“Musik ist unsere Religion”

Live music, Mallorca

Mallorcas Fabelhaften Vier bereiten sich vor …

Wir haben zwei Frühlinge auf Mallorca: auch wenn es sich so anfühlt als wenn der Sommer schon lange her ist, seien Sie nicht traurig, denn hier auf Mallorca bringt der Übergang von Sommer zu Herbst immer Neubeginn und Wachstum mit sich. Wenn wir aus der Sommerhitze herauskommen, dann fühlt es sich immer so an, als wenn wir alle mit Energie wiederbelebt werden, und somit mit neuen Ideen und Projekten durchstarten können. Ein neues Prokekt wird auch nächstes Wochenende mit unseren vier sehr talentierten Musikern gestartet: Pianist und Drummer Jose Luis Castaño, Gitarrist und Sänger Arthur Hensen, Violinistin Seraphima Novitskaya und Frontsängerin Rosa de Lima, werden in den nächsten Monaten für  gemeinsame Auftritte in der Nähe von Portals Nous zusammenkommen.

Die “Fabelhaften Vier” treten auch auf der Bühne von Son Amar’s internationaler Dinner Show in Palmanyola (nördlich von Palma) zusammen auf, und werden dies dort auch weiterhin über die Wintermonate tun. Aber jeden Freitag werden sie ihre Zelte nun auch im Mood Beach Costa D’en Blanes aufschlagen, um dort mit einer Auswahl von verschiedenen Musik-Stilen aufzutreten.

IMG_8211Als ich mich Anfang der Woche mit dieser talentierten Gruppe traf, schienen sie sich alle sehr darauf zu freuen anstelle einer grossen Bühne, auch mal an einem intimeren Ort wie Mood aufzutreten.  Auf die Frage „Was können Mallorca Leute von den Fabelhaften Vier erwarten“, antwortet Luis: „Wir arbeiten an Arrangements mit den Stimmen, Piano und Violine. Duets mit den Stimmen und mit den Instrumenten. Man kann die Violine auch als dritte Stimme im Arrangement nutzen, das ist sehr interessant. Wir werden auch einige im „unplugged“ akustischen Stil machen, etwas mehr sanfte, mehr Chill Out Musik. Aber wir lieben auch Rock, Motown, Jazz, Soul, Klassisches und rhytmische Blues; wir haben also eine Menge zur Auswahl.“

Pianist und Drummer, Jose Luis  ist in Barcelona geboren, “aber ich fühle mich sehr Mallorquin, da ich hier seit 2006 lebe und arbeite”. Es ist sehr interessant für mich, wie natürlich alle hier mit ihren Talenten umgehen. Sie alle haben natürlich schon so lange gespielt wie sie zurückdenken können, aber können sie sich erinnern, wann ihre Obession mit Musik eigentlich begann? Für Rosa war es keine lange Überlegung, “Ich singe schon seit ich vier Jahre alt bin. Mein profesionelles Debut hatte ich mit sechs Jahren auf der Teatro Principal Bühne in Palma de Mallorca. Es war vorausprogrammiert, dass dies mein Weg sein würde, da meine Mutter und mein Vater Musiker und Lehrer sind, also folgten mein Bruder und ich Ihren Fussstapfen.“

Für Seraphima war ihr Werdegang genauso klar und einfach, “Ich nahm mit sechs Jahren eine Violine in die Hand. Ich bin in Krasnodar in Russland geboren und aufgewachsen. Meine musikalischen Fähigkeiten wurden früh entdeckt und ich wurde in einem Konservatorium unterrichtet und schloss mich dann einem Symphony Orchester an”.

