Recording “Be”: Collaboration Across Five Countries

Recording “Be”: A Collaboration Across Five Countries

In Fall of 2017, four friends representing five countries came together to record a song.  We represent different languages, different political systems, different upbringings, and different belief systems.  Yet these differences pale in importance to our friendship, and together we made a little piece of art come alive.

Jane Huang is from the People’s Republic of China, speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, and currently lives in Guangzhou, Southern China.  Busiswa Zondi is from South Africa and the United Kingdom, speaks English and Zulu, and is currently living in Guangzhou as well.  José Luis Vílchez is from Nicaragua and the United States, and Cora Rose is from the United States.  Both Cora and José speak English and Spanish, and were living in Guangzhou at the time of the recording. 


I wrote “Be” in 2011 when I was living in New York City.  I recorded a few demos and had a plan for how I would eventually like to record it, but then it was placed on the shelf for many years.  Fast forward to 2017.  I was living in China, José and I had met and fallen in love, and I was teaching everyday with Jane and Busi.  I wanted to record “Be” and proposed the idea to José, Jane, and Busi.  We came together to make it happen, and it couldn’t have come out more beautifully.  –Cora


Simple roses growing toe-to-toe amid the blue
Skies up above that rain like lovers do
Too soon, too soon to understand the truth
You just sit for a while and be

Longer days and shorter moments mark your working day
Little things forgotten, and some have too much sway
Too soon, too soon to lose an ounce of faith
You just sit for a while and be

And never, ever, ever want the one without the other
Never, ever feel without the two
Adorn your life with stories like the rainbow
And then sit for a while and be

Life she comes with armored roses, shifting by the day
Years lived in sunshine, then some years lived in rain
Too soon, too soon to give in, to be tamed
You just sit for a while a be


Background vocals by Jane Huang, Busiswa Zondi, and Cora Rose
Cajón and clarinet by José Luis Vílchez
Guitar and main vocal by Cora Rose

Written by Cora Rose
Recorded in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
Mixed and mastered by José Alejandro Munguía Fonseca, SuprAural Studios, León, Nicaragua

Video edited by Cora Rose
Video color correction by José Luis Vílchez

“Be” is available for download on iTunes, Amazon, and is available for streaming on Spotify.