Jácaras and Ensaladas

I am singing with the UChicago Early Music Ensemble, a somewhat relaxed group led by David Douglass and Ellen Hargis of The Newbury Consort. I started rehearsing a bit late, so I’ve been playing catch-up. This year the repertoire is all music from Spain and Spanish colonies, and today we worked on two of the harder pieces in the program : an ensalada called La Bomba, by Mateo Flecha “El Viejo”, and a jacara by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla. Too many words!

In looking for some recordings to get a better sense of the pieces, I came across this charmingly old King’s Singers TV special (check out those sweater vests!) acting out La Bomba in what appears to be the house from Clue:

Lucky them, they get multiple takes which makes it a bit easier to manage the crazy transitions in the piece. There’s also a multitracked recording on which is pretty good:

Unfortunately we are doing it up a third from there, much to the chagrin of my passagio.

We spent a bit of time trying to get the jácara up to speed, but singing Spanish that fast is hard! When I heard how fast this version went I almost lost it:

It looks like I have my work cut out for me, especially if I want to roll my r’s like that.


New books on the foundations of signal processing

For those who are interested in signal processing, the classic Wavelets and Subband Coding by Martin Vetterli and Jelena Kovačević is a must-have. But perhaps you were unaware that the two of them, together with Vivek Goyal have written a pair of books:

Signal Processing: Foundations
Signal Processing: Fourier and Wavelet Representations

They should give you a solid grounding the fundamentals of signal processing from a more modern perspective. Preliminary versions are available for download from the book’s website.