We and You - A Musical Dialogue between Latin America and Asia

by on Saturday, 29 March 2008 Comments
Jose Duarte participated in the first music CD released by Renlai in April 2008 (distributed with the issue #48).

Can you tell us about your Asian musical approach?

I was born in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1979. Since childhood, the surrounding sounds have always caught my attention. Loud noises like the ones produced by airplanes were scaring me, and I was hiding in a closet till it was silent again. I really enjoy music of all kinds and this helped me out to open up my mind and discover new ways of expressing myself through sound. I stayed in Taiwan for three years, and I went also to the Philippines, Japan and Korea.

Being in Asia opened my ears to new sounds. One of the strongest influences on me was the religious music I heard in Taiwan, especially from the Buddhist tradition. I was very impressed about by the way Buddhists make use of long chants to meditate. When I came to Taiwan I wanted to form an instrumental rock band just like the one I had in Costa Rica. But I started to get involved in other kinds of bands that gave me the chance to explore other styles. And, while in Hsinchu, I have met Luo Chao-Yun (駱昭勻) who interprets the Pipa in the piece called The Wind of Hsinchu included in this CD. Also I had collaborations with Janelle Chang (張宜蓁) who plays the Satar (A Uygur instrument from Xinjiang province) in Constant Change also part of the tracks of this CD.

I also participated in the improvisation band of the Music Institute where I was studying. There we played guitar along with Western instruments and Chinese instruments like the Gucheng and Sheng. I want to thank Prof. Hsing-Chwen Hsin (辛幸純) and Prof. Chao-Ming Tung (董昭民) who encouraged me in participate in this project.  At the end of my stay in Taiwan, I finally formed an instrumental rock band called Paparazzi Band.

When you composed the music for this CD, what was your main inspiration?

My musical section of the CD comprises a set of three guitar pieces composed before arriving in Taiwan. All of them composed for Nylon String Guitar, which is our favorite instrument in most of Latin America. The first two are made of five tone scales. These scales for us are immediately associated with Chinese music. The third piece, is a composition made for strumming the guitar, which associates with many different styles from Spain and Latin America. The other pieces were composed during my last year in Taiwan. All of them mix different Western and Eastern instruments.

What about the Proyecto Sonorum?

Proyecto Sonorum is an international music network meant to work as a bridge between Latin-America and Asia. This is how I contacted with composer Fabian Torres (Colombia) who I have never met in person.

(Photo courtesy of Pablo Murillo)


CD Track List

Fabian Torres

1. Eternal warrior dance with the animals (2008) 6:12
The chant of the monk sounds like the scream of Mother Earth, accompanied with kalimbas and traditional afro-Colombian rhythms.

2. Paradox (2007) 11:13
A gamelan cumbia. Flute, Kalimba and live Djembe.

3. San Agustin: The stone paradox (2007) 6:00
A Taoist contemplation of the San Agustin archaeological park in Colombia.

Jose Duarte

4. Pieza 1 1:14
5. Pieza 2 1:24
6. Pieza 3 2:29
Three pieces for Guitar Solo (2004): (Daniel Vega, Nylon String and Electric Guitar) (Otto Castro, Solo arrangement on Pieza 3)

7. The Wind of Hsinchu (2007) 6:26
(Luo Chao-Yun, Pipa; Jose Duarte, strings in CSOUND)

8.Improvisation (2007) 2:35
(Paparazzi Band)

9.Constant Change (2007) 5:47
(Paparazzi Band, and Janelle Chang, Satar (Uyghur instrument))




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