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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus Creatives: Rahe DesPortes


    As an artist, Angelica Rahe Pozo-DesPortes is known by her middle name, pronounced “”Ray.”” She graduated from the UA last year, and has since released her first fully produced album, “”Out of the Box.”” Her work is an original and compelling blend of many styles and cultures, from South American influences to soul, jazz and Flamenco. She sings and writes her own music, and plays Spanish-style nylon string guitar.

    Rahe received her B.A. in language translation, with a focus in Spanish and Portuguese. “”I love language, which has really fed into my art,”” Rahe said. Although she did not study music, Rahe took a class called “”Careers in Music.”” There, she met lecturer Marty Khan and his wife Helene Cann, who have a cultural organization called “”Outward Visions.”” The company now manages Rahe and helped her produce her album.

    On Friday, Rahe will perform with her group of musicians at Rhythm & Roots at Plaza Palomino. In addition to Rahe’s vocals, the show will feature tenor, alto and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, drumming, percussion, nylon string guitar and even a Spanish cajon. “”I’m looking to establish myself as an international artist, and I want Tucson to be my home base,”” Rahe said. At the show, she plans to play songs from the album, and to test the waters with new material.

    Tell me about your music. What is your inspiration? What can you tell us that will help us get to know you as an artist?

    Basically, I’ve spent my whole life traveling the world. My father is originally from Spain, I spent a lot of time as a kid in southern Spain. I lived in Japan, and I lived in numerous places in the United States.

    And along the way I just picked up a lot of languages and cultures. So my music is a mixture of all kinds of influences from around the world. … This album is basically an example of all of that. It has Spanish, Portuguese and English songs — songs in all three languages, and it features my new band. … There are saxophones, bass clarinets, marimbas, a great drummer and percussion, and all kinds of instrumentation that features each place and each kind of mood. I like to use that as inspiration in my composition. It’s a really exciting project that we’re all really proud of.

    How does it feel, as an artist, to have your first real release? What’s that been like for you?

    It’s an incredible feeling. I’ve wanted to make an album for a long time, and (this album) is really special because it’s exactly what I saw when I was writing those songs … All the musicians gave a lot of creative input, and I really opened (my music) to let them interpret it from their standpoints. It was a very organic, collective process. All of them … felt the music. They lived it and they breathed it, and that’s what comes across. We recorded the album very old-school. We all played together, live in the studio, which is what they used to do before they had track-by-track recording. So that’s another element, that live, vibrant feel that the music has, and we transferred that into the record.

    Is there anything you hope to say with the music that you make? How do you use your music to connect with people?

    I think music is the universal language. It’s something that crosses all barriers. Having had the childhood that I did, a lot of times I would come to a place, and I wouldn’t have any idea what the language was, or any idea how to speak it. I didn’t have any idea about the culture, really, or any of the things you could know about a new place. But music has always been my means of connecting with people and expressing myself, and I think it’s the most powerful way to do that. I just want to bring that to the rest of the world. I think that there’s a unity we can find through music and creating it together. For me, the audience who listens is just as important as the people that are playing it. … And that’s what I love about playing music live and why I wanted to make the recording based on that too. I wanted it to be real. There’s nothing more pure and more beautiful to me.

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