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Lily Dahab - Huellas (Eng.: traces, pronounced: hueshas)
‘Huellas‘ means ‘traces‘ – and it is these traces, genetic as well as emotional and musical, that Lily Dahab is now steadfastly following in the direction of her homeland. “When you choose or write a song, you touch something in yourself that has been waiting to be released, a sleeping volcano that is brought to life in the form of music”, she says. Lily has chosen an astounding collection of songs, all of which have a strong connection to her life: “Whether folklore or tango – as different as the styles may be, they are all part of Argentina’s musical heritage. Every one of these writers has
left his trace on my soul. I was singing their songs as a young girl, they were the soundtrack to my youth. And now I approach the songs in a more mature way”.
Huellas radiates a subtle and multi-layered spectrum of Argentinean musical colour, including some folk tunes from the Litoral region in north-east Argentina. The dreamy ‘Peces de Luz’ comes wrapped in a jazzy song arrangement, ‘Zamba de usted’ features a somnambulistic, swinging vocal set against a traditional rhythm – including edgy guitar solos played by the prestigious special guest Quique Sinesi, the country’s most renowned string wizard. Lily and her team tango their way through two Piazzolla compositions, decorated with bandoneón flourishes courtesy of Walther Castro. Then comes ‘Vuelvo al Sur’, an affecting nostalgic reflection upon Lily‘s hometown on the Rio de la Plata river. In ‘Yo soy Maria’, Piazzolla depicts Buenos Aires as a sensual, enticing and bewitching woman.
This gives way to a selection of Argentinean song-writing gems which Lily’s creative imagination has transformed into her very own. Her pianist, Bene Aperdannier, has given the arrangements a range of accents from impressionistic reserve to rousing impetus. The contributions of guitarist Quique Sinesi (who plays together with Walther Castro in the Grammy-winning trio led by Pablo Ziegler, Piazolla’s pianist of many years), bassist Andreas Henze and Lily’s fellow countryman Topo Gioia interweave lyrically, with pluck and to great effect without losing their original touch. The title track, written by Dahab/Aperdannier with lyrics by Lily’s friend and internationally-renowned lyricist Claudia Brant, starts off in a melancholy mood before ascending hymn-like into the heavens. It was inspired by the film ‘Oranges and Sunshine’, telling the heart-rending story of more than 130,000 British children who were transported to far-away Commonwealth countries under the lure of false pretences. ‘Detras del Muro de los lamentos’, written by the Argentine rock musician Fito Paez, has been set in a new arrangement and given a grandiose, entirely unexpected Arabic touch by oud player Nuri Karademirli who, like Lily’s grandfather, was born in Izmir – an homage to Lily’s ancestors.
Huellas is a moving tribute to a homeland left behind that will always be present in the soul - Lily Dahab has committed her entire passion, yearning, thoughtfulness and joy to its creation.