By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic
Pamela Pike’s Recollections
This song will always have a place in my heart after watching David Archuleta perform this beautiful Cuban ballad written in 1946 by Filin songwriter, Cesar Pertillo de la Luz. The lyrics seemed to be written with David and his heartfelt emotions in mind. “Nothing can console me if you’re not here too”……those lyrics were felt in my heart. His interpretation was so great a translation into English wasn’t even necessary to understand its meaning.
Filin is a way to sing or rather a song with feeling. Cesar Portillo de la Luz once remarked: Every way capable of communicating something is a good way of singing. Filin is sung with the heart and above all with honesty. David Archuleta was asked to sing this song for his Year in Music Alma Award and it was the perfect match of beauty and artistry.
Luis Miguel and Christina Aguilera have had great success with their versions, but I feel David’s rendition gave us the greatest amount of emotions and feelings of love within the lyrics.
If there were any events that moved David’s career closer to stardom it would have to be at the Alma Awards in September 2009, singing Contigo de la Distancia. He definitely rose to the occasion and raised the bar higher for all other entertainers that evening and in the future
For 3 minutes and 41 seconds I floated through his song hoping it would never end. My eyes tearing watching this young singer bring brilliance to the TV Screen. My thoughts quickly went to his mother sitting in the audience. How beamingly proud she must feel at that moment watching her son tenderly caress the American public with his artistry.
David’s effortless vocal talent captures the mood for love in perfect style with feeling and incredible passion. He casts a spell on his audiences with his beautiful voice. How can we possibly put into words the way in which he makes us feel when he sings? There is something about his voice that opens our hearts and transports us to another place.
It was his first time singing in Spanish on television, and with only a guitar player, David Thomas Hopkins, and his vocals, he mesmerized the audience. His performance was flawless and he received a standing ovation.
Note: David won the Year in Music ALMA Award – NCLA – National Council of La Raza’s New Artist Award – The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy group in the United States, focused on improving opportunities for Hispanics.
Rosanne Simunovic’s Recollections
” ……I have received numerous emails about David Archuleta’s outstanding and inspiring performance of ” Contigo En La Distancia” (With You While You Are Away) at the 2009 ALMA Awards.
Let me just say that, if you have not seen or heard David’s Spanish number, you are in for a very memorable musical treat. David’s artistry continues to enfold and soars to remarkable heights during the performance of this song.
Oftentimes, the refinement of his technical skills astounds me – he never veers from the proper technical approach in his singing style. Yet, at the same time, his voice sounds fluid, relaxed, liberated and soulful.
His Spanish pronunciation is exquisite and meaningful. He feels every word, every nuance and this is the key to David Archuleta’s musical gifts. He is a vocal narrator of the highest order and makes absolutely certain that his musical heart and passion reaches the center of our soul.
And, did you notice the depth of his lower range at the beginning of the main section of the song, as he sang the words “No hay bella melodia”? The rich timbre of his baritone voice has definitely increased in volume – just gorgeous. This will continue to grow and flourish with each passing year.
In closing, the strong visual and aural presentation of this song was extraordinary.
And, almost two years later, this song still casts a spell over my heart. The manner in which he embraces every word, pacing his delivery with exquisite taste and nuance, is a Masterclass lesson for all to behold.
I have always been such a huge fan of Latino music. I am Italian by heritage and the languages are so close and the cultures almost identical.
Therefore, to hear such a young artist perform this beautiful Spanish ballad with impeccable taste and refinement was a very special experience for me, one that I could truly savor and appreciate. It is a singer’s language, for, even spoken, the language has a singable quality that lends itself naturally to a beautiful melodic line.
David clearly deserved his ALMA award – his talent is extraordinary and his passion and gift for music unparalleled.