Jacarandas en el Suelo
(Flowers on the ground)
Out of all of the music I have written, Jacarandas en el Suelo probably has the cheesiest origin. The title came from my sister who used to pick me up with my mother from my old middle school back in Mexico. For those of you who might not know, the Jacaranda is a gorgeous tree with indigo-colored flowers that grows in central South America and many other places. The front entrance of my school was separated from the street by a large open-air basketball course and a small garden where all of these beautiful trees would grow and, in the spring, they would bloom and paint the whole place with a variety of blue and purple colors. At some point during spring, the abundance of Jacaranda trees would resemble purple clouds, straight out of a dream, and the mere action of walking from the school’s entrance to my mother’s car was ridiculously beautiful.
This little stroll became even more unbearably pretty because these flowers are constantly falling to the ground, so it seems like there is purple cotton candy raining from the sky. On a particular day close to my graduation from middle school, my sister Natalia said, “oh Horis, I am going to miss seeing you walk this path filled with Jacarandas on the ground” of course, at the time I didn’t say anything, but that phrase has stuck with for years because it must have been one of the first times that I became conscious about the fact that time passes and that flowers fall to the ground.
I remember hearing somewhere that Beethoven used to get annoyed about the fact that everyone always seemed to want him to play his “Moonlight Sonata” above anything else, to which he would always reply “Certainly I have written better things!”. I also know that Ravel’s Bolero used to drive him insane because of how much more popular it was than anything else he ever wrote. Well, I suspect that, to me Jacarandas en el Suelo will always be the piece I will never be able to surpass. Of course, I am certainly not popular nor well-known enough to say any of this, but I am well aware that if time proves to benefit me or my music, Jacarandas en el Suelo, will always be one of my most enduring melodies and likely one of the most difficult achievements to overcome. I mean, how is one supposed to beat the image of the Jacaranda flowers falling to the ground?? There have been many many instances of me showing a new piece to my family or something just to have them turn to me and say “but what happened to Jacarandas??? That was a nice one” I am quite sure that I have in fact written better things but the fact remains that it has had the most enduring effect of people close to me, so there is definitely something to it.
t was among my first compositions and I remember quite well how I actually wrote it. I was still very much in my Beatle-loving face and I remember branching out and listening to some of the music that the members of The Beatles wrote after they had split up. At one point, the song Love by the immortal John Lennon came up and I was taken away by that piano intro. Oh but what a piano intro! There is just something so special to me about the way Lennon wrote his piano intros, like in Imagine, Jealous Guy, Strawberry fields (this part is played on an organ so it kind of counts) and I wanted to capture that. The question was, did I actually want to write a song? After dabbling with some lyrics I just knew it was no use. However, at the time I was playing a lot of piano music from the movie French Amelie, and it made me realize that maybe I didn’t need any words for this little melody to mean something.
So yes, it was originally a solo piano piece but then I remembered I had more than 5 cousins that were starting to play the cello in Esperanza Azteca, and I also just happened to have played the piece Après un Reve with my cousin José Luis, so the addition of a cello for the main melody just seemed natural to me.
So, you see, this is a piece of music that takes me back to my youth. It reminds me of the people close to me and the type of music I loved. And yes, I still sometimes think back to those days, walking across purple clouds towards an impatient mother who has been waiting for me for over 30 minutes! Sorry, mom.