Bei Arthur dauerte es etwas länger bis er seine volle Reichweite entdeckte, und wenn sie ihn kennenlernen dann wissen Sie auch warum. Er ist hinter den Kulissen überraschend schüchtern. Als ich es bemerke, schrei ich ihn fast an “DU? Du bis SCHÜCHTERN?!” Es scheint fast unmöglich, dass jemand der fünf oder sechs Nächte pro Woche vor mehreren Tausend Leuten auftritt, schüchtern sein kann. Aber er ist es. Arthur war zuerst ein Gitarrist, dann ein Sänger. “Ich fing erst mit ca 16 Jahren an zu singen. Ich war, und bin noch immer ziemlich schüchtern und ich wusste solange nichts vom meinem Talent, bis andere Leute mir ab und zu mal zu hörten. „Du solltest singen“, hatten sie mir gesagt, also tat ich dies auch irgendwann.“ Arthur spricht nach wie vor ungern über sich selbst. Wenn ich ihn darauf aufmerksam mache, stimmt er zu und sagt „Die Bühne ist meine Rettung“. Auf der Bühne sieht er so aus, als wäre er dazu geboren um dort zu sein. Wenn man ihn auf der Bühne sieht, glaubt man nicht dass er der gleiche bescheidene Typ ist, den ich gerade im Interview vor mir habe.

IMG_8028Jose Luis aber hat die beste Geschichte, “Ich erinnere mich, als ich fünf Jahre alt war und einen Spielmannszug vor der Haustür hörte, da schlich im mich raus und folgte ihnen der Strasse entlang. Ich war berührt und fasziniert von der Musik. Meine Mutter musste mir auf der Strasse hinterherlaufen, da ich mit der Band mitgegangen war!” Ich fragte ihn, ob er sich zwischen Karrieren entscheiden musste, aber nein, „Ich habe immer gewusst, dass ich ein Musiker werden würde, daran hatte ich nie gezweifelt“.

In der Tat haben alle vier von ihnen Musik in ihren Adern, und haben Welten in Bewegung gesetzt um ihren Träumen zu folgen. Seraphima zog 2006 von Russland nach Spanien, der Sonne und Ihrem Karriereweg nach; und zog dann 2008 nach Mallorca und 2013 kam sie zu uns nach Son Amar. Sie ist eine grosse, gutaussehende Blonde mit unglaublichen “Eisprinzessinn” Augen, und WOW, kann sie die Violine spielen! Als ich sie fragte, welchen Musiker sie am meisten mag, antwortete sie sofort “David Garrett”. Ich muss zugeben, dass ich ihn erstmal im Internet recherchieren musste, da ich noch nie von ihm gehört hatte. Er ist weltberühmter, rekordverdächtiger deutscher Pop und „Crossover“ Violinist und Musikkünstler. „Er inspiriert mich“ (und er ist bekannt dafür, die Violine zu einem “zugänglicherem” Instrument für das allgemeine Publikum zu machen. Jetzt verstehe ich, von was Seraphima spricht: ursprünglich eine klassische Musikerin und nun spielt sie mit Leichtigkeit Rock als wäre sie Mozart).

IMG_8202Rosa, die von den spanischen Journalisten schon oft als Stolz von Mallorca beschrieben wurde, ist hier geboren und aufgewachsen. “Ich liebe alle Arten von Musik, von The Beatles bis … bis … Status Quo!” Rosa lacht und rümpft die Nase während sie das sagt. “Aber ich musste nie eine Entscheidung wegen meiner Musikkarierre treffen, das ist mein Leben. Ich konnte mir mein Tag nicht ohne singen vorstellen. Auftreten ist keine Arbeit für mich, es ist wer und wie ich bin, es ist meine Freude, mein Leben.“

Während des Interviews ist es offensichtlich für mich, wie sehr sie alle miteinander verbunden sind, spielerisch scherzen und manchmal sogar den Satz des anderen zu Ende bringen. Sie bewundern und kümmern sich rührend umeinander. Und ich denke, dass dies auch ganz wichtig ist, wenn man fünf oder sechs Tage die Woche miteinander auftritt. Ich frage Jose Luis welche Qualitäten ein Musiker haben muss, um erfolgreich zu sein. „Du musst Geduld haben”, antwortet er. “Du musst lieben, was Du machst, Du musst in Deinem Arbeitsumfeld glücklich sein: das ist sehr wichtig, Du verbringst mehr Zeit mit Deinem Ensemble als mit Deiner Familie.“

