Paso A Paso: Sounds of the Himalayas

THE STORY BEHIND PASO A PASO

It was late at night somewhere along the Everest Base Camp trail.  We were snuggled deep into our sleeping bags, our only defense against a brutal cold.  I was thinking about the project I was working on: capturing sounds of the high Himalayas.  The sound of wind whipping through a valley, rushing mountain streams, the soft ding of prayer wheels, the gentle tinkling of yak train bells, even the crunch of the trail beneath our feet.

I’m not sure where it came from, but suddenly the idea entered my mind to build a song from these sounds.  How interesting would it be to create a song, in which every bit of sound comes from the landscape and was recorded there?  The humming melody from Paso A Paso immediately filled my mind, and I reached my arm out into the cold to grab my phone to record it.

The next morning, I shared the idea of Paso A Paso with José and he was fully on board.  For the next two weeks, we worked together to capture the video and audio for this piece.  The vocals and ukelele were recorded at various points along the trail.  The percussive elements consist of our footsteps on the trail, prayer bells, a river, a piece of glass I found along the path, and the deep rumble of a glacier.  José filmed, edited, and produced the music video, building it with the video we captured specifically for the project as well as the vast body of film and timelapses he painstakingly captured during our trek.

For me, one of the most magical elements of this song is a chorus of hikers and locals singing together in a cozy tea house at 15,580ft.  Every evening along the trail, trekkers and locals convene in teahouses to sip tea and attempt to glean some heat from the room’s central stove.  One night I plucked up the courage to speak to everyone in the room, explaining our project and how I would like to record everyone in the teahouse singing the chorus together.  We sang together, and something in the energy of the room shifted.  The rest of the night the room was filled with warm laughter, dancing, and stories.  It was a beautiful night, and my favorite of the entire journey.

LYRICS

Hey you, con la vida that you didn’t choose
Hey you, with the burden que controla tu mundo
Hey you, quien naciste with a silver spoon
Hey you, con cada oportunidad en el mundo
Paso a paso, paso a paso
Es imposible sue vivamos every day the same

Cada uno con su lucha, con su mountain to tame

Lyrics in English
Hey you, with the life that you didn’t choose
Hey, you, with the burden that controls your world
Hey you, born with a silver spoon
Hey you, with every opportunity in the world
Step by step, step by step
It’s impossible that we live every day the same
Every one with his struggle, with his mountain to tame

La Letra en Español
Hey tú, con la vida que no escogiste
Hey tú, con la cruz que controla tu mundo
Hey tú, quien naciste en la cuna de oro
Hey tú, con cada oportunidad en el mundo
Paso a paso, paso a paso
Es imposible que vivamos siempre el mismo día
Cada uno con su lucha, con su montaña que escalar

CREDITS

Written, recorded, and produced by Cora Rose
Video filmed and edited by José Luis Vílchez
Audio mixed and mastered by José Alejandro Munguía Fonseca, Supra Aural Studios, León, Nicaragua
All tracks recorded with a Zoom H2n Handheld Microphone

Paso A Paso is available for download and streaming on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

Art We There Yet?

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