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I am currently half way through my expedition. Its been a very unusual journey. I've met a LOT of interesting people and have been generally very moved by the capacity of the Colombian people to help me achieve my quest. Of course they are happy to see a foreigner adapt to their culture yet still they go above and beyond to help me make this trip the best possible.
You meet people in strange ways you don't expect. I bumped into some very talented musicians from Bogota whilst on a remote beach at an Ecohostel at Costeno Beach inside Tyrona National park. We played music together on the beach late into the night and almost instantly clicked. Im now meeting them in my final week of the trip in order to work recording them through practise instrumental jams sessions and booked recording time using their University studio.
I've also been in good contact with Tomas Botero from Medellin. He has been very helpful trying to scout some really talented musician professionals. We bonded whilst I helped him record a gig off of Parque lleras. He has a partner Simon who have both created a professional studio that they live and work from. There both really well connect bright 24 years who are just really keen at the chance to get involved in all the local musical talent and create projects left right and centre.
I've met Alvaro Arango. Senior Head of Production for Codiscos and Disco Fuentes. They were the biggest labels to come out of Colombia and single handedly produced all the hit music that made it from out between 1950-1980. He was the youngest 80 year old that I'd ever met. Semi hippy/ semi gangster. I will never forget the moment we met and ended up listening to his greatest hits, dancing whilst drinking rum and looking out over the Andes from his farm house balcony. Forever inspired Alvaro you are truly living the dream. He really made me realise that it doesn't matter where you start in life if you have enough character, belief and determinism you can really make a difference to the music of your country.
I met Juan Rafael Ramirez. Head of the Folkloric Music Ensemble at the University EAFIT. He was a cool talented guy and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the roots, origins and development of the music throughout Colombia. Even though the University was out of term. He came in and gave me a 2 hour lecture workshop where we discussed and made initially recordings of instruments and tropical beats.
There have been lots of interesting traveler who I've met who have helped me shape my project as I go along. Explain to everyone that your traveling around Colombian making a Fusion album comes with a lot of questions. All these questions I've had to think about the answers carefully and its really made my workflow on the holiday more concise. When you have to explain yourself to Peers they help you review your work. And what better way to meet people that in every town along the way on my quest.
Anyway watch this space to see more about my progess. Its going to be a very busy final 2 weeks!!!!
So after 25 hours of traveling I have arrived at my first stop in Colombia, Medellin. It is the second largest city in Colombia and is situated in a massive valley. I am currently staying with a friend in their apartment and they are begin very hospitable to me. Thank you Carolina.
Preparations to meet musicians are already underway.
Next Monday I am meeting with the head of folkloric studies at EAFIT University and will also meet some musicians from the Caribbean Coast who will join our discussion of the history and culture of music in Colombia. There may also be the opportunity for me to do some recording with them so I can begin to start writing music.
There will be more updates so stay posted as everything is constantly very exciting.
Very exciting news today!
I have got in contact with Jacob Edgar who is the head of Cumbancha Records. He is very influential music producer with label of artists from all over the globe. He has many connections in Colombia and has agreed to help me get in touch with some quality musicians. This means my album will have some professional collaborators on now!!
Furthermore thanks to those who have supported me so far. We have now raise 1/6 of the £2500 target.
Thanks & keep the buzz going