Conversations w/ Shepherds, Sheep, Guinea Pigs, and Monkeys​.​.​. Nursery Rhymes For The Underfed Minds Vol. 1

by ricardo iamuuri

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    It's been six years since the CD release ofConversations w/ Shepherds, Sheep, Guinea Pigs, and Monkeys: Nursery Rhymes For The Underfed Minds...Vol. 1.
    Upon its inception this obscure collection of music garnered local acclaim and support and eventually found its way into the hands of a select group of fans and artistic directors who recognized its value. Two of its tracks were featured on the soundtracks and within documentary films produced by WQED Multimedia: In Country: A Vietnam Story(2006) and Jim Crow Pennsylvania (2006).
    A number of CDs were sold but the majority were given away. It was the act of freely sharing this gem of an album that allowed Ricardo Iamuuri to begin to establish an underground movement. Clearly, commercial success was not its ultimate goal, but it achieved something a little more interesting. It became a word-of-mouth album, passed on from one fan to the next. It took on a grassroots movement . . . and faded away like one too.
    Due to his more recent works, Nursery Rhymes For The Underfed Minds...Vol. 1 is suddenly experiencing a resurgence of interest. It is in honor of this current and genuine interest in the music composed by Ricardo Iammuri that a renaissance is taking place.
    ... more

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What's in a name? Well, according to Ricardo Iamuuri, everything! The title of his first conceptual album deserves a little unpacking. It’s not a conceptual album musically, rather the title alone sets the tone and the standard for what is expressed lyrically, allowing Ricardo to approach his subjects and songs with an acute awareness and a provocative delivery.

The four mentioned characters are likened to Jungian archetypes. They are representatives or guides of human behavior and psyche, all carrying with them a sort of ancient collective symbolism. They become the puppets for Ricardo’s play, not in the sense that they have their own personalities and distinct voices but in the reflective light of perspective. The Shepherd clearly assumes the leadership role (religious figures, teachers and politicians), The Sheep represent an assortment of followers, passive and aggressive (even the rebel is consider to be a sheep, according to Ricardo), and The Guinea Pigs and The Monkeys symbolize a kind of dangerous gullibility and an entertaining new form of prostitution and slavery. Ricardo Iamuuri is not averse to owning all of these various characteristics, and he readily admits they make up his personal understanding of self.

The latter portion of the title simply explains the recurring theme consistent in the majority of his work, a balance between levity and gravity, knowing and believing, the child and the adult. In essence, Conversations w/ Shepherds, Sheep, Guinea Pigs, and Monkeys: Nursery Rhymes For The Underfed Minds....Vol. 1 is a window to the quiet conflict of a thoughtful human being determined to know freedom firsthand by way of embracing all of his natural limitations.


released 25 May 2012

all sounds created by: ricardo iamuuri




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ricardo iamuuri Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ricardo Iamuuri is an African American singer-songwriter and performance artist.  Ricardo's music rests firmly upon the foundation of traditional folk music.  His primary influence came through Negro Spirituals sung a cappella by his family choir, "The Gift of Song,"  but the inspiration of musical theatre, urban blues, R&B, soul and classic hip-hop is evident throughout his work. ... more

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