remembering songs recorded at home:

Some years ago I bought a couple of condenser microphones and called some singer-friends to come home to record several songs, mainly from musicals. It was just for fun, but we learned a lot in the process, and I think we had a great time. Today I discovered a folder with all these recordings and thought it would be nice to share them here, as a nostalgic exercise.

I remember the musical Flor de Nit with special delight. The lyrics were written by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán and the music was composed by Albert Guinovart. When I played as a repertoire pianist at the musical theatre school Memory the teachers proposed this musical as a final course project for the students. There was a problem, though: no piano score existed. So I worked hard to write it, for almost all the themes. Sadly, I wrote it with pencil and in a cryptic style, so I cannot share it here for others to play. Maybe even I am unable to read it after so much time. I have great memories from that time. Especially when the composer himself came to see one of the performances. It was one of these really special moments in a lifetime. After that, I called the great Betty Lamb, a fabulous soprano who recorded many pieces with me. Some of them are better recorded than others, but after many years, it is the remembrance what has value to me, not the technical details. First of all, let's listen to the main theme of the musical, a delicious song with a flavor of copla, recorded during a raining evening:

flor_de_nit

In one of those sessions, the very nice tenor Joan Tous came to record with Betty a gentle theme,

la passejada

In this musical, there are some songs with a strong Spanish flavor. For example,

lockout_matrimonial

We almost didn't rehearse the next two, but I enjoy listening both,

sí, filla!

and also

l'ofici de la dona

One day, Betty brought a friend of her, Juanjo Morales, a great lyric singer who recorded a sweet duet with her,

Al sud del Paral·lel

and also a couple of solo's. First a male and gentle version of the main theme,

Flor de Nit (versió Reynals)

and an exquisite tango included in the musical as a show inside the show,

Lo más profundo es la piel

But from all the recordings of this musical, the one I enjoy the most is this quite surrealist theme,

El oasis catalán

I think Betty was especially great in this latter performance, and the audio quality was much better as well. We were learning a bit!

Another set of recordings came with a concert we prepared with Desirée Povedano. We simply called it Desi & Friends and she had the privilege of being accompanied by Betty Lamb herself and the great Olalla Muiños, a stunning singer with a great voice and an even greater personality. We recorded many songs, mainly R&B even though we have almost no black blood in our veins. But it was very fun. I list here some of the best (or funniest) moments:

Playing some Vanessa Carlton:

A thousand miles

I love Eva Cassidy versions:

Autumn leaves

Not as beautiful as Christina Aguilera's... :

Beautiful

Having fun trying to emulate Destiny's Child. The song is originally by the Bee Gees:

Emotion

In NYC with Alicia Keys:

Empire State of Mind

And again with the great Alicia:

Never felt this way

A lovely song by Esperanza Spalding:

Fall in

Desincée covering the Haiti version:

Halo

Betty between Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson:

I'll be there

From "The Last 5 Years", a musical by Jason Robert Brown:

I'm a part of that

Trying to emulate the grande Ariana Grande in another musical by JSR:

What it means to be a friend

Some time later, Olalla recorded a really beautiful song from "The Little Shop of Horrors":

Somewhere that's green

She also played the reprise, with my weird help as an improvised Seymour:

Somewhere that's green (reprise)

After that, she prepared one of my favorite songs ever. From The Little Mermaid:

Part of your world

And also the reprise:

Part of your world (reprise)

After that, we had some small sessions. In one of them, Desirée recorded a beautiful song by Jason Robert Brown:

Christmas Lullaby

Then, Betty Lamb came with a set of three wonderful songs. The first, from Sondheim's Follies:

Broadway Baby

I think Betty gives the song a true old Broadway style. Only a living musical encyclopedia like her could grasp that flavor so well. The second and third were from JSR's Songs for a New World:

Transition

Stars_and_the_Moon

The fourth was one by Mecano, and we felt free to make a weird version of it:

El fallo positivo

I refuse to upload our recording of On my Own because I truly hate that song...

I had a short collaboration with a great lyric soprano, Laura del Río. We recorded three well known arias, which I share here.

Signore, ascolta

Lungi dal caro bene

How beautiful are the feet

I became nostalgic today and wanted to share these moments. They were fun and great times. I have very good memories of all these singers and I hope we can record more songs in the future. I don't know why, but when you summon your happy memories, music always comes to mind. From the last recordings, at least four years have passed, during which I heavily turned into science. But now I realize how I really miss to play songs. One day the universe may be understood in terms of science, but other worlds out there will have discovered the same science. However, each music piece is unique in the whole universe, and that makes it truly trascendental.