Tremendo disco que en su momento me impresionó, fue lo primero que escuché de este músico y por lo que le empecé a seguir el rastro luego. Un trabajo muy bello que los invito a descubrir.
Artista: Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma
Género: Rock sinfónico ecléctico / Experimental
Artista: Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma
Género: Rock sinfónico ecléctico / Experimental
Lista de Temas:
1. Ave Luz
2. Muro Ciego
4. Cancion Para un Dia
6. Los Designios de Geminis
7. Punta Cometa
1. Ave Luz
2. Muro Ciego
4. Cancion Para un Dia
6. Los Designios de Geminis
7. Punta Cometa
- Jose Luis Fernández Ledesma / guitarras, sintetizadores, piano, bajo, mandolina, flautas, percusión
- Margarita Botello / voz, autoharp, percusión
Hernan Hecht: batería
Raul Flores: percusión
Alejandro Sanchez: violín
Vitali Roumanov: cello
Hugo Santos: stick
Julio Sandoval: bajo
Fernando Dominguez: clarinete
Seguimos con más mexicanos. Creo que está demás decir que José Luis Fernández Ledesma es una garantía de calidad musical. En este disco acompañado por su compañera de tantas aventuras musicales: Margarita Botello.
Este fue el primer trabajo que escuché de este mexicano y me sorprendió no sólo por las ricas melodías latinoamericanas sino por el excelente trabajo instrumental. Acompañado por la cantante Margarita Botello, aquí aparecen tambores, violines, flauta y pianos, además de los típicos instrumentos de música rock. Canciones muy bien arregladas, en su mayoría instrumentales.
Les dejo mi impresión al garantizar un trabajo de gran calidad. Ledesma cultiva aquí un rock sinfónico, que con la voz, las letras y las influencias latinoamericanas me remitieron inmediatamente a Los Jaivas, pero sólo como primera impresión, ya que al prestar atención vemos que las líneas instrumentales siguen otros caminos: algunos arreglos jazzeros en el piano, momentos de guitarras potentes, bastante música clásica y más finezas que descubrí en posteriores escuchas.
En éste álbum Ledesma da un giro a sus composiciones. Mientras que álbumes como "Sol Central " o "La Paciencia de Job" tienden hacia una vertiente más vanguardista, avant-prog, fusion. Aquí en éste álbum los estilos fluyen entre el rock progresivo sinfónico, música clásica, música de cámara y folk con un aire a Gentle Giant y con sonidos bastantes similares a los logrados por sus paisanos de Códice.
Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma es un talentoso multiinstrumentista mexicano con una amplia trayectoria musical sobre sus espaldas: habiendo sido miembro fundador de Nirgal Vallis, uno de los grupos mas celebrados de la escena progresiva de sus pais durante los 80s, ha realizado tambien un repertorio bastante prolifico desde inicios de los 90s en adelante. Su oferta para este año 2003 es Designios, un trabajo donde el folklore, la fusion y el sinfonismo progresivo se imbrican en un caleidoscopio melodico impresionante por su alta dosis de imaginacion, colorido y expresividad. Los modos en que dialogan y se superponen mutuamente las guitarras, los teclados, los vientos y percusiones autoctonas, los pasajes vocales, y otros instrumentos diversos, se manejan con un exquisito manejo de texturas, logrando enriquecer la fuerza melodica de los temas.César Inca
De por si, las dotes interpretativas de JLFL son impecables desde el punto de vista tecnico. Pero ademas, sus composiciones van mas alla de ser simples vehiculos de lucimiento para si mismo y sus compañeros de turno: a traves de sus quiebres melodicos y cambios de ritmo y ambiente, se nota una emotividad, a veces intimista, otras veces celebratoria, lo cual se debe en buena parte a la presencia recurrente de Margarita Botello, cuya presencia vocal le permite hacerse complice con el oyente. El nivel del material que llena este disco es bastante parejo, pero puestos a elegir algunos botones de muestra, destaco Cancion para un Solo Dia, por su vibracion contagiantemente alegre; Punta Cometa, por su relajamiento introspectivo etereo; Saena y (sobre todo) Los Designios de Geminis, por su fastuosidad progresiva, realmente irresistible.
