Tag Archives: Claudia Rojas

Solitude Live Looping Berkeley Video

Happy Monday! Today we take it back to Berkeley (Rose and California for those that know) and bring you a video of me doing the new version of “Solitude,” on the Novation Launchpad running through my old Fender guitar amp. Vicken set up the iPhone camera and we gave it one shot. Word to Claudia for the soulful vocals and lyrics recorded in Buenos Aires!  Those of you that made it out to the show at Wurlitzer were able to see this in action. I hope you feel it!

Reflection and Response

-P

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Feature: Claudia Rojas

Claudia Rojas is a true craftsperson. Growing up in Argentina and Uruguay, Claudia studied various creative mediums including voice. Choosing to pursue her education at the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she continued to use music and performance as Refection and Response. She played briefly in a group with Peter called Harold and the Gauchos, see The City and Solitude. Claudia has recently graduated and now works for the historic Teatro Colon and assists with Classical performances. Peep the interview to see a unique youthful perspective on the realities of Classical performance in the contemporary world!

(Reflection and Response) is a very creative process that involves seeking messages in things that might not necessarily speak to us.

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

 CR: I am from Buenos Aires and I still live in Buenos Aires.

 What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

CR: Reflection and Response could mean many things, however, should I try to reduce the meaning it to its bear essentials, I would place such a meaningful thing in the productive interaction between a human mind and anything else. It is a very creative process that involves seeking messages in things that might not necessarily speak to us.

 It seems we cannot bear to live in a meaningless world, and so, we engage in conversation with anything in the same way a little girl does so with her seated bears at her tea party: pouring out the faint infusion and happy with the endearing delusion that things are put out there for a reason.

 Now I could go on about the incredibly creative process that is the engagement between two or more minds in naturally dysfunctional conversation, but a lot has been said about the destiny of anyone to be misunderstood. What interests me, rather, is what happens when someone reflects and responds to something someone made a long time ago, especially when that something is artistic. I believe it is then that we become those furry things that, in stillness, we feel the warmth of the calling from a vessel that remains true, and all that we’ve been handed at one glance, or hearing, is a cup.

 How does your work at ISA Teatro Colón fit in with that definition?

CR: The greatest challenge of any opera theatre is to keep opera, ballet and symphonic music alive and current. You must encourage, in the words of this interview, reflection and response between artists and the general public.

What makes this challenge difficult? There has been a great divide between art and the public. Centuries ago, art and public sensibility were much more connected through the understanding of the sacred. There’s a ritualistic side to art that was understandable sometime ago thanks to religion and the aperture to a more symbolic life. Contemporary life has diluted such sensibility; indeed, there’s been a lot of talk about art’s death through its loss of aural qualities.  Art has become so conceptual in some ways that it runs the risk of thinking itself purely divine instead of a humble representation of something much greater.

This doesn’t mean I’m saying that art has lost its power at all, but I can think of examples in which artists have become irresponsible. Art in general has become so plural and so hard to keep track of that one needs institutions to show us different narrative paths to art, just like one needs writers/journalists/historians to understand what has happened so far in any national or international setting.

 Places like Museums or Theatres have the great challenge of coordinating sensibilities pertaining to different intellects, imaginations and times.  They remind us that there is an emotional parity between different people that express such sensibility in different artistic currency. But people are not wrong in feeling intimidated; we do tend to appreciate some more than others.

 Who or what inspires you?

 CR: The idea that there is so much work to be done!

 Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

 CR: Yes. I am no one to tell you what art is or is supposed to be. My impressions of the art world are quite personal.

 Shout out to/ Thanks to…?

CR: I would like to thank Peter for inviting me to participate in this amazing blog. He has been the only person that has persuaded me to publish anything this year. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of talent in achieving that.

Reflection and Response.


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Two Cities

Interpretations differ.

I wrote a song called “The City,” sometime in 2007. I then recorded it with my band at the time, Tuition Well Spent (see below for more info). I rerecorded a version in 2009 with my duo in Argentina, Harold and the Gauchos.

Even though the instrumentation is almost identical on each track, the two versions have different vocalists and display different takes on the song. I think it’s dope to see how each version contrasts.

The Tuition version is more polished. Recorded over two days using Pro Tools in the Digital Audio Workstation at Odegaard Library at the University of Washington, Mike and I took our time with takes and mixing.

The Harold version was done on the fly. Only having practiced the song a few times before pressing record, Claudia and I hadn’t necessarily perfected our arrangement. The “dale,” that I blurt out at the start of the track lends itself to the jam session vibe. However the looser more improvised feel lends itself to a different understanding of the song.

Does anyone else have experience with how changing one part of a piece can lead to new feeling, new reflection?

The City: Tuition Well Spent

The City: Harold and the Gauchos

The City

I was swimming in the River when the river but the river said he don’t mind

Said go on now got my own place to find

So I went on down to the shining deep blue sea

But none of them fishes want to swim with me

And I feel lonely, I feel blue

Get up slowly I got nothin much to do

Ladies ain’t never had too much luck with them

I see an opportunity and all they see is a friend

And 18 odd years that’s how it’s been

I finally met Shirly but shea’s already with Ken

And I feel lonely, I feel blue

Get up slowly I got nothing left to do

Bored in the city in the city it looks so drab

Wanna find a way to get away this strange land

It seems like the sky scrapers they all laugh

In a one man room playing the blues getting pennies in a straw hat

Oh I feel lonely, I feel blue

Get up slowly I got nothing left to do

Bored in the city in the city it looks so drab

Wanna find a way to get away this strange land

It seems like the sky scrapers they all laugh

In a one man room playing the blues getting pennies in a straw hat||

Reflection and Response. In whatever City.

-P

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Argentina Thursdays: Solitude!

This track was so fun to make. In addition to doing research on folk music (see “Things a Peña Does below”), and making tracks with folk musicians, during my Argentina study abroad I also played in a super fun band: Harold and the Gauchos. I had the pleasure of playing with a super awesome vocalist in Claudia Rojas.

The track I’m showcasing today is called “Solitude!,” and I sample Allen Toussaint’s track of the same name.

While I chopped the sample and made the beat Claudia came up with some fitting lyrics and an awesome melody.

Solitude’s just you and me/With you my friend/ I feel so free

In my solitude I’d rather be/With you my dear/ I feel so free

Solitude’s just you and me/ With you my friend/ I feel so free

In my solitude I’d rather be/ With you my dear I can be me

Solitude I think of you baby when I’m in my room singing Ella tunes

Solitude I love you babe I want you forever more knocking at my door

Solitude’s just you and me/With you my friend/ I feel so free

Solitude I think of you baby when I’m in my room singing Ella tunes

Solitude I love you babe I want you forever more knocking at my door

Reflection and Response

-P

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