Welcome to the first post of the new collection of blog entries featuring exceptional musicians who are creating their own new and different path successfully! The Almost Fearless Musicians
I wish they will be a fantastic example of how things can be done in a different way, and I think that their story can be very inspiring for many of us. Keep reading and enjoy!
In which aspect do you think you are “Almost Fearless”?
"In opening my soul to the audience"
In your opinion, what’s the music role in our society today?
Music has the power to humanize people and make them feel an infinite array of emotions. Music helps us to connect people through a magical and universal language so that we all meet in the space where habitat the most basic element of life, the one that makes us all the same.
What do you want your audiences to feel in your concerts?
I want them to discover and connect with their own emotions. Music is a key to open the door of anyone’s sensitivity.
Can you share one difficult moment you had during your career? What did you learn from it?
Challenges are part of life and all of them have a lesson to be learned from. Over twenty years ago, I remember vividly the first time that I played the famous Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo. That day I missed a scale and I felt as if the whole universe had fallen apart. It took me many years to learn to accept and love the beauty in the imperfection of being human.
What’s so special about the classical guitar?
It is the only instrument that because of its nature it embraces some of the difficulties of the violin as well as of the piano at the same time. I have always tried to learn from other instruments and to apply techniques on the guitar. The singing tone, phrasing and vibrato of the bow instruments, different articulations of the piano, attacks of the wind section… The guitar is one of the few instruments where the musician’s flesh directly creates the sound, which allows you to control the attacks, and colors in unique ways that no other instrument can.
The guitar offers a wide range of dynamics with the ability to whisper into your ear and to tear your soul with the drama of a rasgueado.
What is “Americano”?
Americano is a musical concept created around the music of the Americas. It is a journey through different cultures in the American Continents unified by the universal language of music. The project consists of an album (released with Harmonia Mundi last September 11) that comes along with an upcoming recital tour and outreach activities in each city that we visit.
I want to explore presenting my music with a creative approach using stage lighting, design and multimedia elements. Above all, it is my desire to invite everyone to participate of an experience of the highest musical quality. My hope is that anyone will profoundly enjoy the show: from kids, to teenagers and grownups; from experienced listeners to new comers. This concept additionally is based on values and it is those values that will be shared during the outreach activities that will come along the tour.
What are these values?
I wanted to show the universality of the guitar. The guitar is one of the few instruments that belong to a country and a culture, which is Spain, and somehow it has still become the most popular and democratic instruments in the world being used for pop, rock, folk, flamenco, classical… During the colonialism the Spaniards brought the guitar to the Americas in the XVI century and it was the musical instrument to express the different musical identities of these vast continents.
As a Spaniard that loves the guitar, I wanted to explore this journey of the guitar in the Americas and...
...share the great value of multi-culturality and the possibility that we have in learning from the diversity and differences.
The project looks terrific! The CD, web, teaser, promo materials, the show… But how a classical musician can organize all this? How do you make it economically possible?
It is a challenge. Building your career is like building a business; you need to define your goals, create a concrete strategy and then to invest time, talent, emotions and money to make it grow where you want.
In regards to making it financially viable, I believe there is not one sole recipe but some great ideas are using tools and collaborations such as crowd funding campaigns, reinvesting your own profits, offering private concerts for friends willing to help and exploring sponsorships and alliances with private corporations.
Do you believe that Crowdfunding is a good option to create your own projects?
I have never done a crowdfunding campaign but I think it is a great tool for many artist entrepreneurs in order to inspire others and receive support by making people part of their project.
In my opinion, the important aspect in these endeavors is not to promote oneself, but to promote the project, its concept, the human values involved and the passion that it is being created with. If as an artist you are able to touch people’s hearts you will have a significant group of people that will share your enthusiasm and this already is a good beginning.
Do you think that artist management is helping musicians to “make it”?
The way the music business currently works, management agencies are certainly an important aspect in developing your career but as an artist you will need a few other elements to thrive. In my experience a few things that help are:
- Delivering your highest artistic capacity every time you go on stage
- Displaying your personality when communicating music
- Having the support of a public relations agency
- Having good marketing materials
- Building a strong network of friends and supporters
- Sharing creatively on social media platforms
In the end, the real strength will be defined by your passion, commitment, determination, values and attitude.
What’s the future of classical music?
I don’t know the exact answer but I am optimistic! The more technology there is in this "technology-based world", the more people will strive to connect themselves through things such as music, nature and all the authentic things that make us human.
Audiences are changing every day and the way people enjoy classical music is changing too. I think we need to invite people to participate of the musical process in creative ways where people will enjoy an unforgettable experience. It might not be all about Mozart or Beethoven but more about the experience of spending a whole evening listening to Mozart or Beethoven: The before, during and after of the musical event.
"It is time to bring music where the people are and offer them our hand to discover the real magic that lies within music."
Where do you get all your energy from?
My audience is the most important part of the musical process. They are the reason of what I do. I do music for them and my goal is to inspire them through values that are part of the encapsulated message I include in every single note I play. I search for the energy within myself, my determination and the connection with my audience.
Do you think it is important to communicate your values?
As a human being you need to know why you do what you do and what is your intention in doing what you are doing. For me music is a vessel to transmit values and inspire people to discover the best version of themselves. Music without emotions and values is empty.
One TIP to the next generation of classical musicians?
Try to become the music you play, dive into every single note, open your heart, let music poses you and find your own truth as a human being within yourself. Share who you are, identify your reason of music making and your values, put an intention in your performance and share it with your audience, because they are the final reason of what we do.