Tag Archives: Musica Folclorica

Argentina Thursdays: A Pair of Coplas

Buenos Aires, early 2010. Coplas. Found throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the set up is a call and response format accompanied by a bombo, or drum. The coplas I recorded by folk music activist Pablo Martinez are Andean in origin. The instrument that sounds like an elephant is called an “erke.” I played the erke in Pablo’s folk music band, and play the erke part between the vocal parts on the track.

Think Spanish gospel.

Pablo Coplas

Aquí estoy porque he vendio

Porque he venido aquí estoy

Si no les gusta mi modo

Como he venido me voy

Una sola mujer tengo

Dos hijas quiero tener

Una pa de vez en cuando

Otra pa permanecer

Jujeño yo soy señores

Yo no niego a mi región

Jujeñito lengua dura

Canta cuando hay ocasión

Here I am because I have arrived

Because I have arrived I am here

If you don’t like my way

As I have arrived I’ll go

I have only woman

I want to have two girls

One for every now and then

The other for always

Gentlemen I am Jujeño

I do not forget (negate) my home

Young Jujeño of hard tongue

Sing when there is an occasion||

I then did a remix of Pablo’s track and added some drums, piano, bass, and chopped up his vocal sample. This remix was a fun way to collaborate with a kind of music that I had never heard before.

Coplas Remix


Reflection and Response


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Welcome to Argentina Thursdays/Pista 21

Welcome to the first installment of Argentina Thursdays!! For the next several Thursdays I will be showcasing tracks I did while in Buenos Aires, Argentina during a study abroad in 2009-2010. Many of the tracks are collaborative efforts with local artists and the period was a truly enjoyable time of personal growth and cultural exchange.

I am proud to present the first track of Argentina Thursdays, Pista 21

Como un tizón encendido

ardiendo dentro mi sangre

tu sombra viene conmigo

y no la puedo arrancar.

As if it were a charred coal

burning inside of my blood

your shadow comes with me

and I cannot get it out

Pista 21 is named for the file of the song in my itunes I used to sample. The real name of the original track is “Zamba de un Amor en Vuelo,” or “Song of a Love in Flight,” a folk tune written and performed by Tamara Castro.

Tamara’s track is an awesome example of Zamba, a popular folk music in Argentina.

My version includes a guitar sample from the original, piano from my talented friend Leopoldo Obrégon, and vocals by my girlfriend at the time.

Has anyone else found that music or art or something else has enabled him or her access to cultural exchange? Music is one of my primary languages of reflection and response, what are some of yours?

Reflection and Response


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This track is a collaboration. While in Argentina for study abroad I befriended a man whose 15 year old son plays the quena. One day both came to a mutual friend’s house in Buenos Aires and I recorded some short samples of him playing a tune that is popular in the father’s home region of Jujuy Northern Argentina.

After returning to the U.S. I worked with the homie Clarke Reid. We played around with the sample and Clarke added some nasty keyboard and bass to the track.

It was truly a pleasure to be able to collaborate on a global level with such cool musicians.

Reflection and Response


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