Jose Luis führt fort, “Rosa zum Beispiel, ist ein sehr spezieller Profi, sie kann alles. Sie arbeitet jeden Tag und erbringt die besten Leistungen, nicht mal Celine Dion kann das. Es ist nicht leicht Leute zu finden, die mit einer derartigen Intensität arbeiten können und dennoch so abliefern können, wie sie es kann. Sie ist wie eine lebendige Jukebox! Sie kennt mehrere hundert Songs.” Rosa wird verlegen, nickt dann und stimmt zu “Ich kann in Spanisch, Englisch, Deutsch, Italienisch, Französisch, Russisch und sogar Norwegisch singen!”

IMG_7989Jose Luis erzählt weiter, “Man muss die Musik lieben, man muss üben und zur Schule gehen, und genau überlegen was man machen will, und sich sicher sein. Ich habe immer gewusst, dass ich es machen könnte, ich war immer überzeugt davon.”

Arthur stimmt ihm zu, “Ich erinnere mich an eine Unterhaltung mit dem Sänger und Songwriter Gilbert O Sullivan, er sagte, selbst wenn Du ein Riesentalent hast, wirst Du ohne den Glauben an Dich selbst nichts erreichen”. Arthur, der auch ein sehr erfahrender Gesangslehrer ist, gibt mir Ratschläge worauf  junge Personen achten sollten, wenn sie eine Karriere in der Musikbranche aufbauen möchten. “Als erstes, musst Du ein Gehöhr haben. Du musst in der Lage sein, die Noten zu hören und sie mit Deiner Stimme im Einklang zu bringen. Wenn Du das hast, kannst Du daran arbeiten Deine Technik zu verbessern. Du musst Dir jeden Musikstil anhören und davon lernen. Zuhören, singen, wiederholen. Zuhören, singen, wiederholen. Und ständing singen, besonders wenn Du noch jung bist. Die Stimme ist ein Muskel, der trainiert werden muss.”

Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass viele Kinder von ihren Eltern gezwungen werden Violine zu spielen, um aber damit erfolgreich zu sein, “müssen sie die Musik lieben, sie müssen eine besondere Beziehung dazu haben”. Und  Seraphima stimmt Arthur und Jose Luis zu, “ohne Selbstvertrauen und Glauben an Dich selbst, wird es Dir schwer fallen erfolgreich zu sein.”

Schliesslich frage ich Arthur und Rosa was für eine Musik sie gerne hören, wenn sie nicht arbeiten, “Ich höre gern Jazz, zum zerschmelzen, alte Lieder, R und B, Rock. Alles, solange es gut ist.” Rosa, seine Bühnenpartnerin stimmt zu, “Ja genau, sofern es gute Musik ist, liebe ich es. Es ist egal welcher Stil es ist, ich schätze es einfach, wenn es mich bewegt: es mich zum tanzen bringt, zum lächeln, zum weinen, und zum fühlen!”

Freitag Abend Live fängt am Freitag, 3. Oktober im Mood Beach an. Um einen Tisch zu reservieren, kontaktiern Sie 971 676 456 http://www.moodbeach.com . Entritt ist frei.

Text Vicki McLeod

(Translated by Rita Last)

Photos Vicki McLeod and Oliver Neilson

 

 

“La música es nuestra religión”

Live music, Mallorca

Se preparan Los Cuatro Fantásticos de Mallorca…

En Mallorca la primavera nos visita dos veces al año: aunque ya parezca que el verano se marchó hace mucho tiempo, no hay que ponerse triste, la transición del verano al otoño siempre trae consigo nuevos comienzos y nuevas oportunidades. Se acabó el calor y nos sentimos revitalizados y llenos de energía; se ponen en marcha nuevos proyectos y surgen nuevas ideas. La semana que viene se presenta un nuevo proyecto con cuatro músicos de mucho talento: pianista y batería, José Luis Castaño, guitarrista y cantante Arthur Hansen, la violinista Seraphima Novitskaya y cantante Rosa de Lima – se reunirán para presentar actuaciones íntimas cerca de Portals Nous durante los próximos meses.

