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Hacia el Airescore & parts for: voice(s), guitar, string quartet, piano, bass, drums
This composition was initially recorded with Terence Blanchard for the “Choices” album. Although it wasn’t intended to be a string quartet/trio piece, ever since we recorded it with Terence, I always heard it with the strings in my head so I decided to go forward and record it again with this instrumentation. The inspiration behind it is the following:There is a non-profit group in Washington, D.C. called the E.C.C (earth conservation corps). They take in troubled youths from the streets and offer them a decent paying job to clean up the Anacostia River, which is heavily polluted. One of the things they do is rehabilitate injured or sick bald eagles that live along the river. “Hacia el Aire” means “towards the air” and the reason for the title is that, as a result of the violence in the ghettos from where these young men and women came from, the E.C.C began naming the rehabilitated, released eagles after the people who took care of them, who had been shot to death in their neighborhoods. These kids were criticized for not “keepin’ it real” because they were working towards helping the environment instead of staying in the hood and doing what their peers were doing.... and for that, they were persecuted and harassed. I never met any of them, but this is my musical eulogy to them. -fabian almazan