Con Alma is an album and live digital experience of original works by composer Paola Prestini and vocalist and composer Magos Herrera, along with some classics from the Mexican and Jazz songbook, created and recorded remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, that explores the question of how we can find communion in a time of isolation. The album grew out of the personal and collective experience of this moment of deep division - be it spiritual, ideological, political or geographical - and seeks to use music to create a shared sense of the experiences that we are all going through together, alone.
“Nature and mysticism inform the creative flow that Herrera and Prestini draw upon; science and spirit fuse together in potent alchemy.
— Steve Smith, Con Alma liner notes
Con Alma is a result of the impulses that arrested the minds and hearts of two extraordinary artists – the gifted singer-songwriter Magos Herrera and the protean composer Paola Prestini, who also happen to be dear friends – at a time when they were prevented from being together with each other, and with the broader community of fellow artists they work with regularly and love. Drawn from and enriched by timeless passions, historic musical practices, and contemporary responses to a world teetering on the brink of drastic transformation, Con Alma is a document absolutely of its moment.
“Con Alma is a sonic painting representing a 15-year friendship through a collaborative process of writing, telling the story of shared ambitions and triumphs, love, trials, hope, and losses. The artists we worked with form our international musical family, and it’s a joy to be able to connect through this album, leaving an artifact of this time, and our response to the pandemic, alone, but together.”
– Paola and Magos
Magos Herrera and Paola Prestini - Producers
Alex Venguer - Audio Edit and Mastering Engineer
Oscar Zambrano - Audio Mastering
Jeffrey Zeigler - Label Director
Steve Smith - Liner Notes
Kevork Mourad - Album Cover Art
Zan Emerson - Album Design
Emre Özyetiş - Album illustrations
Alexander Sanger – commissioner
Jill and Bill Steinberg - commissioners
with additional support from The Virginal B. Toulmin Foundation, Morgan Stanley, the Alphadyne Foundation, and Casa Cuervo
I don't think that the audience present could have been more receptive to the performance… To say it was "genre-defying" would be an understatement …thrilling, entertaining and moving all at once … [Con Alma] uses music in creating a shared experience--showing that even when we are physically alone, we can have a common experience with others.
This evening was just the healing many of us are seeking —the healing power of soulful art and engaging creative activism.