IMG_8050Los ‘Cuatro Fantásticos’ han estado actuando juntos en el escenario de Son Amar, el restaurante espectáculo internacional en Palmanyola, justo al norte de Palma, y seguirán tocando juntos allí durante la temporada de invierno. Pero todos los viernes se desplazarán a Mood Beach en Costa d’en Blanes para interpretar una variedad de estilos de música diferentes.

Me encontré con este grupo de talentosos artistas a principios de la semana, y se les veía muy emocionados por la oportunidad de bajarse del gran escenario y poder actuar en el marco mucho más íntimo que les ofrece Mood. ¿Qué puede esperar la gente de Mallorca de los Cuatro Fantásticos? José Luis me responde: “Estamos trabajando nuestros arreglos de voz, piano y violín. Habrá duetos con las voces y los instrumentos. El violín también se puede utilizar como tercera voz, es súper interesante. Además haremos versiones ‘unplugged’ estilo acústico, algo más melódico más chill out. Pero a la vez nos encanta el rock, motown, jazz, soul, clásico, y rhythm and blues; así que tenemos mucho de donde elegir.”

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José Luis, pianista y bacteria, nació en Barcelona, “pero me siento muy mallorquín ya que llevo viviendo y trabajando aquí desde 2006.” Me fascina que a todos les parezca tan natural su talento, cómo no, si es que llevan haciendo música toda la vida, ¿pero sabrían decirme cuándo comenzó su obsesión por ella? Para Rosa ‘estaba clarísimo’, “Empecé a cantar cuando tenía cuatro años. Debuté como profesional cuando tenía seis años, sobre el escenario del Teatre Principal en Palma de Mallorca. Siempre iba a ser así ya que mis padres son músicos y profesores, tanto mi hermano como yo seguimos sus pasos.”

Seraphima también lo tenía muy claro, “Cogí un violín por primera vez cuando tenía seis años. Nací y me crié en Krasnodar en Rusia, era evidente que tenía talento musical así que me eduqué en un conservatorio y luego me uní a una orquesta sinfónica.”

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Arthur tardó un poco más en decidirse, y nada más conocerle se hace evidente porqué; es sorprendentemente tímido fuera de escena. Al descubrirlo casi me da algo “¿TÚ? ¡¿Tú eres tímido?!” No me cuadra que alguien que actúa cinco o seis noches a la semana delante de un público de más de mil personas pueda ser tímido. Pero así es. Arthur empezó siendo guitarrista y luego se convirtió en cantante. “No empecé a cantar hasta que tenía dieciséis años. Era, y sigo siendo, bastante tímido y no me di cuenta de que tenía talento cantando hasta que otra gente me lo comentó al oírme de vez en cuando. ‘¡Deberías cantar!’ me decían y al final les hice caso.” A Arthur todavía le cuesta hablar de sí mismo. Cuando se lo comento me lo confirma y dice “el escenario es mi salvación”. En escena parece que nació para estar allí y cuando le veas actuar no te creerás que sea el mismo chico humilde que tengo delante durante mi entrevista.

IMG_8238Pero la mejor historia es la de José Luis, “Cuando tenía cinco años me acuerdo que oí tocar a una banda delante de mi casa. Me escapé y les seguí por la calle; siempre me había fascinado la música. ¡Mi madre tuvo que venir corriendo detrás de mi ya que yo ya me iba con ellos!” Le pregunto si consideró alguna vez otra carrera, pero no, “Siempre he sabido que iba a ser músico, nunca lo dudé.”

De hecho todos llevan la música en sus corazones, y se han trasladado a diferentes continentes en busca de sus sueños. Seraphima se mudó desde Rusia a España en 2006, en busca del sol y de nuevas oportunidades musicales, y en 2008 se mudó a Mallorca uniéndose a Son Amar en 2013. Es alta, atractiva, rubia y tiene increíbles ojos tipo ‘reina de hielo’, y ¡cómo toca el violín! Cuando le pido que me nombre a un músico que le inspira, me responde enseguida: “David Garrett”. Admito que no había oído hablar de él pero es un violinista alemán famoso a nivel mundial por sus premiados temas de pop y ‘crossover’. “Me inspira” (y es muy conocido por acercar el violín a la gente y hacer que sea un instrumento más ‘accesible’ para el público en general. Ahora ya empiezo a entender el estilo de Seraphima: empezó dedicándose a la música clásica pero ahora se desenvuelve igual de bien interpretando rock que Mozart.)

