I Love You Like Spain

Art Songs By Monika Gurak

Monika Gurak composer
Chelsea Melamed mezzo-soprano
Jo Greenaway piano

Release Date: July 23, 2021
Catalog #: NV6357
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Vocal Music
Piano
Voice

Monika Gurak certainly is no ordinary songwriter: not just because of her academic background, but also because of her love of foreign cultures. Her linguistic fluency in English, Spanish, and Polish heavily influences her work on I LOVE YOU LIKE SPAIN from Navona Records: the songs are sung in English, but the music comes with a generous helping of both Iberian exoticism as well as Polish sensibility.

Love and freedom are the central subjects here, and Gurak profoundly explores the depths of these sometimes contradictory values in her lyrics. Solemn declarations of love, hope, and the levity of new romance form an alternating current which remains eternally relatable – a unifying theme even beyond all ideas of culture and language.

“Hope is…”, a song from this album made Gurak the winner of the Canadian category of the 2021 Arcady-RBC Emerging Composer Competition.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 I Love You Like Spain Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 3:32
02 Hope Is... Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 4:19
03 Freedom Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 3:20
04 I Forgive You Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:58
05 I Would Like To Dance with You Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 3:50
06 Do You Think... Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:49
07 We’re Going to Talk Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:31
08 Silence Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 3:42
09 I Have a Secret Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 4:08
10 Do You Want to Keep Trying? Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:31
11 All I Know Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 1:56
12 Freedom, I Love Thee! Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:17
13 Lessons in Love Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 3:08
14 I Am Free Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 1:27
15 Writing About You Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:41
16 Is It a Story Of... Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 2:45
17 I Got You Monika Gurak Chelsea Melamed, mezzo-soprano; Jo Greenaway, piano 4:08

Recorded in October & November 2020 at MH Studios Toronto in Toronto ON, Canada
Recorded and produced by Jon Lillo
Cover photo Wojciech Gurak

General Manager of Audio & Sessions Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Lewis

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Monika Gurak

Composer

An award-winning composer and songwriter, Monika Gurak graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Composition with honours from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, as well as with a master’s degree from the Department of Music, York University. York University additionally gave her a merit-based entrance scholarship. She also took courses in writing songs and music production at Berklee Online, where she received a certificate. In addition, Monika is an alumna of the Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies, University of Warsaw.

Learn More

Chelsea Melamed

Mezzo-Soprano

Recognized for her commanding stage and vocal presence, mezzo-soprano Chelsea Melamed is quickly making a name for herself as an artist to watch. In the 2019 season, Chelsea debuted the role of Jiyan in the world premiere of the opera Friday After Friday by Leanna Kirchoff in New York City.

She also performed with SongFest as a recipient of the 2019 Eva & Marc Stern Fellowship, and the Toronto Summer Music Academy Art of Song program as a vocal fellow. For the 2017-2018 season, Chelsea joined the Studio Artist program at Opera Santa Barbara, where performances included Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Javotte in Massenet’s Manon. Recent role highlights include Dorothée (Cendrillon), Page of Herodias (Salome), and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). Chelsea holds a doctoral degree in voice from CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) and a master’s degree in voice from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

photo: Jessica Osber osberphotos.com

Jo Greenaway

Jo Greenaway

Pianist

Jo Greenaway is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach in Toronto ON.  She holds a M.Mus in Collaborative Piano, a B.Mus (Hons) in Theory and Composition with a specialization in French Literature from the University of Western Ontario, as well as her ARCT in performance from the Royal Conservatory.

She has attended programs such as the Opera Nuova program in Edmonton AB, and the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy, and spent several years working as a coach for UWOpera in London ON.  She has toured China with Opera Jeunesse as pianist/musical director, and was music director for the inaugural season of Ottawa’s Capitol City Opera.  From 2010 to 2018 she spent her summers on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory’s summer program in Arezzo, Italy, and in 2019 began working as a music director for Summer Opera Lyric Theatre in Toronto.

photo: Helen Tansey

Notes

This album is inspired by everyday life. The songs evoke everyone’s need of love and everyone’s yearning for freedom. Love and freedom are essential in life, and there cannot be any love without the freedom of one’s mind.

Love is the water
Love is the air
Freedom the lungs
Freedom the well

I hope you enjoy my art songs about love and freedom.

