Abracadabra – A Cuban Fantasy
Hello, I am Oriente Lopez. Thank you for taking the time to learn about my latest project, Abracadabra, a song cycle that I composed and arranged for a large combo of musicians, with well-known and lesser known (but still great) singers.
The lyrics are written by the poet and dramatist Ana Mireles and, sung in Spanish, they have broad appeal. It is easy to imagine what the songs are about, even if you don’t speak Spanish. Threaded together, these songs truly make up a “whole” – a story of life and love reflecting the diversity of Caribbean ancestry with Cuba at its heart.
The Abracadabra songs are emotionally charged. The arrangements show influences from Spain, Africa, Asia, Brazil, Europe, and American music. Each song suggests a scene and landscape that stir the imagination. These pieces bring many styles together, bridging genres of music from several different decades, at times merging distant cultural references.
The themes and stories in these songs include moving forward, storytelling, distance in relationships, pilgrimages, longing, love attraction, ancestry, street scenes, carnival, and nostalgia for people and places. Some tracks draw on traditional Cuban music (cha cha cha, guaracha, conga, son, bolero) explored with a more contemporary flavor.
I’ve been known mostly as a composer/arranger and performer of jazz and other instrumental music, with two Grammys for albums with Paquito D’Rivera and Charlie Haden. But actually, early on in my career I began writing my own songs, and have been involved ever since in projects with many great singers songwriters, taking part in the development of their work. In many cases I jumped into these projects as an arranger. Arranging other people’s music inspired me to broaden my skills as a composer.
After my involvement as arranger and associate conductor with the Broadway show “The Capeman” (music by Paul Simon), I enrolled as a composer in the Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU, where I learned more about crafting songs with other collaborators. Launching Abracadabra engages the totality of my experience and craft as a composer, arranger and producer. During the past year I’ve worked full time on this project, and now I am starting this 45 -day campaign to fund the final stage of the recording.
I am looking to raise a minimum of $6000, which will cover the cost of the engineer’s fees for mixing and mastering, the cover art design and production of the CD. Beyond that, the stretch goal of $12,000 would allow me to produce a launch concert this fall, which will require the rental of a venue, a budget for musicians and singers, rental of a rehearsal space, possible rental of a piano and some other technical equipment.
Any additional funds raised above this goal will allow me to do marketing and publicity, to help insure that Abracadabra CD and first concert receives the attention they deserve. Thank you for your contribution to help me bring Abracadabra: “A Cuban fantasy” to its audience. Oriente,
INCENTIVE FOR DONATIONS
A) “Aguas Profundas” CD digital download. Featuring: Paquito D’Rivera, Romero Lubambo, Itaiguara Brandao, Hendrik Meurkens, Mauricio Zottarelli, Felipe Lamoglia.
B) “Aguas Profundas” physical CD.
C) “Orientations” CD. Piano Solo Album digital download or CD.
D) “Abracadabra” CD. (available in the fall)
E) Abracadabra performance on voice/piano only Concert.
F) Aguas Profundas performance with a Trio.
G) Abracadabra performance with a septet.
– A gift of $20 gets the “Aguas Profundas“ CD digital download.
– A gift of $40 get you a digital download of “Aguas Profundas“ and “Orientations.”
– Contributors of $60 receive both physical albums “Aguas Profundas” and “Orientations” mailed to you.
– Gift of $100 you will receive a digital download of the new album of songs, and/or the physical CD of “Abracadabra,” plus the albums “Aguas Profundas”, and “Orientations.”
– A gift of $500 gets you a private voice/piano only Concert performance of “Abracadabra,” plus the albums “Aguas Profundas,” “Orientations,” and “Abracadabra.”
– A gift of $1000 gets you a Trio concert performance of “Abracadabra,” plus the albums “Aguas Profundas,” “Orientations,” and “Abracadabra.”
– For a gift of $5000, I will perform music from “Aguas Profundas” and/or “Abracadabra” with a septet, for your party or event. NYC (TRI-state area)