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Rosa que en ocasiones ha sido nombrada ‘el orgullo de Mallorca’ o ‘hija de Mallorca’ en la prensa española,  nació y se crió aquí. “¡Me encanta la música de toda clase, desde Los Beatles hasta… Status Quo!” dice entre risas. “Pero nunca he tenido que elegir sobre mi carrera en la música, es mi vida. No me imagino mi día a día sin cantar. Actuar para mí no es un trabajo, es quién soy, es mi placer, mi vida.”

Durante la entrevista se hace evidente que el grupo está muy unido, bromean e incluso se acaban las frases entre sí. Se admiran y se cuidan el uno al otro y supongo que eso debe ser muy importante si actúas con la misma gente cinco o seis veces por semana. Le pregunto a José Luis qué se necesita para tener éxito como músico. “Tienes que tener paciencia,” responde, “debes amar lo que haces, ser feliz en el ambiente en el que trabajas: eso es muy importante, pasas más tiempo con tu compañía que con tu propia familia.”

José Luis sigue, “Por ejemplo, Rosa es una gran profesional, puede hacer de todo. Trabaja a diario y siempre hace actuaciones estelares; ni Celine Dion puede decir lo mismo. No es fácil encontrar gente que pueda trabajar tan intensamente y seguir haciéndolo tan bien como ella. ¡Es como una gramola humana! Se sabe cientos de canciones.” Rosa se sonroja y asiente con la cabeza “¡Canto en español, inglés, alemán, italiano, francés, ruso y hasta en noruego!”

“Hay que amar la música,” sigue José Luis, “hay que ensayar e ir a la escuela, y pensar bien en lo que se quiere hacer, y tenerlo claro. Siempre pensé que podía hacerlo, siempre me sentía seguro de mi mismo.”

IMG_7970Arthur está de acuerdo con él, “recuerdo una conversación que tuve con el cantautor Gilbert O Sullivan, me dijo que aunque tengas talento a montones, si no crees en ti mismo no irás a ninguna parte.” Arthur, quien además tiene mucha experiencia como profesor de canto, me da algunos consejos sobre lo que hay que buscar si quieres dedicarte a la música. “Primero hay que tener buen oído. Hace falta poder oír la nota e igualarla con la voz. Si tienes esa capacidad puedes seguir con más técnica. Hay que escuchar música de toda clase, y aprender de ella. Escuchar, cantar, repetir. Escuchar, cantar, repetir. Y cantar constantemente, sobre todo cuando se es joven. La voz es un músculo, y hay que ejercitarlo.”

Imagino que a muchos niños les obligan sus padres a tocar el violín, pero para que tengan éxito “deben enamorarse de la música, tener una relación especial con ella.” Y Seraphima piensa igual que Arthur y José Luis, “si uno no confía ni tiene fe en sí mismo, le va a costar muchísimo llegar a tener éxito.”

Por último les pregunto a Arthur y Rosa qué tipo de música les gusta escuchar en casa, “A mí me gusta el jazz, fusión, R&B o rock. Cualquier cosa, mientras sea algo bueno.” Rosa su compañera de escenario está de acuerdo, “Sí, siempre que se trate de buena música me encanta, no importa el estilo que sea, ¡lo aprecio si me emociona: me hace bailar, reír, llorar, sentir!”

Viernes Noche en Vivo se estrena en Mood Beach el viernes 3 de octubre. Para reservar mesa llamar al 971 676 456. www.moodbeach.com Entrada gratuita.

