This is one of the easiest, free flowing pieces of music that I have ever composed. I called it “Somos Cumbia,” because it is for a short documentary called Somos Artesina, which I also produced.
The film is about a Colombian couple in Philadelphia called ArtesinA. Cumbia is a Colombian music form influenced from immigrants the world over and has extended to every corner of the world. The title translates to, “We are cumbia,” because we all have access and the right to this musical form. It is a lot like jazz in that way.
ArtesinA is an art project and a startup brand. Learn about them by watching the film here.
Also, I made a music video using b-roll film.
All of this is my comeback to THRU Media. That was the magazine that I launched in 2016, which you can learn about here. The magazine is still dead, but the media channels are reviving slowly.
As for this song, I had completed editing and mastering, but I needed to add in/out music. I am not the type to run a music bed throughout. It’s lame, in my opinion, however, given my limitations in terms of licensing music, I cannot really do it anyway.
There used to be the Free Music Archive, but that was bought from the non-profit radio station WFMU by a for-profit company called Tribe of Noise. I don’t know how that is legal.
The real problem is that none of that music is free anymore. Free to listen, sure, but who cares? Now you have to pay substantially to license the music for your short, no budget film.
That is why I decided to produce my own music for the picture. I heard the cumbia beat in my head, it’s a standard form, so that was easy. I laid that down first, followed by bass, and then the accordion. The synth track capped it. It all flowed so naturally.
I was also very sad when I wrote this. I was powering through some real disappointments, some rejection. It has that sad sound, but also happy. I’m just happy to channel my issues through work, I love music more than anything, so it always improves my vibe.
That’s the song and the story behind it. Thanks for listening.