— Monika Gurak

Texts

(Verse 1)
I love you like Spain, oh! Lady Spain
She’s warm and sunny like you, ooh
Oh, isn’t she bursting with colours, reds and greens,
And stunning shades of blues of her ocean views

(Chorus)
Cause, baby, you’re to me
As colourful as can be
You spent years in my dreams
And then one day you broke free
To be here with me, with me

(Verse 2)
I love you like Spain, oh! good old friend
She’s loyal and royal, and free, wait and soon you’ll see
Oh, dancing with you is so fine and full of grace
Let’s dance and sing like the wind dances in her trees

(Chorus)
Cause, baby, you’re to me
As fabulous as can be
You spent years in my dreams
And then one day you broke free
To be here with me, with me

(Verse 1)
When storms in my life grow stronger
And colours fade out to greys
When I can’t hold on any longer
You pull me close and you say:

(Chorus)
Hope is a blooming flower
Hope is the rising sun
Hope is your hand in my hand
When I know you’re the one
Hope is the starry heavens
A butterfly on the run
Hope is your voice on the cell phone
Cause I know you’re the one

(Verse 2)
I’m slowly absorbing the meaning
Your words are true and sweet
I must play the game to start winning
You stroke my head and repeat:

(Verse 3)
Then I get up and I ponder
And fix up the broken wings
Life is filled with such wonder
Now I stand tall and I sing:

(Verse 1)
When your horizon has a limit
You carve out stars from the dome
Watching butterflies before they’re gone
And dreaming your own dream

(Chorus)
Air, be mine again
Life, be mine again

(Verse 2)
When time is leading you too fast
And colours fade away with every tear
You steal bright moments you know won’t last
Still hoping for the best

(Chorus)
Air, be mine again
Life, be mine again

(Verse 3)
When best can’t come and better’s gone
And you don’t recognize your shadow
Freedom’s what you’re after and a pair of eyes
To tell you it’s alright, it’s alright, alright.

(Chorus)
Air, be mine again
Life, be mine again

(Verse 1)
Snow covered streets
Filled with dust
Wind changes hearts
With every gust
I am still thinking
About us two
What went wrong
What we both went through

(Chorus)
I forgive you for all those times you tore me apart
I forgive you for trying to stop my beating heart
And I forgive you for every fear you caused
And I forgive you for me being lost

(Verse 2)
What we once lost
Won’t come back
Storm in my head
Faded to black
Nothing can touch me
And this is true
What we had
Is now gone for good

(Chorus)
I forgive you for all those times you tore me apart
I forgive you for trying to stop my beating heart
And I forgive you for every fear you caused
And I forgive you for me being lost

(Bridge)
Silence in my head just tells me this
There is room for someone new I can’t dismiss

(Chorus)
I forgive you for all those times you tore me apart
I forgive you for trying to stop my beating heart
And I forgive you for every fear you caused
And I forgive you for me being lost

(Verse 1)
The velvety air breathes with warmth
It tells me I’m not alone
Though a distance separates us
One day we’ll get home cause:

(Chorus)
I would like to dance with you
On the soft sand of the beach
Water gently reaching us
And wetting our feet
I would like to dance with you
In the moonlight of the night
Darling, would you like that, too?
Do you feel it’d be alright?

(Verse 2)
I promise I’ll try harder this time
I don’t want to fail you, oh no!
I’ll hold on for as long as you need me
So please don’t let go cause:

(Verse 1)
Do you think your voice on the phone
Can one day somehow lead me home?
Cause I wouldn’t like to get to know one day
That there’s nothing left of it all again

(Verse 2)
Do you think your touch when we’re close
Can repair in my heart all the holes?
Cause I wouldn’t like to get to know one day
That someone shot me from up close again

(Verse 3)
Do you think your eyes that capture all my moves
Can, when I need it, see me through?
Cause I wouldn’t like to get to know one day
That for better or for worse means nothing again

(Verse 1)
Like two fish in the ocean
That only see the air bubbles
And scales of their friend
We’re going to talk

(Verse 2)
Like two dogs on the playground
That only bark to each other
And wag their tails
We’re going to talk

(Chorus)
I guess it’s in the air
The talk is imminent
I guess it’s in the air
The talk of sentiments

(Verse 3)
Like two leaves on a tree branch
That only rustle with the wind
And notice the raindrops
We’re going to talk

(Verse 4)
Like two birds in the air, up high
That only sing to each other
And admire their beauty
We’re going to talk

(Verse 1)
Days changed to weeks
And weeks changed to months
Nothing has happened
Words crossed our ears
And they crossed our eyes
Has nothing happened?

