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Jaime Romero Interview

February 10, 2004

Myriad : Hello, Mr Romero, thanks for answering some questions. You won the First Prize of the 8th Tune Friendly Contest with your piece "Delirio y fuga" and we wish first to know who you are. Could you please introduce yourself?

Jaime Romero Jaime Romero: I am a Guitar player, composer, math teacher and Chemical Engineer. I was born in Colombia (South America). I have been studying and composing music for 25 years. I won the first prize three times in the most renowned musical competitions in my country as a guitar player and as a composer. There are important guitar players as Carlos Barbosa-Lima recording and playing my music.

Myriad: Do you play an instrument (or several) ?

Just Guitar.
Myriad: What are your tastes in matter of music? You can quote artists or music genres if you want.

I like Bach, Mozart, Piazzola, Ginastera, King Singers, YoYo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, and Pepe Romero.

Myriad: More precisely, what are you currently listening to?

I  listen to classical and Latin-American music, contemporary tango, Colombian music, and vocal ensembles music.

Myriad: And what kind of music don't you listen to anymore?

Bad music. Music that causes me to feel discomfort or unpleasant feelings.

Myriad: If you had to chose a piece to be put into a capsule to be sent to the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri, what would be your choice?

Bach and more Bach

Myriad: If you had to be out of the world during a whole year, what are the two albums you would take away with you?

“The three Mo’ Tenors”, & Bach Fugues.

Myriad: About the piece which won the contest, what has been the source of your inspiration?

It is a mixture of anguish and anxiety that evokes “delirium” in the first part. It gradually becomes a pleasant part where you feel love, no tension nor stress and finally it goes to the fugue to the end of the piece.

It is a very common human process where your mind and soul passes though those stages often and you don’t even realize it sometimes.

Myriad : What is your compositional process? (Technical details will be of interest for the readers)?

Initially I start with a short motive which is going to be developed. I can never develop the whole piece at once. It grows within me over time. It depends on the mood I am in.

After that, I select the rhythmic pattern that captures the feelings that I have. I believe that as a composer, I want the audience to experience various sensations, such as happiness, love, sadness and other emotional that will surprise listeners.

When arranging for guitar I have to find a perfect balance between the music I want to write and the way in which it has to be written in order to optimize the instrument’s capacity.

Myriad : What are your goals or your project in relation with music?

I want to place Colombian-Music in the forefront around of the world. This phenomenon already existed in Venezuela (Alirio Dias and Antonio Lauro), Cuba (Leo Brower), Argentina (Piazzola) and the Brazilian music and among other South American countries.

Colombian music is one of the richest expressions in the world but traditionally has been written for Bandola, Tiple and Guitar as a folkloric format, unknown in the rest of the world. Despite the great interest of instrumentalist in other countries to perform our music, they lack knowledge of working with these folkloric Colombian instruments. Without that knowledge, it is difficult for them to write, adapt and perform Colombian music for using conventional western musical instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, etc.

Myriad : Do you have a personal Web site?

Yes.  www.latinguitarscores.com

You can listen to my music and download free scores for guitar, duets, trios and orchestra.

Myriad : Do you want to pass an advice or a message to the readers of this interview?

Be original!

Myriad : Thank you for having answered these questions.

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