Wow! No, I'd better keep my transports for the Conclusion. Well, on "Designios", Fernandez turned towards a Classic Symphonic Art-Rock sound, which, as far as I know, he did for the first time. There are nine tracks on the album, eight of which are songs, though most of them feature much more of purely instrumental arrangements than vocally instrumental ones. Alone, Fernandez and Margarita Botello, whose vocals are very touching on this album, performed only the first two songs here: Ave Luz (Ave Louisa) and The Blind Wall. Both of them are richer in vocals than any of the further songs on "Designios" and are about a semi-acoustic Symphonic Art-Rock with the pronounced elements of music of Mexican Indians. Although both of the following tracks: Saena and The One-day Song (3 & 4) are of the same stylistics overall, there are lesser exotic tunes on them. (The first of them is the only instrumental composition here and features only a couple of episodes with vocalize.) These two, as well as Abyss and Designs of the Twins (5 & 6), were performed by most of the members of the line-up on "Designios" and are distinguished by large-scaled, hard-edged, diverse, intricate, and highly intriguing instrumental arrangements. Apart from those of traditional Rock instruments, including drums, all of them feature the parts of violins, flute, and piano, though the solos and passages of acoustic guitars remain here almost as notable as they are on the first two tracks on the album. (The parts of acoustic guitars play actually a very significant role on "Designios".) On Abyss and Designs of the Twins, there are only the pale shades of music of Mexican Indians, and stylistically, they represent a purely classic, yet, just incredibly fresh and original Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Classical Music, Baroque music, and Prog-Metal. The latter elements are especially evident on Designs of the Twins, which, IMHO, is the best of the epics created after 1977 (here, I mean "Animals" by Pink Floyd) and is on par with most of the sidelong masterworks released in the first half of the 1970s. Magic is the word. (This word though, sounds topical with regard to the entire album.) A unique fusion of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Classical Music is presented also on the last track here: Punta Cometa, but it doesn't feature any stylistic 'makeweights'.Progressor
It can't be denied that while working on the "Designios" album, Fernandez has made every effort to do the impossible - to create something really new within the framework of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. And he did it! The hero of this review is a classic Symphonic Art-Rock album that any of the Titans of the 1970s would be proud of. This is a rare masterpiece and, in my honest opinion, the best Fernandez album to date. Furthermore, along with Rush's "Power Windows", "Path of Dreams" by Garden Wall, Marillion's "Brave", "Roaring Forties" by Peter Hammill, and French TV's "A Case Against Art", I regard "Designios" as one of the best and most original Classic Symphonic Art-Rock albums since UK's "Danger Money" (1979).
For once, JLFL strayed a bit from his avant-garde musical vision and focused on a more symphonic- oriented style, with lots of prog-folk and fusion elements brought in to provide special cadences and textures to the overall scheme. This album includes reburbished versions of two old tracks, 'Abismo' and 'Los Designios de géminis', which date back from his old days in Nirgal Vallis, a pioneering symphonic prog band that kept a low profile in the 80s Mexican rock scene. This detail is an indication of how decided was JLFL to explore that unusual part (the symphonic one) of his musical interests. The fact is that this album sounds majestic from beginning to end, with each and every note, each and every particle of sound, every instrument in itself and in connection with the others: no matter how explicitly pompous or candidly serene a particular piece is, definitely there will be a majestic aura to it. The presence of singer Margarita Botello is crucial for the development of the melodic developments that take place in each track: she is sensible enough as to enhance the ambiences and atmospheres completed with the instrumental input. The opener is dominated by the acoustic guitars' dynamic strumming, complemented with flute lines and soft guitar layers: the track's spirit bears a folkish vibe, with an added touch of ethereal magnetism. A very appelaing opener, indeed. Track 2 is more explicilty focused on the reflective side of things, bearing a delicate experimental air with an extra touch of spiritual mystery: the processed sounds of string and percussion instruments sound like a background dream for Botello's vocal deliveries. This is like a momentary walkabout in the autumn fog, before the sun appears solidly in the sky on the wings of 'Saena'. 