In a new series of articles, we get the artists themselves to do the hard work and let them tell US what their music means…
Much-celebrated Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are releasing new studio album 11:11 on Rubyworks on Monday, September 7.
Recorded in Ixtapa, Mexico and comprising of 11 new self-written compositions, the record is Rod y Gab’s personal ‘gracias’ to a first XI of musicians, both past and present, who have inspired them along the way.
Here, the duo take us through the new album; sharing their dedications, explaining the meanings behind the song titles and revealing their biggest influences.
“Hanuman is the name of one of the most important personalities in the Indian epic, the Ramayana. It is one of the most popular concepts of devotees of God (bhakti) (devotion to God) in Hinduism. This song is dedicated to Carlos Santana.”
“This one is for Jimi Hendrix. At a young age he was known among his friends and family as Buster. Later, he would write one of his trademark songs, Voodoo Chile.”
“A Sanskrit word meaning the meeting point where three sacred rivers join. It’s dedicated to Le Trio Joubran, an instrumental Oud trio from Palestine. Check out their album Majaz and visit www.letriojoubran.com/en.”
“Greek philosopher Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC) established the term Logos in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the cosmos. Opposites are necessary for life, but they are unified in a system of balanced exchanges. This one’s for guitar master Al Di Meola. No stranger to metal heads like us due to his early rock influences – visit www.aldimeola.com.”
“This is dedicated to Latin jazz pianist Michel Camilo, one of the few artists that has directly influenced our music and inspired us that ain’t a guitarist!!! We recommend his albums Michel Camilo, On Fire and Spain. Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic, the place where Michel was born.”
Master Maqui (featuring acoustic guitar solos by Strunz and Farah)
“Maqui in Quechua – the indigenous language of the Andean region – means hand. In this case the title translation should be in Spanish; Mano Maestra. It’s dedicated to Paco de Lucia. We have met people that still don’t know who he is! The worst part is that a lot of them ‘work’ in the music industry. Shame on them… Paco de Lucia is the music itself.”
“Dedicated to Shakti, the group formed in the mid 70s by guitarist John McLaughlin and Indian violin player L. Shankar. It also featured Zakir Hussain on tabla, R. Raghavan on the mridangam and T. H. ‘Vikku’ Vinayakram on ghatam. A real acoustic fusion, mixing Jazz with Indian music, they were the pioneers of the musical genre ‘world fusion’. Savitri is a Hindu divine solar deity, or the vitalizing power behind the visible sun.”
“The name Hora Zero is taken from Astor Piazzolla’s (RIP) 1992 masterpiece album, Zero Hour. He’s another non guitar artist that has had a massive impact on us since we were kids. His music remains many, many years ahead of its time.”
“Chac Mool is the name of a Toltec (Pre-Colombian Mexican tribe) human figure in a position of reclining with the head up and turned to one side; holding a kind of bowl or tray over the stomach. The meaning of the position remains unknown to this day. This is dedicated to Jorge Reyes (RIP), the Mexican New Age musician who melted Middle Eastern, Indian and Pre-Hispanic influences into his music.”
Atman (featuring electric guitar solo by Alex Skolnick, the metal guitar hero better known for the years he spent as a member of thrash metal legends Testament)
“Atman is a Sanskrit word meaning the only deathless part of the human being. This one is for Dimebag Darrell – metal guitar god and former member of metal band Pantera. Dimebag was shot dead on stage while performing with his last band Damageplan at a venue in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. He influenced and inspired a whole new generation of guitarists around the world; his legacy is as endless as his memory is within us. Visit www.dimebageternal.com.”
“Eleven pieces paying tribute to eleven artists that, somehow, inspired us along the way to play what we play on this album. Dedicated to Pink Floyd.”