The challenge of an artist’s life is to produce tangible expressions of “art” that embody the visions, music, ideas and emotions bubbling within the artist, as vividly and exquisitely as they can imagine and without compromise to bland popular tastes and social restrictions; and simultaneously to be able somehow to gain the necessary support from the public and the commercialized world so they can survive economically and continue with their creativity while also enjoying an otherwise “normal” life.
Ella Solana García, my younger daughter, is now embarking on this endeavor. She presents a large selection of her recorded music at the website, linked below. The specific “home” page of that website shows a list of recent recordings presented as a portfolio to showcase her varied technical capabilities as a professional musician (singer, songwriter, producer, arranger), as well as extremely different genres of music she can work in, from contemporary art song originals to electronic dance music to classical big band jazz.
A convenient feature of her website is that sets of songs can be heard as a continuous sequence (with the push of the top button for each list) or individually. The link I give below is to the specific “music” page on Ella’s website, which shows three sets of recordings: Project 1 (Latest EP Project, 2021), Project 2 (Demo EP, 2020), and Project 3 (Demos and Early Works, on ‘Soundcloud’); EP is lingo for an “extended play” record or recording for demonstration purposes.
Again, pushing the top button to any of these sets will play the songs in that set in a continuing sequence (as in any album, the individual songs correspond to the movements of a classical sonata, symphony, concerto, or chamber piece). Why not give a listen to Project 1? It is short with only 5 songs, and they are all very recent and highly polished recordings of very modern music, sequenced into one artistic ensemble: gems.
Project 2 is a similar ensemble of 5 songs released last year.
Project 3 is a large listing of songs produced prior to 2020. They vary widely in style, but all are equally invested with care in their composition and performance. Because tastes vary widely within the entire spectrum of listeners, I couldn’t possibly guess which “you” would prefer. So those I mention here are just of few that I enjoyed again today.
I love Ella’s singing in Spanish, and my favorite recording for both that and just for the lovely sound of her voice is in “Noche Cubana” (the “single” version on the “home” page being the most recently mastered, but the one in Project 1 on the “music” page is just as lovely). “Bajo El Sol” is an evocative walk along the clifftops by the ocean. “Besame Mucho” is a live recording (I did a good job) of a sparkling performance on a very enchanted evening indeed.
Ella also sings in Italian, on “Lasciami Stare” and “La Regina Anziana,” both originals.
Ella has a special sensitivity to the feelings and yearnings of children, who are powerless and yet confronted with a hurried and overbearing adult world. Her songs here offer calming melodious respites from that outer chaos. Among her songs of this type are: “Chihiro”, “The Eternal Rush”, “Watch Her Away”, and “High Grade Idiot.”
In contrast to the calming and gentle songs are those that are tough feminist punches, like the driving punk-rockish “Doesn’t Mean You Matter”, the steely “Don’t Be Afraid To Be A Bitch”, and the darkly venomous “Poison.” Ella’s song “No”, listed in Project 2, is also of this upfront steely type.
And there are Ella’s send-ups and drastic reworkings of old bubblegum ditties like “Lovefool”, and simple pop classics like “Can’t Help Falling In Love (and what would J. P. Martini and Elvis Presley think?), and the most engaging version I’ve yet heard of Pink’s song “Glitter In The Air.”
Another creative reimagining of an old standard is the Gospel song “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” Here it is honed to the essential question that had to be in the mind of any religious American slave, as it had to be in the mind of Job much earlier: why had God abandoned me?
The song “Avenue Of The Giants” was inspired by a walk among the giants Redwoods, and I can always visualize being in that environment when I hear it.
Because Ella does professional level recording and mixing of audio tracks, and writes deep expansive arrangements and soundscapes, hearing the finished productions through good speakers, instead of just the tinny little computer speakers, would significantly add to the pleasure of listening.
Ella has more original recordings and song studies from previous years, than presented on her new website, so we can be assured that new polished productions will appear on this new website as time progresses. I look forward to it all, and I hope others do too.