'Saena' is a beautiful highlight of the album, led by the piano mtifs and fed with keyboard orchestrations, mandolin washes, flute adornments and subtly delivered rhythmic patterns, plus a splendid violin solo. After this delicious item, 'Canción Para un Solo Día' brings a similar cadence, albeit with an enhanced touch of fusion that equally shares the arrangement's weight with the symphonic element. The featured presence of guest violin and cello helps to develop an optimistic atmosphere throughout the whole track. If the first two tracks were portraits of thoughts and reflections illuminated by the light of the inner self, tracks 3 and 4 are more extroverted, as colorful portraits of exotic landscapes illuminated by the light of the sun. At this point, let me confess that this album was my first JLFL experience, and by the time I was in the middle of track 4, I felt myself becoming a devote fan (little did I know that this guy's discography was far beyond this particular trend, but through the years my appreciation only grew and it continues to grow nowadays). 'Abismo' follows in the same celebratory trend of 'Canción', but with a bigger dose of energy: the rhythm pattern is evidently based on Mexican folk, but the instrumentation goes beyond the usual realms of fusion by adding clever violin/clarinet interplaying and a couple of furious (yet controlled) synth solos. There is also an almost-Hackettish guitar solo there. 4 minutes of pure, constant progressiveness. But how about an 18- minute span of this very thing, progresiveness? The listener will soon be served with 'Los Designios de Géminis', the epitome of the album's main scheme: symphonic prog replete with folk-prog elements and fusion colors. The multi-varied range of sonic resources (folk, spacey, Rennaisance, symphonic) under which the sections are modelled works beautifully as a unitary musical piece. Sometimes, an eerie section is used as a bridge: for example, the mysterious dreamy woodwind sounds that emerge at minute 6, before the organ gets in to build a mesmeric slow section with featured cello/clarinet. The last 8 3/4 minutes are occupied by 'Punta Cometa', which brings back the spirit of track 1, only with a more organized structure. It also includes eerie guitar and synth solos, as well as a brief spacey coda. I honestly regard Designios as a total prog masterpiece, but here comes a word of advice: this is not your typical JLFL album.César Inca
Wonderful album from this Mexican icon! Yes, I said icon because Jose Luis Fernández Ledesma is a pillar in the Mexican progressive rock scene. We (who are familiar with this scene) know that in spite of the fact that he is not really that recognized, or even well-known, he is a talented man who has been working for several years, creating high-quality music that should be better known and of course recognized. My work here is to give him back a little bit of what he has done, so I hope my words help.Guillermo Urdapilleta
Fernández Ledesma is known for his musical skills, he is capable of playing (well) several instruments, also for creating wonderful atmospheres in his music, which is a combination of symphonic music with avant-garde. In 2003 he released this great record entitled "Designios", an album that consists on seven compositions that make a total time of 56 minutes of excellent Mexican prog rock.
For his solo albums, he also recruited Margarita Botello, a talented singer who later would be part of Saena, another excellent band. Well, now let's get back to Designios. It is worth mentioning that Ledesma pays tribute to his former band Nirgal Vallis with a couple of tracks here: "Abismo" and "Los Designios de Géminis". So the album opens with "Ave Luz", a great opener track for a great album. Botello's voice is charming and sweet, while Ledesma´s guitar creates wonderful atmospheres accompanied by delicious percussions, and brilliant winds (all played by Ledesma himself).
"Muro Ciego" is the shortest composition, but colorful and rich nonetheless. From the first seconds we can listen to a Sastur, an instrument that I like a lot. The atmosphere is a bit weird, it keeps a repetitive sound while Botello is delicately singing, and it continues until it finishes, but the thing is that while the seconds pass, new elements not easy to perceive are sounding and adding their grain of sand.
