Published November 02, 2012
Seattle duo Correo Aereo to play two shows in Olympia this weekendMOLLY GILMORE
When Abel Rocha and Madeleine Sosin met, the result was love love for one another and love for the traditional music of Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela.Two decades later, much has changed for Rocha and Sosin, who are known as the world-music duo Correo Aereo, but one thing that hasnt is their love for and commitment to the music.We used to be married, and were still artistically married and we are family, but we havent been a couple for a long time, Sosin said.However, the romance of their meeting is undeniable.When I laid eyes on Abel and heard the way he played the harp, which was gorgeous and muscular and joyful, I was enchanted, Sosin said.When we got married, we spent our entire honeymoon creating the first repertoire for the band, she said. We were totally broke, and it was winter. This woman we knew was out of town. We were watching her house and staying warm in her kitchen by the fireplace and creating music.We took all the money we had, which was really nothing about $300 and we made our first recording.Since that cassette-tape start, Correo Aereo (Spanish for air mail) has made three more albums, including this years Semillas de Inmensidad, and has had its music featured on several NPR programs and included in Putumayo Records compilations. The band also has moved, first to Austin, Texas, where it won the prestigious Austin Music Award for Best Traditional Mexican/Latino Act, and then to Seattle.They are performing tonight and Saturday in Olympia.What drew me here was the beauty of the nature, the Puget Sound and the mountains, the islands, the big trees, the flowers, Sosin said.While the Northwest might seem a long way from the music that Correo Aereo plays, Rocha said that the United States feels culturally very far from Mexico no matter the region of the country. Meanwhile, Sosin, who grew up in Minneapolis and loved world music from an early age, considers herself a citizen of the world.Every place is a little bit international, if its a major city, she added.Asked how hes adjusted to the Northwests chilly and wet weather, Rocha, a native of Mexico, said it is no more challenging than coping with the heat of Austin.Many people think that Mexico is hotter just because it is further south, he said, but its not. Mexico has very mild weather, and I grew up in a place that was very mild.Despite their very different backgrounds, both artists were immersed in world music from their childhoods. I was turned on to flamenco very, very young music and dance and the rest of the world, I was just dying to hear it, Sosin said. It wasnt easy to find.She found the music of Cuba, Africa and India, klezmer music and more.But it was from Rocha that she learned the traditional music for which the duo is known. The music that Im playing with Abel, I had not ever heard in my life until I met Abel, she said. Hes my teacher.And if the ending of Rocha and Sosins story is not something from a fairy tale, it is a happy one. I feel really blessed for what we have together, what we create together, Sosin said.