Stoyan Stefanov

Personal blog


Posts Tagged ‘paco de lucia’

“Spanish Me, Caravan” – 6 new recordings

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Yes, since I got this mike, yours truly has been busy recording. Flamenco-style. Below you can hear 6 new recordings. And while you listen, let me tell you more about these songs.

  1. Intro (Me Gusta Ta Paragua)
  2. Spanish Me, Caravan
  3. Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho
  4. Mucho Trabajo - Poco Dinero
  5. Entre Dos Aguas
  6. Borrowed Lame

About the "album"

Friends of mine are heading on a 15 day road trip from Bulgaria, through a bunch of countries, Southern France and all the way to Barcelona. Leaving tomorrow actually. The ultimate goal is the Formula 1 race in Barcelona. But, as often with these trips, it's the journey, not the destination, if you allow me to go all zen about it.

I can't join them this time around, but that shouldn't prevent me from thinking about it. I've never been to Spain, I hope I'll go there one day. So I thought it would be cool to record a bunch of spanish famenco style songs and send them to my friends to listen while on the road.

When we were younger and could party for days on end, we used to play a lot and Peter, one of the gang, told me one night, after the N-th rakia "Hey let's play the one that goes Spanish me, Spanish me, Caravan". The song he meant was "Spanish Caravan" by The Doors that goes "Carry me, caravan, take me away...". It was funny. We remembered that, and started calling the song this way. I couldn't think of a more appropriate title for my "album".

1. Intro (Me Gusta Ta Paragua)

This is just an intro to the next song. Loosely based on Asturias, as adopted by Andres Segovia, he was an admirable man, no doubt. Apparently, if it wasn't him, the guitar would still be looked down on by "serious" classical musicians and dismissed as a gypsy instrument. (Kinda like the guitar to the classical musicians is like JavaScript to Java programmers).

Among the noise you can even hear my banjo. Also clapping of hands and pretty much every noise-making of my kid's toys I could lay my hands on before they got back from the park that day and joined the fun.

Chords are: B, C.

Btw, following the tradition from Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, I drop-tune half a step down.

2. Spanish Me, Caravan

This is based on The Doors' Spanish Caravan, which is in turn based on the same Asturias by Segovia.

The only piece that I allowed myself the liberty of singing.

If my voice sounds as if I was in the bathroom, it's because I was. Not only this song but everything I played is recorded in the bathroom at night, once the kids are in bed. And before my wife comes knocking to kindly let me know she loves my art and all but she also needs sleep. You can hear her knocking on the door on this song towards the end of the acoustic part.

If you hear background noise, it's the fan of my computer during the recordings.

3. Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho

This is my rendition of Paco De Lucia/Al di Meola/John MacLaughlin's famous piece from Saturday Night in San Francisco.

The chords of the rhythmic part are not known to me and have haunted me for years. This time I settled on:
- Em, Am, D, G, C, Am, B, B
two times, then followed by
- Em, Am, D, G, F, Em, D, C, B
and back to the first sequence. The end of the first sequence actually reminds of one classical piece I don't know the name of. It's played at the end of an old Doors movie (directed by Jim Morrison, no less).

The second chord sequence is closer to (parts of) the original though.

4. Mucho Trabajo - Poco Dinero

This is just an intro to the next song. My rhythm guitarist at parties (same Peter) about half a lifetime ago, could not remember all the chord changes in the next one, but he did remember this progression - Em, D, C, B. So we used to play it slowly and then faster. Here I somewhat do the slow part as an intro to the full thing that follows.

The title is one of the two semi-nonsensical phrases another friend taught me. This one means "lot of work, no money". The other one is "I like your umbrella", the title of the first piece above - Me Gusta Ta Paragua.

The chords like I said are repeating that classical spanish progression: Em, D, C, B and towards the end I throw for good measure one change of C, D and finally Em.

5. Entre Dos Aguas

This is a magnificent piece by Paco De Lucia. I naturally improvise most of the parts, the only things that resemble the original I learned back at high school. Same with the Sundae, actually. No internet back then (imagine that!) and very rare access to guitar tabs. So most of the songs we learned from each other or "pulling" from the cassette tape. Press play-pause-guess on the guitar-rewind... until you come up with something acceptable. Then you compare with how someone else "pulled" and you realize you were both wrong, hehe.

First part: Am, Bm, Am, B
Second part: Em, D, C, B
Third: D, Em

The percussion instrument is actually not a real instrument but a tourist souvenir my mom sent me from from Tunisia. But it so looks like a percussion thingie.

6. Borrowed Lame

This is a little melody I came up with while conceiving the idea of these recordings. The part around the third and forth chord reminds me of something very much, but I can put my finger on it. So I'm sure I stole part of the melody. Steal is a harsh word, so how about borrow. And once I get really famous with this piece (cough-cough) it will be a "borrowed fame". Fame - too much. Lame - better. Borrowed Lame.

Chords: Am, G, Am, Em, C, G, B, Em.

The end is two effects from Garage Band - a sailboat "in high sea" and a thunder.


Hope you like. I certainly had fun recording.

Powered by WordPress, theme by ♣, based on Kubrik and Sancta Simplicitas