"Saena" is the name of the third song, and also the name that Ledesma and Botello used to create this band I told you about earlier. This is the first song with guest musicians - one of them is Alejandro Sánchez (later member of the so called Saena) on violin. This song starts with a complete symphonic sound due to the keyboards, however later it turns folkish and prints different images with several colors. The percussion sound is fantastic, and all the instruments together transport us to another land, and maybe another era. The song is little by little building a structure, it is like reading a novel, I foresee what's next and open my mind to it. Wonderful song!
"Canción para un solo día" is another great track that really shows Fernández Ledesma's skills and quality as a composer and performer. The rhythm is beautiful, a charming and pleasant sound is shared through the track, and this can be heard after three minutes with the appearance of a cello, making an even more solid song. I like the final minute and how the music seems to be fading out, when all of a sudden it arises.
A wonderful folk sound is evoked in "Abismo". The use of maracas and acoustic guitar makes it evident. Also there is a great clarinet sound that interplays with violin. Just before the third minute, the song becomes stronger due to the keyboard sound and drums that create a fabulous piece of art. When you listen to a song like this, you cannot hide your satisfaction because, believe me, this is really a first-class track.
Was I talking about first-class music? Then wait and listen to this 18-minute epic called "Los designios de Géminis", which will leave you speechless. In this song you will find a considerable amount of sounds, colors, textures, skins, nuances, images, etc. It is that kind of song in which you can have a complete trip around the world, I mean, you are moving while the music sounds, your mind is secretly travelling through the notes and accompanying these designios (designs). Let the music flow, let it rule and take your senses, let it do what it wants to you, and when it finishes, you will feel deeply pleased, satisfied, loved. There is a vast number of adjectives that a song like this can have, but well, after all, this is only me. It is subjective, but I bet you will understand my position once you carefully listen to it. (Actually, once you listen to this whole album).
The album finishes with "Punta Cometa", a song that starts like a deep dream, a minute later the dream is over, time to wake up, so a new day is coming. The acoustic guitar sound is great and perfectly works together with Botello's beautiful voice, creating a charming atmosphere. The song is progressing while the minutes pass, though this time there are no noticeable changes, it is evident that different elements are being added little by little.
What a wonderful album, I am not wrong if I say it is one of the best Mexican albums ever, or at least, one of the best of those which I have listened to. So please people, take a listen to Jose Luis Fernández Ledesma and especially to this gem. You will not regret it. So my final grade is five stars out of five, and it feels good!
If you ever see an album by this man please buy it. Fernandez Ledesma is a genius at arranging and composing music. I have the two albums that came out before this one and also his debut and all of them are not only amazing but different from one another.The common thread is that Avant- garde style. And to be honest that's what threw me when it came to "Designos" and that's why i'm listening to it for the fourth time today. I wasn't expecting such a Symphonic / Folk album with the vocals of Margarita playing such a major role. It's all so good though, I just had to accept the style and then sit back and listen. Lots of that today (haha). It's hard for me to put into words how emotional some of this music makes me feel.Sure there's lots of songs and passages that don't but man this is all good. What's amazing is that on the surface this seems less challenging and adventerous than his other recordings until you really listen and realize how complex the music and arrangements are. And the lyrics ! My God ! It may be sung in Spanish but when I read the English translations I was overwelmed with such imagery and poetry.John Davie
"Ave Luz" has these intricate acoustic guitar melodies as the flute joins in. A beat with vocals joins in quickly. "Salt scented and windy dream. A lost angel drowned by the shore, of shade and name each dawn reminds me; same old days of salt and sand". A calm before 3 minutes then it kicks back in to that earlier soundscape. Some absolutely moving passages here. "Muro Ciego" opens with percussion as a stringed instrument comes in then vocals.A bass horn I think follows in place of the vocals as they take turns.
"Saena" opens with keyboards as drums and synths join in.Great sound here. Flute and percussion follow then violin before 3 minutes.Vocal expressions before 6 1/2 minutes to end it. "Cancion Para Un Solo Dia" is uptempo to start and mostly throughout. Lots of percussion and vocals.Violin before 3 1/2 minutes. "Abismo" has lots of strings and ethnic instruments.Vocals before a minute in this folky track. My least favourite but there's some killer bass 2 minutes in followed by synths as the bass continues to throb.The second half is much better than the first half of this track.
