Ocaso y Amanecer From Guitar Sapiens by Yuri Juarez

by chipboaz on December 1, 2016

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Every song has a story; in fact, most songs have a number of stories emanating from them. In many cases, the composer will have a storyline in mind when they write a song, as they try to put an event, person, or place into sound. Composers undoubtedly go through the process of writing a song, and in most cases, the journey from idea to finished product is a story unto itself. When listeners hear a song without any input from the composer, we generally impose a meaning onto the music, usually in relation to our own lives. If there are lyrics in a song, we interpret the written word; when the music is instrumental, we translate melody and harmony into a storyline. When we listen to music, we’re waiting for the story to unfold; once it does, the music becomes a powerful memory for us.

Peruvian guitarist Yuri Juárez knows the value of a good story, a fact that’s evident from the music on his new album Guitar Sapiens. His tales unfold through lush string textures, beautiful melodies, explosive sections of improvisation, different rhythmic drives, and clever arrangements. His guitar solos takes listeners on melodic journeys, using an innate lyrical sensibility and a strong rhythmic conception to shape complete statements. Guitar Sapiens is a collection of engaging musical short stories, that showcase the compositional skill and guitar virtuosity of Juárez.

Juárez shares the story behind one of the songs from Guitar Sapiens with the video for “Ocaso y Amanecer.” He skips the typical shape of most jazz videos – live performance – and walks the listener through the compositional process of the song. Throughout the song, he bounces ideas off his musicians, which include drummer Shirazette Tinnin, percussionist Jhair Sala, pianist Renato Diaz, and bassist Pablo Menares. All the while, he carries his notebook, translating ideas into notes, which eventually become “Ocaso y Amanecer.” It’s a fun and interesting look at Juárez’s writing process that connects us with the story behind the song.

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