Read the Poem in Spanish. No English translation online, sorry.
This poem describes the arrival at Wall Street of a monster in a shape of an African mask that spreads chaos and mayhem. I imagined that the mask could very well be the Occupy movement, although I don't necessarily think of what they did as chaos and mayhem, I suspect the financial system did. The idea of the OWS “counter-movement” led me to think of contrary motion, which is a compositional device that I certainly exploited here. The groove of the song is based on the Flamenco “Tanguillos,” which have a very special poly-rhythmic feel , in which the pulses of 12/8, 4/4 and 3/4, are simultaneously heard. Check out the video of the amazing cantaor Chano Lobato, who is a specialist of this Palo. If you play close attention, you can perceive these groove three different ways. It’s crazy and beautiful!
I have played with the great Beninese singer and activist Angelique Kidjo on and off for a few years, and the title track of her album, “Djin Djin” is based on a western African groove that, to me, sounds just like the Tanguillos... I then rapidly connected the western African rhythms with the subject of my song, it all makes sense: Africa-Flamenco (Spain)-New York. Thanks Angelique!
Angelique Kidjo: “Djin Djin”
Chano Lobato: “Tanguillos”