Sounds of: Lobitos, Peru; Mancora, Peru
*Written by: Fabricio Bonaldo (Brazil) vocals: Carolyn Nicely Produced by: Dan Hunter
July 24th, 2013 Tranquilo…
As you know, Dan and I worked for ten days at a surf hostel in Peru. This was our last night before we had to leave for Ecuador.
On this particular summer night when we recorded “Submerged Dream,” a few of us volunteers also decided to try San Pedro. Although some of us had experimented with other psychedelic drugs, this was all our first time eating San Pedro. Now before any of you readers freak out, Pedro is legal (at least in Peru) and completely natural. It is a fast growing cactus native to the Andes and has been used since the beginning of time for religious divination and healing. The name “San Pedro” cactus aka “St. Peter’s” Cactus was given because St. Peter was believed to hold the key to heaven, just as this cactus is supposed to allow users to reach heaven while still on earth.
So after dinner, Chris, (a burly Australian man who had bought the San Pedro for about $5), Favinio (aka Fabricio, the writer of this song), Laura (a tiny, sweet Irish girl) and Dan and I sat around the large dining room table spooning powdered San Pedro mixed with honey into our mouths. First Chris and Favinio each took a few spoonfuls topped with honey and we all watched as their faces contorted in disgust and their eyes watered with a strong determination to swallow the fowl tasting stuff, the potent mixture of sand and ass. Next it was offered to Dan and he managed to get 4 fatty spoonfulls down. Laura and I were not actually planning on participating but when the boys had finished (Chris and Favinio each forcing 5 or 6 down) and there was still a good amount left, Laura decided to give it a go. And since she was a small, little girl I thought what the heck! So we each took two. I’m a champ at blocking my nasal passages from tasting, and I mixed the honey and the powder a little obsessively, but it made the experience of swallowing actually quite easy.
Now all we had to do was wait for 2-3 hours. And unfortunately we had all just eaten a pretty large dinner. In the meantime, we decided to record Favinio’s song in his room at the back of the hostel.
In late night jam sessions a few nights ago, we were mesmerized by this song and we decided we really wanted to record it and share it with everyone. We fought a bit with ourselves since it wasn’t our original song, but the song was too good to not share, and we took it as a challenge to produce our first instrumental song.
Favinio, a 21 year old guy from Brazil, had been working at the hostel for a few months and it was his designated job to do all the cooking. A sweetheart with a smile always on his face, he knows great English, Spanish, and of course Portugese, and he was well loved by everyone at La Casona. The type of guy who carries himself always on the brink of laughter, a light in his eyes that puts you in a good mood when you are around him. He is mainly a cello player, and has his own samba band in Floriannopolis, Brazil. He is also a dedicated surfer, and wrote this song as a narrative of surfing. He explained the song to us as a journey of paddling out, wave-riding, waiting, wiping-out, and staying calm under water. The beautiful notes that begin and end the song, are the “submerged dream.” Favinio explained it to me as the time and space where you must remain calm and peaceful under the water even when you are being thrown about. “Tranquiiiillloo…” he says to me with a big perfect smile.
After living in New Smyrna Beach for a few years, Dan and I have gotten used to the surf-culture being a part of our daily life. Dan can surf, and enjoys it, but doesn’t own a surf board or go regularly. I on the other hand have only tried once, and only managed to stand up once, on a small foamy wave near the break of the beach. I’ll admit I’m afraid of the world below the waves, and I am paranoid of sharks. So when I see surfers living their life around the art of surfing, waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning to paddle out into the unknown, I have a deep appreciation for what Favinio calls the “submerged dream.” The art of remaining calm underwater, unafraid of sharks, and at peace with the push and pull of the tides. Now that is beautiful and brave.
As you listen to this song, I hope you are not doing two things at once. If you are reading this as you listen, go back and listen again. Put everything down, put in some headphones, close your eyes, and give the song a chance to tell it’s story. Whether you surf every day, or you have never set foot in the ocean, hopefully this song can transport you to the ocean, where you are paddling out into the deep blue waters that we know so little about.
Oh… and the San Pedro only hit Favinio, the rest of us passed out, and experienced a bit of crazy dreams and toilet trouble.
Peace and love,
Dan and Carolyn
Dan tried to record the waves of Lobitos but the oil rigging and the high winds around the area were too strong to make for a good recording. When we left the hostel and stopped in Mancora, Peru on our way to Ecuador, we spent a few hours sitting at the beach and Dan recorded the waves there standing on top of some boulders near the break.
We recorded the vocals in a national park in Kali, Columbia since it was the only quite place we could find amidst bus rides, shared hostel rooms, boats, and bus stations.
This song was extremely difficult to produce and we spent a good week working, judging, and arguing over if this should be on our song blog or just an additional song that we could share as a side piece. The timing of the piece was all over the place, which is amazing for a listener, and hell for a sound engineer who is not working with a click-track. After a lot of hard work on Dan’s part, hours and hours sitting in the hostel room here in Panama fluttering away on the i-pad, and the song grew into what we had envisioned for it in the first place. Finally we decided that YES we should definitely make it a part of our song-blog and that listeners would really enjoy it, (and we hope you do!).
(We have been in touch with Favinio to get his opinion on the production, and we are waiting to here from him…)