Dichosofuí en La Habana

 

 

A few years ago I was invited to a conference in Havana, Cuba by Casa de las Américas.

For the orchestral version, click here.

Hace unos fuí invitado a el Taller Latinoamericano de Composición e Interpretación, y Premio de Composición Casa de Las Américas. La Habana, Cuba.

Roodney Pérez, Soprano  —   Marita Rodríguez, Piano

Basílica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de Asís, La Habana Cuba,  II Taller Latinoamericano de Composición e Interpretación, y Premio de Composición Casa de Las Américas. La Habana, Cuba.

Dichosofuí  (I-once-knew-joy)  – Poema de Alfredo Espino- Música: Carlos Colón

Tu cántico en la calma del paisaje
Your song in the calmness of the landscape
Es un hondo suspiro que se aleja…
Is a deep sigh that fades away
Una queja con alas…una queja…
A lament with wings…a lament…
Que brota desde el alma del boscaje
That sprouts from the forest’s soul
¡Oh, pájaro! Tu música salvaje,
Oh, bird! Your wild music
En la mañana azul, cabe la vieja
In the blue morning, fits…
Habitación de bahareque y teja,
The old room of adobe and tile,
Me hizo oir tu tiernísimo lenguaje…
It made me listen (understand) your most tender language…Pájaro triste, ¿qué hondo desencanto
Sad bird, what deep disappointment
te arranca esas estrofas de terneza? Que son dulce expresión de tu quebranto?
Plucks out these tender verses… That are swet expression of your brokenness?

Symphonic Song Cycle by Carlos Colón

Queja con Alas – A Lament with Wings

Este ciclo de canciones fué inspirado por la poesía del poeta nacional de El Salvador: Alfredo Espino. This song cycle was inspired by Alfredo Espino, El Salvador’s national poet.

For scores, please contact me here.

(a piano reduction of this cycle is also available)

El Nido

La Mataron un Día

Dichosofuí

Program Notes by Ambassador Ernesto Rivas-Gallont:

A GIFT FROM CARLOS COLON-QUINTANA
Our friend, Salvadorean composer Carlos Colón-Quintana has sent us his most recent compositions, Lament With Wings. This song cycle uses the poetry of Salvadorean poet Alfredo Espino (1900- 1928). He died young, and we have learned recently that it is very likely that he comitted suicide. These poems were grouped by the composer from a collection titled Jícaras Tristes.
The image of a soul in pain is represented by the bird in the first and last song. In this work, the bird becomes the girl who was killed one day… I have listened to these songs, and honestly, they have impressed me very much. Congratulations to Carlos for his excellent work!
El ex-embajador Ernesto Rivas-Gallont puso las notas del programa en español en su blog:
UN REGALO DE CARLOS COLÓN-QUINTANA

Nuestro amigo, el compositor salvadoreño, Carlos Colón-Quintana nos regala con sus últimas tres composiciones.

Se trata de Queja con Alas, un ciclo de canciones, compuestas por Carlos.
1. El Nido
2. La Mataron un Día
3. Dichosofui

Queja con Alas utiliza la poesía de Alfredo Espino (1900-1928). Espino murió joven, y hace poco se supo que es probable que se haya suicidado. Estos poemas fueron agrupados por el compositor de la colección de Espino Jícaras Tristes. La imagen de una alma en pena es representada por un pájaro en la primera y última canción. En esta obra, el pájaro se convierte en una muchacha que un día es asesinada.
Yo he escuchado las canciones y, francamente, me han impresionado muchísimo.
Felicitaciones a Carlos, por su excelente trabajo.”

El Nido (The Nest)

Es porque un pajarito de la montaña ha hecho
It is because a little mountain bird has made
en el hueco de un árbol su nido matinal,
In the hollow of a tree its morning nest
que el árbol amanece con música en el pecho,
that the tree wakes up with music inside its chest
como que si tuviera corazón musical…
as if it had a musical heart…

Si el dulce pajarito por entre el hueco asoma,
If the sweet bird goes out a bit (through the hole)
para beber rocío, para beber aroma,
To drink dew, to drink scent
el árbol de la sierra me dá la sensación
The tree in the sierra gives me this sensation
de que se le ha salido, cantando el corazón.
That its singing heart has left it.

LA MATARON UN DÍA (She Was Killed One Day)

“La mataron un día que se jue a traer l’agua…
She was killed one day when she went to fetch water
Un hilito de sangre le manchaba la nagua!”
A thread of blood (could be seen) staining her skirt.

