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Happy and Hopeful New Year

2024, here we are...

This is just a quick post to wish you the happiest new year yet!

Perhaps you have already read the previous post in which I went in to a little more detail about the significance of the 2024 year. So suffice to say here that this is at the beginning of a new era...when we say goodbye to the past with gratitude for all the fruits it has borne--even though some were bitter--, but ready to move into a fresh way of living, one more connected to heart and soul and truth.

This is also a post to announce the new release of a video interpretation of a song that I released last year, "Zamba de mi esperanza" in December of 2023 on my EP Jupiter on Tuesday. You can find the EP streaming everywhere. Or listen to it here on my website. The video is now on YouTube, on my channel @mariafigueredo.

This new video is a contemplative approach to my version of this well-known folkloric song of the zamba musical subgenera of the Southern Cone of South America, mainly Argentina, Uruguay (where I am from) and Chile. It's called "Zamba de mi esperanza" (Zamba of My Hope). It was written by the Mendoza (Argentina)-born Luis Profili in the decade of the 50s, although it was registered later in 1964 under the seudomyn of Luis H. Morales. It is attributed now very commonly to Morales.

My cover version of "Zamba de mi esperanza" in video format takes this more reflective and solitary approach to the imagery. The lyrics themselves call into this. The poetic-lyrical voice speaks to the 'zamba' as it accompanies through the tests of heart and mends the hurts of an absent love.

But this song is so loved across Latin American cultures that it also speaks of connection to a musical repertoire and to community and to merging voices that lift each other up in shared solitudes. The song is so famous that great artists such as Jorge Cafrune in the late 70s, and Los Chalchaleros, a major folkloric group, from Argentina, have shared their forms of expression through it. The zamba art form is a dance and musical form of folklore associated with rural and countryside regions. Many guachesque songs are written in the zamba form, as well as in the milonga. I have a few of recorded, yet more must certainly be recorded. Hopefully in the near future.

The song's images include the lyrical voice speaking with the sky, a main star, with the zamba itself, with time, and with the heart within. It is a way of singing to the song that soothes one's soul in the absence of a loved one, especially of a beloved one and only. Yet, it is in the shared singing that I have the most memories associated with this song. It was in the repertoire of songs I learned from my Chilean folkloric guitar rhythms and song teacher who taught it to me, as well as being in one of the many LPs that lined the shelves of my parents' living room. My father would take out one LP, then another, and then I would do the same throughout the years of my youth and into adolescence and adulthood, to hear the various folkloric songs of his collections. So for me this song is so familiar, like an old family friend. And with family friends we'd often sing it when I would play my guitar at the end of the dinners we'd share at my parents' home, or theirs. And all of us would raise our voices and share the sentiments, somehow lighter and more uplifting when sung together.

So many others we can sing also. I will be bringing more to the recordings and videos as soon as I can. One I especially would like to create a video for is my version/cover of "Volveré siempre a San Juan" (which always reminded me of my maternal grandfather, Juan Antonio Fraguas, who passed away the year we left Uruguay. He was one of the kindest, most compassionate, generous, patient people I have ever known. Even though I was so young, the memories with him are vivid, and there are forever moments that speak of life's beauty to me through what we shared my sister and I and the rest of the family with him. Also, this song speaks to me of this sense of returning that is left in you after you immigrate from a place you love and where you were born. In a similar way, my cover of "Piedra y camino" (Stone and path), which I used to harmonize with my sister, and together with the other songs here mentioned, are among the favourites of our sing-a-long family and friends gatherings. Videos of these songs will be special to create, too. I will let you know here and on other of my social media accounts when those videos are released.

In the meantime, please enjoy this one, and if you are not fluent in Spanish, you are invited to look up the lyrics in English or in your more comfortable language of choice, so you can also enjoy not only the melodic and rhythmic beauty of this song, but also its poetic gentleness.

Thank you for listening, as ever,



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