Only in America – Solo en América
The album »Only in America – Solo en América« is a Chamber-music Suite of Songs of the Yucatan, featuring the poetry of Verónica Valerio and orchestrated by Van Dyke Parks. Starting with a new arrangement of Agustin Lara’s classic »Veracruz« the album transports us to “a place of pyramids and pre-Columbian history” following that place and time with three originals by Verónica Valerio called »Cielito Lindo«, »The Flight of the Guacamaya« and »Camino a casa«.
»Only in America – Solo en América« is the result of a musical relation that started more than two years ago, after the two artists realized their mutual interest for traditional folkloric music. Parks and Valerio join in their wish to bring people together, to emphasize the community and create the sense of a global village.
The artwork was done by Klaus Voormann. He has been responsible for many great cover-artworks. One was the legendary Beatles “Revolver” cover.
The 10” »Only in America – Solo en América« will be released on June 11th via Modern Recordings.
Since 1963, Van Dyke Parks has worked on countless records as an artist or producer. His first arrangement was for “The Bare Necessities” in Disney’s “Jungle Book”. Since then, his journey has gone from scoring movies such as “The Two Jakes” or “The Company” to collaborations with the Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Rufus Wainwright and Skrillex. After finding joy in this variety of genres, Parks concludes: “My favorite role is that of arranger, and at best, for folkloric music. It inspires me to think I may help preserve idioms that are beyond the reach of the hit parade.” This is what Van Dyke Parks pursues with his upcoming album »Only in America – Solo en América«
Verónica Valerio discovered the harp when she was 13, but it took until her early 20s that she really started focusing on the instrument. At that time, she was living in New Orleans and was singing bolero – always aiming to present where she came from. She soon started finding a pleasure for traditional music, including social and poetic content, and on the other hand, the need to recreate these languages in a contemporary way.
The sea, coast, people and loneliness, the contrast of the rural with the urban-before-and-now are among the topics addressed by Veronica Valerio in her lyrics. Says Van Dyke Parks: “Verónica has redefined the song-form. Her fundamental ideas convinced me so-that although I couldn’t understand a word she said, I knew we were in agreement… about the fundamental things.“