Text Vicki McLeod

(Translated by Victoria Amengual)

Photos Vicki Mcleod and Oliver Neilson

 

 

“Music is our religion”

Majorca’s Fab Four prepare …

Live music, Mallorca

We have two Springs in Majorca: although it already feels as if summer was a long time ago, don’t be sad as the transition from summer to autumn in Majorca always brings with it new growth and beginnings. When we emerge from the heat it’s as if we all become reinvigorated with energy, and new projects and ideas begin.  A new project is being launched next weekend when four very talented musicians:  pianist and drummer, Jose Luis Castaño, guitarist and singer Arthur Hensen, violinist Seraphima Novitskaya and lead singer Rosa de Lima, will come together to play intimate gigs near to Portals Nous throughout the coming months.

The “Fab Four” have been performing together onstage at the Son Amar international dinner show in Palmanyola, just north of Palma, and they will continue to play together throughout the winter season there. But every Friday they will up sticks and decamp to Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes where they will perform a variety of different styles of music.

When I met up with this talented bunch earlier this week, they seemed very excited to be getting the opportunity to step off of the big stage and move into a more intimate venue at Mood. What can the people of Majorca expect from the new Fab Four on the blockJose Luis answers, “We’re working on arrangements with the voices, piano and violin. Duets with the voices and with the instruments. You can also use the violin as a third voice in the arrangements, it’s very interesting. We’re going to do some in an ‘unplugged’ acoustic style as well, something more mellow, more chill out. But then we also love rock, motown, jazz, soul, classical and rhythm and blues, so we have a lot to choose from.”

Seraphima onstage

Seraphima onstage

Pianist and drummer, Jose Luis was born in Barcelona, “but I feel very Majorcan since I have been living and working here since 2006”. It’s interesting to me how they all seem so natural about their talents, of course, they have been playing for as long as they can remember, but can they remember when their obsessions with music actually began? For Rosa it was a ‘no brainer’, “I have been singing since I was four years old. I made my professional debut when I was six on the Teatro Principal stage in Palma de Majorca. It was always going to be this way because my mother and father are musicians and teachers, so my brother and I followed in their footsteps.”

For Seraphima, her trajectory was just as clear and simple, “I picked up a violin at the age of six. I was born and raised in Krasnodar in Russia, my musical abilities were quickly recognised and I was educated in a conservatory and then I joined a symphony orchestra”.

For Arthur it took a little longer for him to find his full range, but when you meet him you can realise why as he is, very surprisingly, painfully shy offstage. I discover this and almost shout at him “YOU? You’re SHY?!” it doesn’t seem possible that someone who performs five or six nights a week in front of in excess of a thousand people every time can possibly be shy. But he is. Arthur was a guitarist first, then a singer. “I didn’t start singing until I was about sixteen. I was, still am, quite shy and I didn’t realise that I had this talent until other people started to hear me now and again. ‘You should sing!’ they would tell me, so eventually I did.” Arthur is still uncomfortable speaking about himself. When I point this out to him he agrees, and says “The stage is my salvation”. Onstage he looks as if he was born to be there, when you see him performing you would never believe that he is the same humble guy that I have in front of me in our interview.

Arthur onstage

Arthur onstage

But Jose Luis has the best story, “I remember when I was five years old hearing a marching band outside of my house, escaping and following them down the road, I was always stirred and fascinated by music. My mother had to come running down the road behind me as I was off with the band!” I ask him if he had to choose between careers, but no, “I have always felt like I was going to be a musician, I never had a doubt”.

In fact all of them have music in their very cores, and have moved continents in order to follow their dreams. Seraphima moved in 2006 from Russia to Spain, following the sun and her career path, and then in 2008 she moved to Majorca, joining Son Amar in 2013. She is a tall, beautiful, blond with incredible “ice maiden” eyes, and boy can she play the violin. When I ask her what musician does she love the most she instantly replies “David Garrett”. I admit I had to look him up afterwards as I had not heard of him, but he is a world famous, record breaking German pop and ‘crossover’ violinist and recording artist. “He inspires me” (and he is very well known for making the violin a more “accessible” instrument to the general public, now I begin to understand where Seraphima is coming from: originally a classical musician and now as comfortable playing rock as she is Mozart).

