Original compositions by
Farrell * Guitarist
Streets of Seville
in Circles Blues
compositions by Terrence Farrell.
In the late 60s, when I was about 20 years
old, I was as turbulent as the era. The summer before my last year at
the University of Washington I managed a swimming pool in Concrete, Washington
(named after the Lone Star Cement Company, but that's another story).
I lived in the house of a semi-retired couple who ran a roadside fix-it
shop for the area. Over time we became friends. One day while I was pondering
what to do with my life he said, "Well, what you want to do is find out
what you like doing most in the world and then convince someone else to
pay you to do it." Those were some real sage words for me. The guitar
was my solace during that very difficult period and I have always had
wanderlust. So, I decided what I wanted was to travel the world playing
my guitar. Little did I know then that I would fly one million miles,
perform in 34 countries and in 46 states. That I would represent the United
States on several occasions performing overseas, that I would sit at the
feet of a Samashan master in a geisha school in Kyoto, be the guest of
a pasha, that I would see the oud played in Zanzibar, visit the Parthenon
... well, you get the idea.
The pieces recorded here are my musical reminiscence of some of those
Gypsy Serenade uses the hemiola effect of alternating 3/4 and 6/8
rhythm that is prevalent in much Latin music. It was written while I was
in Zanzibar, which isn't as far fetched as it may seem since it, like
Spain, was under Arabic rule for much of its history.
Tropicale has all the excitement and rhythm of a marketplace in
Curacao or Koto Kini Balu. The repetitive nature of the piece reflects
the sing-song quality of the women selling their wares. The Caress
is symbolic not only of the physical affection for, but also the way I
have been romanced by, the tropics. Rio De Janeiro inspired that work
as well as the Twilight Samba.
De mi Corazón
is in the musical form of the Habanera, a dance form from Cuba that eventually
evolved into the Tango. The most famous one is La Paloma, written
by the Spaniard Sebastian Yradier while stationed in Cuba when it was
still a Spanish possession. De mi Corazón
(From my Heart) was written by me in that same tradition of great Latin
love ballads inspired by a longing for my loved ones while on a protracted
The Irish Lament, what can I say? The Irish part of me is as morose
as anybody from the Emerald isle (especially after a couple of whiskeys
accompanied by that Irish food in a glass, Guinness). They must have invented
the lament; it would be lamentable if they didn't! I toured that wonderful
land in the early 80s and the Irish, like a Greek named Zorba, dance their
troubles away and after a jig, a pint and another jig, one usually does
have something to lament.
In Buenos Aires you step into a taxi and you will know instantly that
the Tango is an integral part of their being. The personal expression
of the dance is a perfect venue for the classical guitar, the instrument
that has mystery at its core, the most personal of instruments. It takes
both hands caressing the strings to produce a sound. While I was the guest
of a pasha in Turkey, the connection between their music and the gypsy
music of Spain was visceral, direct and intoxicating. In such a magic
situation Cleopatra's Dance could only sound one way.
Shaken, not Stirred was inspired by the most universal of all cocktails
... the Martini. Whether sipping away in Harry's Bar in Venice, the top
of the peak in Hong Kong, or along the many dusty byways that have been
my journey, it has offered great succor and has improved many an uninspired
To my way of thinking the best place to live is a tropical island blessed
with the trade winds, a temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit,
and moderate rain. The island must be granite or volcanic to give the
topography a life. And if the French and the English had some hand in
its development you will have the best of two worlds, good roads, potable
water, and Creole cooking. And if you ever leave such a place with the
smell of the tropical spices, there will be more than just a little bit
of longing Leaving the Islands.
At age 14, my first paid performance was accompanying a Cuban refugee
who sang folk songs. In homage to those great beginnings Travelin'
On is my hats off to Pete, Bob, Joan, James, and "the trio".
Not to have a feeling for the blues would be un-American. Sometimes the
frustrations of travel just bring out the blues in me and sometimes that
feeling becomes the Travelin' in Circles Blues.
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