David Archuleta, ALMA Awards

David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Eight: Contigo En La Distancia

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.

Looking back to my previous article on voices.yahoo.com – Positive Career Performances, I stated:

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

When David performed this beautiful Spanish Ballad on the ALMA awards in 2009, I immediately rewarded high praise for yet another inspiring performance:

” ……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.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

7 Responses to “David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Eight: Contigo En La Distancia”

  1. Madeline Alvarez October 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Hello, Thanks Pam and Rosanne, KEEP IT COMING!!! This song and the way David sings it is OUT OF THIS WORLD…I can’t wait for David to come home, he will be overjoyed when he starts to see how much his fans miss him. I’ve been going on all the sites since David left for his mission, and I will continue to do so until his return. Many Thanks for all the “little” things you both do and I don’t mean “LITTLE”. I really enjoy your postings. Keep them coming. Thanks, Madeline


  2. Thank You Pamela and Masterclasslady for your Retrospective Series. Love David’s performance at the Alma Awards. Nobody sings with more heartfelt emotion than David. Love revisiting this performance. Can’t even imagine how David singing Spanish after two years of speaking and singing in spanish during his Mission will sound.
    So nice to read this Professional and “Heartfelt” Review. Thank You


  3. Thanks to both Pam and MCL. What I also enjoy about the performance is the audience reaction. The spontaneous eruption of applause and the look on the faces of those in attendance make me smile.


  4. Thanks everyone. I love reviewing David’s golden voice – pure pleasure. Except I am running out of superlative adjectives in my articles. He is always so smooth, so flawless. But, somehow, I will survive and keep on writing about him. :):)


  5. pikepss@yahoo.com October 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Madeline, Heidijoy & Janey – Your Welcome…..Thanks for sharing your love for David and yes the audience faces showed much admiration and respect for his great talent. And Rosanne, we need a new dictionary just for words describing David and his glorious talent.


  6. “Contigo en la Distancia” is perhaps my all time favorite (if it wasn’t for “When you Way you Love Me”. So now I can’t pick……………..really like the melody of Broken, however, and David wrote that.


  7. Rosanne and Pamela Thanks again for your kind words on David’s immense talent. It is really hard for me to enjoy some many singers out there right now. I can’t help but compare them to David. David always comes out on top.


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