Tag Archives: The City

The City Swells

Madrid, December 5th.

The city has turned into a universe of holiday. I live in Callao, which is the central shopping district and there are thousands of people that crowd the square outside my flat. There are lights strung up and various ice skating rinks in different plazas around town. That’s the environment that gave birth to this song

I wrote the instrumental for The City Swells yesterday on December 4th. I then wrote the lyrics today.

A Capella

Full Track

In this European capital invaded by lights/ Travelers who have taken flights to come and see the sights/ The crowd swells to dangerous heights/ In the distance street performer yells “That’s all for tonight.”/ Santa’s sleigh on display various nights/ Parents brave the cold with jackets and tights/ Earmuffed Munckin children hold on tight/ This city’s alight

I walk gingerly/ On this history/ These streets a mystery/ What happened here and when?/ Centuries of women and men/ Holidays spent in different fashion Ramadan back then/ Then the Christian kings established the crown/ And the lights went up and never came down/ Today’s the same way a slightly changed town/ These streets fit for horses not porches you find now

So I live in this city that slowly becomes mine/ Discovering places I’m still waiting to find/ No distractions of home memory clouds the mind/ Watch friend’s successes look how far they climb!/ And in such a short time/ Congrats on the victories/ I know we’d rise to infamy/ In our prime/ And while I keep busy I find I miss you/ i hope you’re missing me/ Sometimes

Holiday Reflection and Response

-P

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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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