name for this time of year. Yet, here's one of the better versions I have ever heard of 'Summertime'. In fact, it's my favourite one. Thanks, Janis. Spellbinding.
A classically-trained musician, Nina Simone started singing by accident and yet it was that kind of accident that turned many of us into devotees of this exceptional singer because of her strong stage persona. I would dare to say quite boldly that not many artists have been able to match the Great Nina in vocal prowess and piano-playing skills. Stunning.
My last track comes courtesy of a singer I came across the other day whilst reading the paper. She is Israeli, yet sings in Spanish in a style known as Ladino, very popular amongst Jewish groups in the Iberian peninsula. I was immediately captivated by her voice and by the fact that Yasmin Levy is living proof of the amalgamation process different cultures and by default their music go through. Touching.
And this is all for this week. Happy driving!