1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Raimundo Rodulfo is a Venezuelan-born artist, guitarist and composer, currently living in South Florida. To date he has produced three studio albums and two live albums, all featuring his own compositions performed with a wide group of talented and renowned guest musicians from several countries.” (Raimundo Rodulfo My Space.com, 2009).
“Rodulfo's music does not follow any kind of genre or style. Nevertheless, specialized media from around the world refer to it as Symphonic and Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion, Folk Rock, and other forms. In the artists own words: I agree with all of them; I just create the kind of music I would like to enjoy as a listener, and it is simply all the good music, regardless of its kind” (Raimundo Rodulfo My Space.com, 2009).
“The last studio albums of Rodulfo’s discography are Mare et Terra (Musea Records, 2008) and The Dreams Concerto. The first one has just been released by Musea Records and was recorded in the US, Spain and Venezuela between 2004 and 2008, featuring a mixture of classical and contemporary elements in composition and performance. The second one is a Concerto for Guitar, Group, and Chamber Orchestra, featuring fifteen musicians playing both classical acoustic and modern electric instruments. This album includes a three-movement work performed over almost eighty minutes, with influences from classical music and the contemporary genres of Rock and Jazz, as well as the inevitable element of South American Folk music he was exposed to growing up. This work also features some experimental elements, including a mathematical model applied to music and other research works involving both music and engineering fields” (Raimundo Rodulfo My Space.com, 2009).
“With his band Rodulfo has performed at the Baja Prog Progressive Rock Festival in Baja California, Mexico, and the Prog Jazz Festival in Venezuela, among other events. Rodulfo and the band have also opened for International artists The Flower Kings (Sweden), Little Atlas (USA,) and Pablo Gil (USA/France/Venezuela)” (Raimundo Rodulfo My Space.com, 2009).
“All of Raimundo Rodulfo’s albums feature the artistic work of Peter Rodulfo, a famed British painter, whose paintings show in art galleries in Miami, New York, London, Rio de Janeiro and other cities in America and Europe. Peter and Raimundo met at a genealogical forum on the Internet when Peter was looking for far-flung relatives in South America, and he discovered their common ancestry in Venezuela two centuries ago” (Raimundo Rodulfo My Space.com, 2009).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
The latest release in the career of a musician with great critical acclaim.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Náufrago - Shipwrecked, the literal translation. An over 36 minute piece of music starting from beachside with the ocean breezes and sounds surrounding you. Then the flamenco guitar takes over and sets the music in motion. The ocean fades away and you are left with awesome guitar strumming and picking. Then some flute and piano as the pace begins to pick up. Unbelievably complex work on the guitar and flutes abound. Electric guitar, piano, keys, percussion and then violins come in adding to the musical portrait as the song builds. Trumpets to bring in the Spanish sound. This part makes you want to get up and dance. Can you really dance to prog…well you can to this!
So many sounds surrounding you that you are wondering what’s next. Good strong Latin beat, but the song is full of wonderful changes of tempo and you are never bored.
Then some vocals and synths, as if you needed more. But the song just keep building and getting stronger with each minute. I do love the epics and this guy knows how to build a song and fill it with the sounds of the ocean and every wonderful instrument from this Earth!
Very progressive with a Latin vibe. Then heavy bass followed by synths and keyboards to provide more variation and excitement. Maracas and more great percussion followed by soaring guitar riffs. Spacey keys, then bass and drums following a Latin beat, as if you are traveling on the coast of some South American beach!
Violins and brass help bring the music to a close, with the wonderful sound of the tide rolling back out into the ocean, and although you have enjoyed over 36 minutes of music you are ready for more. Very inspired work! How do you top this!
2. Libertad - Violins, keys, and guitar open this before vocals add to the variety. Definitely a Latin rhythm to this one. Freedom, and you can feel it in this song! I do speak Spanish and all the vocals on this album are in Spanish.
A more earthy mix, with flutes, drums, guitar, piano and then some synths kick in to remind you this is a prog mix. The guitar work is wonderful throughout. The sounds of the ocean end this side or part of the album. Off to the land.
3. Blue - Sounds of percussion start this one off with what sounds like construction machinery or the sounds of the city with cars beeping and you know where I’d rather be…back on the beach! But the guitar work and Latin rhythm continues supported by some very good synthesizer work.
Saxophone and rougher, darker guitar strings to highlight the change from sea to the city. Jazzier with trumpets and heavier piano and synths. Flutes and faster beats then the relaxing flutes sooth and slow things down. Piano and the rhythm settle back into a South Florida relaxing feel.
4. Thoughts I – Solo flute and birds in the background sound like a warm summer or spring day. Then some acoustic guitar and what sounds like a harpsichord, before rocking guitars and drums launch into a new rhythm. Maracas and English vocals, A love song that closes with these lyrics, “moments I remember, I dreamed of our future.” “Thoughts I won’t surrender, reality of delusion.”
5. Thoughts II – Racing guitars that remind me of some of Jimmy page’s solo material and synths to open the closer. Then flute and drums to a soft Latin rhythm. Then all the instruments from the previous songs accompanied by synths and keys.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
This is just completely different than anything I have heard. Yes there are elements of Santana and many other prog heroes, but never together in the same way. The Latin influence adds variety to a genre that desperately needs variety. The album closes as it began with the sounds of nature, acoustic guitars, and violins.
6. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, I will be playing it often, now that I have discovered it.
Rating: 8/10 – Very good and original. Music that experiments and always varies throughout.
Reviewed by Prof on August 12th, 2009