Criara - Behind The Sky

1996


In late 1995, Sound Designer/Producer Scott Lehrer and I were approached by long time friend Gerald Sellignam, who was then producing the Hemisphere Series for EMI, to write & produce "Behind the Sky" (EMI/PremierMetroBlue). The album was to be an Andean and Brazilian influenced project with a strong vocal element. Scott and I teamed with Brazilian singer Vanessa Falabella and decided that we did not want to use known language in any of the pieces, and instead came up with invented phrases, tonally based on the Andean Indian songs we heard on several field recordings. In fact, we licensed some vocal segments from John Cohen's field recordings “Mountain Music of Peru” and “The Girls of Qeros” which can be heard in "Hand of Awakening" and "Ring of Fire". I wrote the music in 6 weeks, during early 1996, using samples for the parts that were later replaced by instruments. Vanessa, Scott and I then worked on the "lyrics" which we then recorded in several sessions in the early summer of 1996. I had created drum and percussion tracks while writing the pieces, but we replaced most of the with drummer Sammy Merendino creative tracks. The pan pipes on the CD were played by a group led by Pepe Santana. Keith Underwood recorded the beautiful Quena parts.

The piece "Between Shadow and Tears" (originally "Human Arms") I originally wrote and recorded for choreographer Harry Streep in 19xx. The original Cuica track, played by percussion master and long time friend Cyro Baptista, remained incredibly stunning, and I decided to rewrite the piece around it, the result of which appears on the CD. Cyro also played on the title track, "Criara."

Gerry requested that I do an arrangement of Villa Lobos Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras #5" for the album, and this proved to be the most difficult challenge. The arrangements starts with a dark, spatial introduction then breaks into the main theme with Vanessa singing the high melody. In a nod to the original cello orchestration, Eric Friedlander recorded the melody at the end of the piece.

We wanted to use a children's choir on 2 of the songs. At the time, my daughter was attending Hunter College Elementary School in New York City, and the school had an excellent chorus led by Ms. Barbara Ames. You can hear them on “Your Voice is the Wind” and “Touched by the Sky”.

This album was a truly collaborative effort. All the musicians captured just the right feel and Scott captured and created a very elegant sound.

Frank Ferrucci

Credits:
1. CRIARA (4:16)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
Words by VANESSA FALABELLA
©1996 Dancing Dog Music/BMI

2. YOUR VOICE IS THE WIND (4:16)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

3. HAND OF AWAKENING (4:41)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI and SCOTT LEHRER
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

4. ARIA from BACHIANAS BRASILEIRAS #5 (4:48)
Music by HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS
©1948 Associated Music Publishers
Arrangement 1996 by FRANK FERRUCCI

5. A BURIED SIGH (4:50)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
Words by SCOTT LEHRER and VANESSA FALABELLA
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

6. CRADLED IN TIME (1:05)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI
7. RING OF FIRE (4:19)
Music and Words by FRANK FERRUCCI
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

8. TSUMAYA (3:33)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
Words by VANESSA FALABELLA
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

9. BETWEEN SHADOW AND TEARS (5:37)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI
*Originally titled “Human Arms #1” Composed for
“Harry Streep & Human Arms Dance Co.” 1986

10. CANOPY OF DREAMS (4:12)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI and VANESSA FALABELLA
Words by VANESSA FALABELLA
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

11. TOUCHED BY THE SKY (4:12)
Music by FRANK FERRUCCI
Words by SCOTT LEHRER and VANESSA FALABELLA
©1996 DANCING DOG MUSIC/BMI

Vanessa Falabella: Vocals except ”Hand of Awakening” and “A Buried Sigh”
Sammy Merendino: Drum Programming
Frank Ferrucci: Keyboards and Synthesizer Programming
Scott Lehrer: Sampling
Cyro Baptista: Percussion on “Criara”, “Between Shadow and Tears”
Keith Underwood: Quena and Bamboo Flutes
Amitava Chatterjee: Additional Vocals, “Criara”
Pepe Santana: Sikus, Toyo
Rothman Teran: Sikus
Erik Friedlander: Cello Sollo on “Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras #5”

Hunter College Elementary School Sixth Grade Chorus on “Your Voice is the Wind” and “Touched by the Sky”


Produced by Scott Lehrer and Frenk Ferrucci
Executive Producer: Gerald Seligman
Music Recorded & Mixed by Scott Lehrer
Ethnomusical Advisor: John Cohen
Recorded & Mixed at PASSPORT RECORDING, NYC

Additional Source Recordings used with Permission:
“Ritual Music of the Kaypo-Xikrin, Brasil” (Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings)
Recorded by Max Peter Bauman
“Mountain Music of Peru” (Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings)
Recorded by John Cohen
“The Girls of Qeros” (from the collection of John Cohen Recordings

The above recordings are available in their entirety from
Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings
Center for Folklife Programs & Cultural Studies
955 L”Enfant Plaza, Suite 2600
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560

John Cohen provided invaluable assistance both in allowing access to his recordings and in sharing his knowledge of the music of the Peruvian Andes.

HUNTER COLLEGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHORUS:
BARBARA AMES , Musical Director
DR. EVELYN CASTRO, Principal

Muriel Adler
Eleanor Anderson
Sharon Barotz
Chloe Bass
Rachel Bennett
Jillian Berke
Ruthie Birgev
Tania Cohen
Chelsea Downs
Nikki Giardina
Daniel Herbert Cohen
Sophie Karp
Jenna Livingston
Lindsay McNeil
Adam Metzgev
Elan Nieves
Sandra Rindler
Kai Reevey
Elana Safran
Pia Silva Dubitsky
Ondie Suarez
John Schriffen
Ali Stevens
Joseph Teitelman
Karin Walbrand
Sophie Wittenberg
Andrew Wolinsky
Sita Young

Special Thanks:

Adeline Bakewell
Michael Finckel
Lincoln Goines
Jeff Hafer
Terry Silverlight
Cyro Baptista
Donna Riley

and especially
Kathleen Bakewell and Cecilia Tornaghi-Ferrucci