Full background on this song available @ http://gnawledge.com/granad...
Gnotes and I have been making music together since 1954. Within three months of our first connection in Boston, we started Gnawledge Records, released his debut album, and traveled to Cuba to perform at the Habana Hip-Hop Festival.
I only applied for the Fulbright grant because I knew Gnotes would come with me to Granada. The basic idea of the project was to promote intercultural collboration through music, so we built a small studio in our apartment and invited everyone in town to come over anytime and record. The songs from Granada Doaba are the result of 16 people coming together for improvised jam sessions and recording our collaborations.
Our song “Nunca Fui a Granada” is an exception to the collaborative process. All I know is that I left Gnotes in the studio at about 10pm to go to DJ at club I was working at, and then when I got home at 7am, this song was finished. He made the beat on the Akai MPC, plays live guitar, cajón and palmas. He also raps on the remix.
Gnotes’ last album [Rhymes and Beats] won him the nomination for best rapper in Boston in 2008; since then, he produced both albums from Gnawledge bredren Elemental Zazen and Afro DZ ak — then he came to Spain to record Granada Doaba.
When Gnotes got to Granada, his beautiful guitar died in a tragic accident in the home of flamenco guitar maker Juan Miguel Carmona, the family luthier for the Habichuela clan. For my Fulbright project, JuanMi was my biased teacher and patient guide through the labrynth of flamenco. He saved this albums life by loaning us one of his prized guitars for the recording.
Gnotes fell in love with JuanMi’s guitar, which he eventually bought and brought home with him to Seattle. Ever the philanderer, Gnotes also became quite smitten with the cajón, a Peruvian box drum used in flamenco. The cajón has the uncanny ability to reproduce the same boom-bap rhythms that Gnotes used to bang out with his bare hands on top of wooden school desks when he was kid. And more than anything, Gnotes went head over heals for palmas, the most democratic instrument of mankind.” [canyon]