Thursday 24 September 2015

Gotic Keyboardist's Coses in 1977: Ara Es Dema

Spare information from rym:

Catalan folk rock based on piano/organ, acoustic/electric guitar and sometimes string arrangements, melodious songs, good vocals & harmonies, they were part of the political movement to get the Catalan people more rights, they sang also in Catalan.

From Discogs:

Spanish trio from the late 70's, they played quiet, serious folk-rock largely based on piano (or organ) and acoustic guitar with soft string arrangements.  
- Jordi Vilaprinyó - keyboards, vocals
- Jordi Fábrega - acoustic & classical guitar, vocals
- Arthur Bernstein - acoustic & electric guitar, vocals
- Via Fora! (1976)
- Ara es Demá (1977)
- Perquè no s'apagui l'aire (1978)

Of course for our purposes what is notable is that Vilaprinyo was the keyboardist and presumably mastermind behind Gotic as we can see here:

Spanish progressive rock band of the 1970s. Their history goes back to the schooldays of Jordi Vilaprinyó and Jordi Martí who started as the organ and drums duo "Jordis" initially inspired by the music of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. After the group expanded, adding influences from Genesis, Yes, and "Zeleste’s layetana music" they arrived at a multicultural cross-polination of styles, and eventually Gotic was born in 1976. The band only released the one album during their lifetime, a delicate instrumental progressive rock outing featuring flute, keyboards/synthesizers and folk inspired elements. They also recorded a second album, of which tape copies exist, but the band split in 1978 before it was finished.

(That second album can be found all over the place online, and is STRONGLY recommended.)

Returning to this offering, we have exactly what was described above, with less progressive than the masterful Gotic, but nonetheless quite enjoyable folk-rock.  Listen to this stunningly beautiful track, Una Mica da Mort:

There are a few notable and original features to attend to here.  First of all notice the diminished chord arpeggios that intro on electric piano, passing into flute and fake strings backed by acoustic guitar-- creating tension and then quite abruptly releasing it.  Subsequently in the stanza, note how the traditional lyrics start with a normal melody, but as it progresses more vocalists join in until we have a complete triad moving up to the last chord, which, surprisingly, in the falsetto region, moves still higher, before resolving back down onto the tonic.  Quite an astonishing perhaps never before heard melody, and the plaintiveness of the subject clearly shines through.  But the song's surprises don't end there, after this chorus section and following the pleasantly gentle electric guitar soloing, the electric piano of Vilaprinyo proceeds to create a gorgeous little instrumental passage with small scale figures atop minor seventh chords.  How I'd love to understand the lyrics, as I don't doubt they are beautiful too.  Clearly this it the most Goticlike track: pay attention to the flute solo in the very middle of the song.  
Btw the record that followed, in 1979, was to me disappointing, as was the more simplistic previous effort, Via Fora.

Really, music this beautiful as I've said before, is like magic.

The great Gotic:


  1. Hi
    Coses is a fine composer ! Have you the rare Madretierra by folk-prog Chile band Sol Y Medianoche please (in 320 if possible)?
    Thank you very much !

    1. Only have in lower bitrate do you still want?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. COSES - Via Fora! (1976)

  4. Restore for 'Ara Es Dema', 1977?