(Chorus)
Silence, thick and grey
Silence, gloomy day
Silence, only a butterfly plays
The melody of its wings
Silence, funny state
Silence, will you wait?
Silence, only a mulberry sways
With sadness that it brings

(Verse 2)
There is still love
And there is still hope
Will it suffice?
It takes one move
To make all this work
It must suffice

(Verse 1)
I can feel you watching me
Are you happy with what you see?
I can feel you suspecting me
Yes, there is some unknown in me

(Chorus)
I have a secret
That has thorns like a rose
But like a rose, is crimson and beautiful
I have a secret
I’ll let it out when we’re close
Cause it is so delicate and subtle

(Verse 2)
I would like to calm you down
It’s less scary than it sounds
Settling it right here, right now
Doesn’t appeal to me somehow

(Verse 3)
Do you feel you have to go?
Cause I want to let you know
That my soul’s as white as snow
And you’re close to finding it out, so close

(Verse 1)
You opened the door
And I entered
You made me stop crying
I counted to four
I felt better
Do you want to keep trying?

(Verse 2)
You blinked and you smiled
And I melted
I felt like I was flying
You thought: “One more try”
And I failed you
Do you want to keep trying?

(Verse 3)
I screamed and I kicked
On the inside
I heard you sighing
I hid cause I panicked
Then I cried
Do you still want to keep trying?

(Verse 1)
I’m doing all I can
Please believe me
But I’m without a detailed plan
Please forgive me
All I know
Is that I love you so

(Verse 2)
I’m hearing what you say
Please believe me
But I don’t really want to play
Please forgive me
All I know
Is that I love you so

(Verse 3)
I’m reaching out to you
Please believe me
And I’m sorry that you’re feeling blue
Please forgive me
All I know
Is that I love you so

(Verse 1)
I’m almost free
Still, it’s not the same
As it should be
I dream about the old times
Expect what there will be
Still the present is not appealing much to me

Freedom, I love thee!

(Verse 2)
I watch the birds
That come to my place
They’ve seen the world
They’ve roamed the furthest spots
They have their liberty
And that is what I’m dreaming now for me

Freedom, I love thee!

(Verse 3)
If I could fly
And leave what’s binding me
I’d soar up high
The past is just the past
The future’s calling me
But freedom’s just a long-awaited dream

Freedom, I love thee!

(Verse 1)
I keep waiting
You keep waiting
For love
We have a feeling
Sometimes know
That it’s close

It’s hiding in our minds
And showing in the air
And when I look into your eyes it’s there

(Verse 2)
I keep waiting
You keep waiting
For love
How much longer
Who can know that?
We don’t

But when the time is right
The obstacles apart
I know I’ll have the access to your heart

(Bridge)
Lessons in love
Don’t ever give up
When you feel there’s hope

(Verse 3)
I keep waiting
You keep waiting
For love
When the sun sets
When it rises
Above

You’re always on my mind
You walk and sleep with me
I’m bound to you, still you make me so free

I am free
No feelings binding me
It feels alright
Though it’s not how it should be

(Verse 1)
The silence has passed
And the hollowness, too
My voice has returned
But I won’t follow you

(Verse 2)
No more I-love-you’s
As Annie sings
I’ll get inspiration
From what life can bring

(Chorus)
And I’ll chase the stars
Go after their glare
Depicting their beauty
Is always fair

And I’ll chase the flora
The fauna, the world
I’ll look for the girl
I was before

(Verse 3)
This song is too long
The meaning has ended
For the sake of the structure
I will have to extend it

(Verse 4)
Love is a creature
That needs loving back
Otherwise, the feeling
Quickly fades to black

(Verse 1)
Sometimes I wonder what would have been
If our paths hadn’t wound up here
And you and I hadn’t met
Would I be happy or would I be sad?
Would it be good or would it be bad?
If we hadn’t done what we had

(Chorus)
Is it a story of coincidences
Or conscious choices?
Is it a story of ideal paths
Or wide awake voices?
Is it a story written in the stars
Or is it a story that we chose to be ours?

(Verse 2)
Sometimes I wonder: why is it why
That I had to cry all the tears that I cried
And try the things that I tried?
Is it to end up with the right man
Or to fulfill the wish of the mighty heaven?
Will I ever know why, oh, why?

(Verse 1)
When the seasons start to change
And life to rearrange
I know there is one thing that’s solid
When there’s no one left to chat with
And life’s boring and flat
You’ll come to the rescue, I know it

(Chorus)
I got you
I got you
I got you
And I feel good

(Verse 2)
When I’m eyeing my prize
But obstacles arise
You smile and the winning is closer
When it’s hard to carry on
With friendly people gone
You joke and the whole world just opens

(Verse 3)
When what I smell’s defeat
You say I’m hard to beat
And soon I’m regaining my spirit
You’re always by my side
Together in this ride
You’re mine, you belong here, I feel it!