Ya no vendrá la moza de ojos madrugadores.
That gal of eyes of dawn will not come again.
Solamente cantando de un maizal de las lomas
Only singing from a cornfield (in the hills)
a mojarse las alas vino un par de palomas,
Two doves came to dip their wings
de esas que a veces bajan a los patios con flores.
Of that kind that sometimes come to yards with flowers.

Muchacha de ojos negros como dos “clarineros”,
Girl of grackle-like black eyes
desde que te llevaron, pálida, entre una caja,
Since they took you away, pale, inside a coffin
ya a la poza con flores tu mamita no baja:
To the water-hole with flowes your mommy does not come down anymore:
se acuerda de tus ojos cuando ve los luceros
She remembers your eyes when she gazes at the stars
parpadeando en la poza llena de aguas claritas.
Blinking in the clear waters of the water-hole

Dichosofuí (I-once-knew-joy)

Tu cántico en la calma del paisaje
Your song in the calmness of the landscape
Es un hondo suspiro que se aleja…
Is a deep sigh that fades away
Una queja con alas…una queja…
A lament with wings…a lament…
Que brota desde el alma del boscaje
That sprouts from the forest’s soul
¡Oh, pájaro! Tu música salvaje,
Oh, bird! Your wild music
En la mañana azul, cabe la vieja
In the blue morning, fits…
Habitación de bahareque y teja,
The old room of adobe and tile,
Me hizo oir tu tiernísimo lenguaje…
It made me listen (understand) your most tender language…Pájaro triste, ¿qué hondo desencanto
Sad bird, what deep disappointment
te arranca esas estrofas de terneza? Que son dulce expresión de tu quebranto?
Plucks out these tender verses… That are swet expression of your brokenness?

 

Two Psalms for Times of Violence

Dos Salmos para Tiempos de Violencia

I wrote this song for a student’s retreat in Aguilares, El Salvador. It is inspired by Psalms 120 & 121, and it will appear in GIA’s upcoming bilingual hymnal, ” Santo, Santo, Santo”, “Holy, Holy, Holy: Songs for the People of God.”

Escribí este canto para un campamento de estudiantes en Aguijares, El Salvador. Está inspirado en los Salmos 120 y 121. Aparecerá en el himnario “Santo, Santo, Santo: Cantos para el pueblo de Dios” de próxima publicación bajo el sello de GIA Music.

I start slow the song slow in Spanish, and then we transition to a faster tempo. I use  Cumbia rhythms, and elements of Puerto Rican plena. This was presented at Baylor’s Alleluia conference on July 20, 2018.

Lyrics/ Letra: Al Señor clamé estando en angustia, y él me respondió.                                                 Líbrame del labio mentiroso, y lenguas embusteras.                                                            Ay de mí! Que habito entre gente violenta;  Ay de mí! Que habito entre tanta maldad.

Quiero paz, pero ellos solo hablan de guerra.  Ven, Señor,  Ven, ven y dános tu paz. 

(English Tr. by Greg Scheer)

I am crying out to God in my anguish, and he will hear my prayer.                                                 Deliver me from lying lips, Oh save me, from tongues that are deceitful.                        

Woe is me! For I live in a land  full of violence;                                                                                    Woe is me! For I dwell among those who hate peace.          

I’m for peace, but they say only war is the answer. Woe is me! For I dwell among those who hate peace.  I’m for peace, but they say only war is the answer.                                                                 Come, O Lord!  Come and give us your peace.

 

 

Spreading Peace and Hope Through Music in El Salvador

For about 10 years, I have partnered with Neftali Valiente in a music education program in El Salvador. This program includes participating in liturgy, music lessons, and music camps or retreats by both local and visiting musicians and church groups. We have worked with more than 25 young people, none of whom have joined a gang, and most of whom are going to college–including one who is graduating as a medical doctor!

We have decided to expand this program in El Salvador to a couple more locations. There we will provide faith-based music education, grounded in the virtues and the Gospel of Peace.  We will intentionally instill a culture of nonviolence and generosity in our children, encouraging them to be kind with others and not to withhold their talents and resources.

We want to help the current immigration crisis by providing opportunities in El Salvador. Our passion is to create programs in El Salvador to empower our people so they do NOT have to leave their country. In the upcoming days, I will share with you about  forming young people in El Salvador in the arts, music, and a culture of peace.

Please contact me if you would like to hear about ways you can help us alleviate the immigrant crisis by reaching children through music and the Gospel.

Thank you for your help and goodwill as you help immigrants in the USA. Please continue to do so as God enables you to alleviate suffering here at our borders.

Neftali
Maestro Neftalí Valiente with some of his students.