Daymé Arocena performing at the North Beach Bandshell, Miami Beach, in March 2019
These are my liner notes for Daymé Arocena’ s Sonocardiograma (Brownswood Recordings) released last month.
Sonocardiograma, the name of Cuban singer and songwriter Daymé Arocena new release is not just a title but also both a description and declaration of purpose.
“The name Sonocardiograma is inspired in the word echocardiogram, a medical exam to check if your heart is working properly,” explained Daymé in a recent conversation from her home in Havana, Cuba. “When we were thinking about the concept of the album and its title, we knew we wanted to create something that was a snapshot of who we are inside.”
The “we” Daymé refers to is her quartet, comprising Jorge Luis Lagarza Pérez, piano, and arranging; Rafael Aldama Chiroles, bass; and Marcos Morales Valdés, drums. “We not only always play together, and tour together but we celebrate birthdays together, accompany each other after breakups, console each other with family matters. We are a family,” she says.
“ We wanted it to capture our personality, our world, how we hear the music,” she explains. “We recorded it in Havana. There were no producers, and we didn’t want to go to a recording studio, and we lucked out and found this great space that had been an artist’s studio and we recorded there, all in one room, surrounded by art, cats and dogs and ambient noises. We wanted a record that had the energy and the spirit we have in concert. Sonocardiograma is about who we are.”