Behind That Light, the follow up to the debut album Moai, features Monica Ramos' virtuoso harp playing and finds her adding singer to her list of artistic accomplishments. Highlights of the album include "Para Un Angelito (For a Little Angel)" which features Monica's playing and singing, as well as "Joburg" with its varied rhythms and sampled vocals. Beautiful harp playing, ...(展开全部) Behind That Light, the follow up to the debut album Moai, features Monica Ramos' virtuoso harp playing and finds her adding singer to her list of artistic accomplishments. Highlights of the album include "Para Un Angelito (For a Little Angel)" which features Monica's playing and singing, as well as "Joburg" with its varied rhythms and sampled vocals. Beautiful harp playing, electronic keyboards, classical guitar and sweeping orchestral movements coupled with Monica's self assured vocal delivery make Behind That Light an album that captivates the listener from start to finish. REVIEW: You may repeat this field for titles with multiple fair-use citations from reviews. Please include the source of the citation at the end of the field in parentheses, including the publication name and date. Each citation should be limited to 20 words. ARTIST BIO: Behind That Light is not your typical Latino/Nordic/ harp record... In other words, it's a record that only Monica Ramos could make. Following on the success of last year's Moai, the Chilean-born, Swedish-based harpist returns with a collection of songs and instrumentals whose appeal is truly international. Acknowledging her own background as a South American who later studied classical music but who has been writing song lyrics since the age of 12, Ramos has created a new style of harp music, one that glances at Latin American folk harp, Western classical, pop, dance, and ambient music. Like her earlier album, Ramos' Behind That Light includes some tracks that marry the harp's romantic sound to the driving grooves of modern dance music. This record generally reflects the sound of her current touring band, which includes bass, guitar, layers of percussion, and keyboards. That sound is gently rhythmic and at times almost classical. It's not the type of sound that you'd expect to hear in the dance clubs. " Previously dance clubs weren't right for my music but that's changed," says Ramos. Behind That Light features a lot more songs than Moai, giving the new album a more intimate feel. "I love to write lyrics," she says. "I've been writing since I was 12 - writing thoughts, reactions to what's happening in my life. And for this record, I thought, I will do something with all this." The album is about half vocal, and apart from one wordless vocalese, the songs are all in Spanish. This includes the title track. "Behind That Light," she explains, "you will find my sorrow, something I'm trying to hide. I wrote it as a sad song, because sometimes you feel misunderstood." As a harpist playing her own music, Ramos has dealt with misunderstandings. "When people hear I play the harp, they always ask, oh, in what orchestra?" she says. "I played in orchestras for years, and it's not what I want now. I want to do my own music." That music can include the hard-rocking accompaniment of "Para Un Angelito (For A Little Angel)" as easily as the shamanic chanting and percussion of "Lamento." It still includes the classic sound of the harp, especially on her solo track, "Mami," which has an almost Debussy-like beauty. But it also encompasses a piece like "Joburg," whose poignant harmonies came unexpectedly after a trip to South Africa. "I was supposed to be recording, but this piece just seemed to come from somewhere, and I couldn't stop until it was finished." For Monica Ramos, the harp is an instrument with much broader possibilities than most people realize. Playing Latin American harp music while she was growing up offered her an alternative view of the instrument, so even when she began studying classical harp, the idea of crossing styles seemed a natural one. Which is not to say it's been easy. "People seem to think I'm doing this because it's the easiest way to play, or to make money. Wrong!" she chuckles. "The easy way would be to do orchestral music, because that's where the harp is expected. This is not easy; you have to fight, to prove that you can do this music with this instrument." The proof, though, is in the listening. On "Creo," for example, Ramos begins with solo harp, then adds cello, then more strings, and finally a string synthesizer. The result is a lush orchestration that recalls both her Latin and classical training. Fortunately, Ramos hasn't been fighting alone. Noted producer and occasional composer Per AndrŽasson, who helped shape the sound on Moai, returns on Behind That Light. His arrangements can feature soaring strings, as on "Streeto," (which he also composed) or evocative ambient sounds that barely reach the threshold of audibility, as on "Tus Palabras (Your Words)." And Ramos' brother, guitarist Alvaro Covarrubias, contributes the lovely "Angelina," essentially a guitar/harp duet with some very discreet percussion.
Monica Ramos' own favorite from the album, she says, might be "Creo (Faith)." "I wrote that when I really started to believe in life and love." When was that? "Ah - that's the question," she laughs. Without actually answering the question, she offers that "now I feel really lucky." And with good reason: Moai was an effective introduction, and Behind That Light now presents the harp as a viable pop instrument, and Ramos' hybrid style as one that could appeal to a very wide audience.