The Story of Jonja
El Cuento De Jonja
Jonja was born in a mountain near the desert. His father was the engineer of an “avant garde“ hotel construction on top of the Valley. His mother suffered from a postpartum depression, which made the old man plunge in his work. Although they were both loving people her madness forced their faithful friend “Shaman” to assume the kid's parental duties.
Shaman ingested mescaline to connect with family and ancestors that had been murder in the Amazonas jungle by the dangerous indigenous tribe “garimpeiros”. Spirits raised his energy to a frequency that also allowed him to see and interact with the mountain’s parallel world. It was home to animals with musical instruments attached to their bodies, fairies, and a majestic tree that had eternally guided them. It was unknown to humans and impossible for them to discover, because of their low energies’ frequency.
No other human had been born in the mountain before, that made Jonja a special boy. Although he had the looks and behavior of any kid, he was very different from all of them; the mountain granted him a secret power that opened a door to the magical place.
The secret was discovered by Shaman: Jonja was running behind fairies Clarita and Cosmica, while wise Tigo the Tree waited alongside inhabitants of the mysterious forest beneath the mountain; the boy had been given the power to cross a hidden portal, interact and be part of the mysterious mountain’s parallel world.
Jonja grew up as an active member of society, although he naturally connected to an energy beyond human perception. Every night he joined his secret family to celebrate their world through songs of unconditional love, this is how Jonja mastered his craft playing instruments, singing and revolving life around music. Songs were a powerful tool to heal wounds humans constantly perpetrated to each others' hearts.
The boy was naive, had a virtuous imagination and was always surrounded by kindness, which awakened concerns in Shaman. In his mind, human behaviors were not trustworthy and not even his parents knew the secret; for years he explained Jonja why he could never reveal his gift to anyone. Shaman wanted to make Jonja understand the consequences shall this be revealed. Nevertheless during adolescence Jonja fell in love with his high school sweatheart.
At first it was perfect, intense and unique. Both had never experienced that kind of happiness before but although he’d been warned since childhood that it was imposible for humans to see the magical world, he was also taught since childhood that the power of unconditional love could break chains, move mountains and win above any adversity. That was the only kind of love he knew and the reason he decided to take a risk and invite his beloved to cross to the paralell world with him. Sadly he was about to discover it was a foolish decision from a teenager in love.
Innocence paid its price when taking his girlfriend to the portal promising a surprise. He was being completely honest and pure of heart and this gave him confidence. When they got to there she couldn't see anything while Jonja slowly faded back and forward like a video game’s glitch. The young woman desperately started screaming -“What is this nonsense?” - “I saw you fading, you were disappearing” - “take me home now” - “lunatic” - she got twice as scared when realizing they were alone on top of a mountain.
When they returned to the bus station, with a heartless tone she asked him to refrain from contacting her ever again. Right after that moment Jonja locked down in his cabin with no intention of coming out. He turned into in a hermit dynamic for a while, desperately forcing Shaman to find a solution. Jonja promised himself never to deal with humans again, he understood how they were all judgmental towards things outside their reach and grasped that his gift would be a fantasy to them.
Shaman convinced him to approach mentor Tigo for guidence, advice and enlightenment. Jonja followed Shaman’s advice and crossed the portal… suddenly they were both in front of Tigo the wise tree… no words were spoken as a harp sounded in the background… the song “El mismo Lugar” was beginning.
Immediately instrument animals grouped and took their seats while Clarita and Cosmica welcomed Jonja to the ceremony. There was perfect symmetry and musical connection to the beautiful story they were about to tell. Standing on a stone his was ready to sing, and so the journey had just begun; Jonja would cross and never come back to our world.
Journalist Mariana Gomez review of the album in 2020 (@marianitago)
The Story of Jonja: a melancholic folk fantasy trip
Javier García (#YEI/Telegrama) and Ruben Gutiérrez (Gaêlica) team up to create the album: “ El Cuento De Jonja” (The story of Jonja) a musical journey through a parallel fantasy world. Dense emotions and melancholy are the guidance principle of it’s songs.
The story was first brought by Garcia to his friends Miguel Vazquez ( V.A.M) and Juan Daniel Gonzalez (Donde Jack) to back up demos that were intended for an EP. They both help Garcia to create a world around his story and Songs ended up in the hands of producer Ruben Gutierrez. He encouraged Javier to make an album and this one quickly invited Juan Daniel González alongside wife Sol Dominguez to create the project’s visual aesthetic.
Each song in the story of Jonja is a universe of its own, at the same time they keep a connection to each other. Voices that emulate fairies and musical textures that create atmospheres of an enchanted world are some of the resources highlighted in the music, wich is full of spite and the nostalgia of heartbreaks in love.
“A child is born with the unique gift to see and interact with the mountain’s parallel universe. It is a metaphor of unconditional love which crosses the threshold between autobiographic experiences and personal events of whoever listens to it.” - Said #YEI about the narrative that inspired the 9 songs for this record.
The album explores a combination between indie and Venezuelan folk adding epic orchestral moments such as an ethnic guitar clash on the powerfull track “Shaman”. A variety of instruments like banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitars and those of Venezuelan folklore such as harp and a “Cuatro guitar” were used not in accordance with latin or native rhythms, but rather generating a contrast none expects from those elements. “We walk through orchestral music several times creating a mixture that we called junkie Folk.”
The story of Jonja defines it’s collaborative nature with several musical guests: Alissa Lovera and Ava Casas, recognized harpist Eduardo Betancourt, multi instrumentalist José Gabriel Figueira, keyboard player Jon Carlos Medina and top noch drummer Gonzalo Suárez. This contributions enriched the record’s proposal.
“El Cuento de Jonja” is available on all streaming platforms: Spotify, Itunes, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud, Deezer. Also on Instagram: @elcuentodejonja