Tune of the Week: La Folia by Matteo Ramon Arevalos
Originally a Spanish song released in 1672 (even earlier than that if you’re really paying attention), La Folia is a 2023 release by musician and composer Matteo Ramon Arevalos. With his album released on the Tunitemusic record label, this theme goes back so far it’s also been composed by the likes of Vivaldi, Lully, Corelli, and at least 150 different composers over the years. Likely, none of them has done what the virtuoso piano player, Arevalos has accomplished in this attempt.
Arevalos’ La Folia is quite frankly, a bit horrifying. As it’s a completely piano-based version of the song, it does little to remind me of the other versions played over the years. It sounds as if it's from somewhere far darker than that. For me, this version of La Folia is where the idea of a fearful resolution comes from. It’s scary and venial. It may only be music, but it's a track that Arevalos designed in order to make you uncomfortable. You’re meant to hear it, feel the disconcertion, then be afraid to hear it again and again.
It’s bad enough if you’re already thinking your time is over, but it is only a song after all. You're still alive and able to listen again if you'd like. You still have ears that can hear and a mouth that can open even more widely. La Folia wants you to hear it. It wants you to feel its off-putting jabs at the piano. It wants you to feel the uncleanliness it brings. It’s like it thickens itself alongside your ears with every new note. This version of La Folia (Theme) wants to play with your emotions in the worst way possible, and it wants you to know what's happening as it plays along.
Play La Folia, Play…
Sounding like something I might try on a piano if you walked into my home and I actively tried to freak you out, this version of La Folia is much too unfamiliar for the average listener to handle on their own. That’s the beauty of it. You only need to clear this hurdle one time before you begin to really understand the devilishness of Matteo Ramon Arevalos. To take a song originally published in 1672 and make a version of it so haunting that the similarities of past pieces barely hold at all. It’s almost too much to take.
So don’t be afraid to listen to the Arevalos version of La Folia. A beautifully crafted song could work in a similar way to the 2002 film The Ring where a video is so chilling there is a girl in the film haunts her targets until they die a week later. While I doubt anything will extend from your speakers to snuff out your light, it’s fun to listen knowing I could be completely wrong about that part. Keep that in mind as you give La Folia a listen today.
More new songs can be found on Tunitemusic Spotify playlists! We update our playlists on a daily basis and are always looking for new talents to share with our audience.