Chilean singer, songwriter, folklorist, social activist, poet, and visual artist Violeta Parra would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. In her new recording, El Gavilán, vocalist, songwriter and producer Sofia Rei celebrates her legacy by approaching her music with the imagination and daring that characterize Parra’s work.
Recorded as a duo with guitarist Marc Ribot with the surprise participation of Angel Parra, Violeta’s grandson, on one song, Sofía re-imagines Parra’s music in a contemporary setting. It is, in essence, the classic folk voice-and-guitar format, but framed here by both, electronics and traditional instruments. Besides providing all vocals and the sound sculpting , Sofia also plays caja vidalera, a hand-held single head drum from Argentina’s northwest, and charango, a small, five double string guitar from the Andean region of South America. The results — spacious and almost minimalist, the vocals layered with loops and pedal effects — illuminate Parra´s work from unexpected angles.
She met Ribot, an eclectic and adventurous guitarist who proved a key contributor in El Gavilán, as members of The Song Project, premiered during John Zorn´s 60th Birthday celebration. Ribot became intrigued by Sofia’s re-imagining of Parra’s music, especially in the ambitious “El Gavilán,” and their chance collaboration grew into a duo.
"Through this carefully crafted tribute, Sofia Rei manages to outdo herself, paying homage to her influences as she claims new territory. “El Gavilan” continues to add depth to one of the most interesting musical résumés of the last decade." - The Music and Myth
“In paying tribute to Violeta, Sofía also continues establishing her own unique, focused, unconventional and, at times, delirious vision.” - Hot House Jazz Guide
“(...) the passion and clarity with which [Sofia Rei] assayed a tricky mix of South American rhythms and jazz-inflected harmonies made clear why she has been embraced by New York City audiences from Carnegie Hall to the hippest downtown haunts.”- The New York Times
“Folk music for the 21st century” - Jazz With an Accent
released April 25, 2017
Sofía Rei: All vocals, charango (track 4), caja vidalera (tracks 2, 6), body percussion & wine glass (track 8)
Marc Ribot: All guitars (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)
Angel Parra: guitar (track 8)
All arrangements and production by Sofía Rei.
This project was recorded between January and February 2017 at Figure 8 Recording, Brooklyn, NYC, and engineered by Eli Crews.
Additional vocal tracking by Daniel Sanint at Flux Studios, NYC (tracks 2 & 4) and Marc Urselli at EastSide Sound Studios, NYC (track 5).
Additional engineering by Philip Weinrobe (track 2).
Mixed by Eli Crews at Figure 8 Recording.
Mastered by Diego Calviño at 3:3:2 Studio, Buenos Aires.
Illustration by Sarah Grillo.
Design by Christian Braun.
Sofia Rei is an award winning vocalist, songwriter and producer from Buenos Aires, Argentina and based in New York City. Her
music explores connections between the various traditions of South American folklore, jazz, flamenco and electronic sounds. She has collaborated with artists such as John Zorn, Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, the Klezmatics, Myra Melford, Pedrito Martinez and Lionel Loueke....more