Mentors: Aureo Baqueiro Part 1
I met Aureo in 2002 (through my work with Brian McKnight). He called me & discussed my coming down to Mexico City to arrange strings on 3 songs for a new group he was producing named Sin Bandera. I liked him from the jump... he was/is kind, intelligent, very talented, & creative. He explained that we didn't have a large string section to work with (around 12 players) but could easily do overdubs to fill out the sound. I was highly impressed with the quality of the songs & the vocals, & I felt good about the way the arrangements came out. Before I began, Aureo took the time to explain what the lyrics meant in English.
I was especially moved by "Suficiente".
I have traveled to multiple continents- both touring & for leisure, but I had not visited Mexico City up to this point. Because of Aureo, I later traveled to other locations in Mexico for other projects we worked together on. This was an interesting trip…
I was greeted by Aureo as we landed. I was put up in an expensive hotel in the exclusive section of the city. He told me to check out the stores before he came back to eat later. On the streets, the first thing I thought when I noticed the two armed guards standing in front of a Beverly Hills-type boutique was-I'm NOT in America. There were large crowds & many impoverished people.
"I was highly impressed with the quality of the songs & the vocals, & I felt good about the way the arrangements came out."
The session was at night. On the way there, Aureo pointed out to me that many of the musicians were conceited because they were the only ones getting all the recording sessions. I would have to be patient, but he would back me up until the parts were correct.
The first two songs went down easily, which brought us to "Suficiente". I was writing to a vocal & acoustic piano part. Both were performed flawlessly. The song is about two young orphan brothers on the streets. As they look into restaurants & clothing stores from the outside, the oldest is promising to the youngest that one day he will make sure they will have all the best things in life.
"I was especially moved by "Suficiente"
I put all the emotion I had into this arrangement of a sorrowful song. I had multiple parts & passes for the strings, but many of them started complaining. I didn't know what to do ...
Aureo came into the studio & loudly admonished them all, asking them to think about the children portrayed in the song, & how lucky these musicians were to be able to interpret this song.
The final result was inspired. I was able to find a version on youtube.com of this that has the English lyrics also in print against the video.
This was the first of many wonderful projects Aureo & I later worked together on, which I'll get into in my next blog.
Mexican producer and composer, winner of 4 Latin Grammy for his work as producer of Sin Bandera, Alex, Jorge y Lena and Natalia Lafourcade y la Forquetina.