"Los Designios De Cominis" is the almost 18 minute epic. Flute, bass and strummed guitar to start. Organ and vocals take over then it picks up after 2 minutes. Flute and synths lead after 4 minutes. It then kicks in. Love this part. A haunting calm before 6 1/2 minutes.Violin before 9 minutes as it stays mellow. It then builds to a full sound as the tempo and mood continue to shift. Another haunting calm after 12 minutes. It kicks in pretty hard 13 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Great track. "Punta Cometa" is another track like the opening one with lots of moving moments. Atmosphere to start then music a minute in and emotion as vocals join in.
This has really grown on me to the point where 4 stars seems to little. I just can't go higher than that yet. A must for Symphonic / Folk fans who like a little adventure thrown in.
NIRGAL VALLIS once was among the most outstanding bands in Mexican Progressive rock, even though it only released one official album ("Y Murio la Tarde") in 1994, reisssued on the Musea label. Apart from some unreleased songs lost somewhere, die-hard fans won't have the chance to discover tons of new stuff. Jose Luis Fernandez LEDESMA Q., leader of the band, has since begun a solo career. His career is a rather unusual one, since you can find some very symphonic works (Like the first album, "Motivos Para Perderse", released by Musea in 1996), as well as some very experimental stuff. "Designios" (2003) belongs to the first category. This album is a tribute to NIRGAL VALLIS: the track "Abismos" has been wonderfully revisited, while the long "Los Designios De Geminis" suite has finally been made alive for the first time, off the score it seemed to be laid on forever. Well done ! Just enjoy the refinement and preciosity of this little masterpiece.CD Universe
Mexican composer / multi-instrumentalist José Luis Fernández Ledesma was a founding member of the legendary Prog group Nirgal Vallis, which was active in the late 1980s. Since that group disbanded in 1990, he was most prolific as a composer and recorded many of his works, this one being his 14th solo project. Although the music includes mostly new compositions, two of the Nirgal Vallis compositions are re-visited and expanded, revealing their full glory. The music is a dense and complex Symphonic Prog, based on Classical forms and incorporating traditional Mexican folklore. Ledesma plays a plethora of instruments, including various guitars and keyboards, as well as many exotic instruments from all over the world. The vocal parts, which are almost operatic in scope, are performed beautifully by Margarita Botello. Many guest musicians participate, providing the composer with an orchestral cast and creating impressive sound vistas. This is majestic music, which requires repetitive listening to be fully appreciated. There is so much going on at each given moment that it takes time to digest all of it, but the overall effect is truly impressive. Most warmly recommended to serious listeners who are ready to make an effort in order to enjoy their music.Jazzis
José Luis Fernández Ledesma is one of the most important names in Mexican progressive rock. He was the founder of Nirgal Vallis, one of the best Mexican progressive bands ever. On most of his work under his own name, he teams with Margarita Botello, who has a wonderful mezzo soprano voice. Ledesma’s output can be divided into his symphonic prog work and his more experimental ambient-ethno work.Kinesis CD
Designios (2003) might be considered a new Nirgal Vallis album, as after a few albums of his more experimental progressive music, Ledesma returns to symphonic progressive rock. On this CD, Ledesma has re-recorded a couple Nirgal Vallis pieces and added several new compositions. The beautiful voice on this album is Margarita Botello (lyrics in Spanish). Other musicians add violin, cello, flute, clarinet, drums and percussion, while Ledesma handles all manner of guitars, keyboards, and bass. The music blends classic progressive rock with powerful world music, using ancient instruments alongside analog synths, and is bound to remind listeners of the Spanish band Amarok. One can hear similarities to Renaissance (female voice, classical keyboards), pastoral Genesis, Gryphon, a bit of Mike Oldfield, and some slightly jazzy, complex prog between Camel and However. Ledesma is certainly a world-class talent.
Para mí, uno de los trabajos más importantes y disfrutables de este gran músico mexicano... ahora con un disco sinfónico de la puta madre. No se lo pierdan, en serio, es una maravilla. Super-recomendado.