OpenLIVES exile meets Spanish singer/songwriter

Following on from the last posting ‘OpenLIVES inspires Spanish singer/songwriter,’ there is an update!  Just to remind you: internationally renowned singer, Clara Sanabras had written four songs based on the life of one of our OpenLIVES exiles, Germinal Luis Fernandez, to perform at a concert and complement her latest album, Scattered Flight. Turner Sims Professor of Music, Harvey Brough arranged the compositions and trained the University of Southampton Voices to accompany Clara. Over Christmas, one of the OpenLIVES team, Miguel Arrebola, from the University of Portsmouth, arranged for Clara and Harvey to meet with Germinal in Barcelona. Here is his account of the meeting:

Clara, Harvey and I met with Germinal in Barcelona after Christmas. Clara and I had exchanged a few emails earlier, but I met her for the first time at her concert at Southampton University. Just before her concert started she said “we are recording my songs for Germinal, I hope it works”. Seeing Clara singing so beautifully about the life of our friend was magical and I couldn’t stop smiling.

Miguel Arrebola, Clara Sanabras and Germinal Luis Fernandez

Miguel Arrebola, Clara Sanabras and Germinal Luis Fernandez

When a few days later we all met in Barcelona, Clara gave the recording of her concert to Germinal in an exquisitely handmade folder, full of colour and textures, much like her voice. Germinal was chuffed to bits and said he could not wait to go home and watch it. His grandchildren were there visiting from the USA, but he was going to wait and watch the concert with the whole family.

We were all very very happy and after lots of hugs and kisses we went our separate ways. Germinal has promised to tell me what he thinks  next time I see him…

by Miguel Arrebola

And here is a video recording of two of Clara’s songs, based on Germinal’s story: America to Us and Y lo que es la vida. The first recounts his impressions on arriving in his home of exile, the USA; the second responds to his reunion with his parents after 7 years apart.

Kate Borthwick


About LLAS projects team

The LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies at the University of Southampton run projects related to these subject areas, and offer staff development training and events.
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