Travel in music: Chapter 10 - 2000, Spain (part II)
2020, the world is in confinement because of a corona virus. I have used this time to reminisce on my past through a musical blog series. They will take you through my peregrinations on this tiny, unique earth, in chronological order. Click on the song, use it as soundtrack, and enjoy!
2000 - Chapter 10 | This chapter and the next twelve, will follow each other in very rapid succession, like travel machine gun bursts. At the beginning of 2000, following a chance encounter with an old friend, I applied to a bizarre company, based in Madrid. It produced country advertorials for leading newspapers and magazines. In teams of two or three people, all young and eager – average age: mid-twenties –, the agency tasked us with spending 3-4 months in each country to interview public and private personalities and extract both content and advertising revenue. The final product would be a 15-20 page ‘report’ published as an advertorial insert in the NY Times, Le Monde, Sunday Times and others.
Over time, I would come to realize how unethical the agency’s methods were. I would become severely jaded as a result. I am jumping three years ahead, though. Because, at that precise moment in 2000 when my application was successful, I thought I was the luckiest man alive. I was ready to take a bite at the entire planet. My appetite was insatiable!
I joined my first project, as a trainee, in Spain. We lived in a depressingly empty apartment near the Santiago Bernabeu stadium but it was posh and humongous. I did not stay very long on this project but it afforded me a fantastic opportunity to revisit my childhood. I took a ‘pilgrimage’ to Aravaca, the neighborhood where I lived between the ages of 5 and 9. What a strange feeling it was! I rang the doorbell of my old house, which I remembered to be huge. To adult eyes, it now looked like a doll’s house! As for my school, it was now derelict, full of graffiti, broken bottles, discarded syringes, stray dogs and ‘okupas’. The old ‘Cours Molière’ sign was still there but only one rusty corner still hung to the wall…
Enough reminiscing, time for the music. You may know this young girl as a tacky bubble gum pop star busy taking on the world in the company of reggaeton artists. There is real maturity, substance and personality behind the hits, however, not to mention endless talent. I have only ‘discovered’ her recently but her first album, a modern, personal take on the age-old tradition of flamenco moved me to my core. Here is an extract, where she bemoans the death of her mother, which her brothers announce to her in the middle of the night. The title could translate as “We are left all alone now”.