Tag Archives: Cordoba

Artist Feature: Clarke Reid

Clarke Reid is a musician and traveler who we first met in his hometown of Seattle, Washington. He’s played a variety of music, an eclecticism made ever wider by the distances he’s traveled. Whether playing with Seattle-based the Cumbieros or wielding a ukulele throughout Andalucía, Spain, music has been an important common ground for this creator. We welcome Clarke to the Collective to speak on his unique perspective on Reflection and Response, the social nature of music, and other topics from our dude straight out of Pozoblanco, Spain.

Clarke Reid

Response is what just naturally comes out of being in new situations and playing music with new people.

– Clarke Reid

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

CR: I’m from Seattle, in the United States. I currently live in a town called Pozoblanco, which is in the Cordoba province of Andalucía, Spain. I’m doing a yearlong program here where I’m like the native English-speaking assistant in a public high school.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

CR: Deliberate reflection is probably something I should do more often. The Alarm on my phone that wakes me up in the morning is titled “look up, notice little things.” It’s something I got from reading  “peace is every step” by Buddhist teacher, philosopher, etc. Thich Nhat Hahn and its a reminder to slow down and relax and notice what’s going on around me and enjoy it. It’s something I don’t do often enough, but when I do it’s awesome. Especially when I’m traveling or living in another country and running around all the time and trying new things, it’s important to slow down and reflect on things. Like, if I feel like crap sometimes I don’t even realize it until I slow down for a sec and think about it and then think about why. Or if I’m feeling great (often a result of just having eaten a wholesome meal, being outside in nice weather, an unexpectedly pleasant exchange with a stranger, a laugh with a friend, or any combination of many other things) its nice to recognize it and revel in it. Then I have to respond. Like I said I’m still working on it. One thing I’m trying to do right now is sleep more and drink less. And get sick less (like cold/flu sick).

I’ve been traveling a lot recently, so when it comes to music, reflection and response is about noticing what kind of inspiration is around me and really trying to dive into that. When I was younger my dad listened to a lot of progressive rock from the 70s so I got into that. My high school had a really good jazz band so in high school I listened to a lot of jazz and was really influenced by that. In college I had a music professor that was more into experimental music and free jazz so I tried that and learned a lot of new things. I was also part of a hip-hop band so I started checking out more of that culture and music. The story goes on and on like that, including a year living in Chile and some other travels. Now I live in Spain and I’m doing the same thing. I’d like to think that I’m constantly responding and changing and evolving my style and music and stuff, but I haven’t really studied music formally recently so it’s harder to see and measure exactly how I’m changing. I guess the response is what just naturally comes out of being in new situations and playing music with new people. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll sit down and really reflect and play something or write some material that brings everything together. That would be a good goal actually.

How do “The Other Side of the River” and “Woodle” fit in with that definition?

CR: Firstly, “The Other Side of the River” is written for ukulele, which is an instrument that I bought recently when I discovered it’s a great travel instrument. It’s portable and can be used to jam with other instruments, by itself, or with singing. So it fits with the sort of traveling chameleon approach I’m taking to music in general right now. It also incorporates some elements of flamenco (the clapping) that I’ve been exposed to here in Andalucía. The recording is a bit of a rough draft. It has a fiddle line that I still need to record and I’d like to get some more Spanish ‘jaleo’ on the track too (shouts of encouragement, percussion, etc.).

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Blanca

This post comes live from Córdoba, España. While staying with friends in this city in Andalucia, I met Blanca, a woman who lives in the apartment where I’m staying. We spoke briefly about our lives and she told me that she’d like to return to her home in Ecuador next year. As I gear up for making moves in music in Madrid next year I’ll be writing songs about human interactions that have occurred throughout these last few years. Peace and gracias for reading!

 

 

Blanca sits eyes deep and explains/How in her youth she spent her Italian days/ Among eclectic groups in parks as they’d play/ Music from Paraguay to Bombay/

Now she knows she’ll go home/ Back to su pais/ Work is increasingly slow as she wears down her knees/ Looking after the senora whose only a few years older/ But affords her to come arond to cook and brew Folgers/

Is is the wrinkle/ Or the twinkle in her eye/  Or her slow step that represents knowledge of a whole life/ Search for the fountain of youth/ Empty handed you’ll arrive/ But lend a ear to those who’ve lived and find timeless advice/

While we mindlessly drive on/ Autopilot through careers/ pay for diversion costs rise every year/ Your life is meaningless if that’s how you want it to appear/ If you were given a choice you were given power the hour is here/

Flash back to Blanca as she flashes back to Milano/ leans back on the couch that props her up a touch of sorrow/ but only that much because she always makes it to tomorrow/

Blanca sits eyes deep and explains/ How in her youth she spent her italian days/ Among ecletic groups in parks as they’d play/ Music from Paraguay to Bombay/

 

Reflection and Response

P.

 

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