Rosa, who has often been described by Spanish journalists as the pride of Majorca, or the daughter of Majorca, was born and raised here. “I love all types of music from The Beatles to… to… Status Quo!” Rosa laughs and wrinkles up her nose as she says this. “But I’ve never had to make a choice about my career in music, it’s my life. I couldn’t imagine my day without singing. Performing for me is not a job, it’s who and how I am, and it’s my pleasure, my life.”

It’s obvious to me as I interview them how connected they are, playfully joking and sometimes even finishing each other’s sentences. They admire and care for each other, and I guess that is very important when you are performing together five or six days a week. I ask Jose Luis what qualities a musician must have to be successful. “You need to have patience,” he replies, “You must love what you do, you must be happy in the environment you work in: that is very important, you spend more time with your company than you do with your family.”

Jose Luis continues, “Rosa for example, is a very special professional, she can do anything. Working daily and giving the best performances, not even Celine Dion can do that. It’s not easy to find people who are able to work at this intensity and still deliver like she does. She is like a human jukebox! She knows hundreds of songs.” Rosa blushes, then nods and agrees “I can sing in Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Russian and even Norwegian!”

Jose Luis continues, “They must love music, they must practice and go to school, and think carefully about what they want to do, and be sure. I always thought I could do it, I always felt confident”

Rosa onstage

Rosa onstage

Arthur agrees with him, “I remember having a conversation with the singer songwriter Gilbert O Sullivan, he said that even if you have buckets of talent, without the belief in yourself you won’t get anywhere”. Arthur, who is also a very experienced singing teacher, gives me advice about what a young person may look for if they wanted to develop a career in music. “Firstly, they have to have an ear. You need to be able to hear the note and match it with your voice. If you have that then you can build on technique. You have to listen to every style of music, and learn from it. Listen, sing, repeat. Listen, sing, repeat. And sing constantly, when you are young that is. The voice is a muscle, it needs to be exercised.”

I imagine that a lot of kids are forced into playing the violin by their parents, but in order for it to be successful “they must fall in love with music, they must have a special relationship with it”. And Seraphima agrees with Arthur and Jose Luis, “without confidence and belief in yourself you will really struggle to succeed.”

Finally I ask Arthur and Rosa what type of music they like to listen to when they aren’t working, “I like to listen to jazz, to fusion, old stuff, r and b, rock. Anything as long it’s good.” Rosa, his onstage partner agrees, “Yeah, as long as it’s good music I love it, it doesn’t matter what style it is, I just appreciate it when it moves me: makes me want to dance, to smile, to cry, and to feel!”

Friday Night Live starts at Mood Beach on Friday October 3rd. To reserve a table contact 971 676 456 http://www.moodbeach.com . Entrance is free.

 

By Vicki McLeod

Images by Aimee K Photography and Flixx Wedgewood Walker

 

 

What goes around, comes around.

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Some might say that Richard Krugel is crazy; others may say he is brave. I think he must be a bit of both to even think of attempting to swim (yes, swim) around the 360 kilometre long coastline of Majorca, but that is exactly what he is intending to do this month to raise money for The Allen Graham Charity for Kidz. This swim, which has never been done before, will be taken in an anti-clockwise direction, starting and finishing in Portixol.

Richard will be traveling from South Africa early next week to prepare and intends to start the swim on September 20th. It will be the first time he has been in Majorca after leaving a decade ago.

“I was working in the Super Yacht Industry in Majorca when on 4th July 2003 I got the news that my brother, Ewald, had died back home in a motor car accident.  I couldn’t get a flight back to South Africa immediately so friends of mine took me to a quiet beach where I could cry, we drank a bottle of cognac, and I got the idea to dedicate a swim around the island to the memory of my brother.

“After my brother passed away I stayed with my parents for a month, I returned to Majorca after the funeral, but somehow it was never the same again, a piece of me had been taken away. In 2004 I returned to South Africa, I have been here ever since. The idea had always lingered in the back of my mind that I would return. I now work as a trader in the Futures Market: it’s difficult, but I love it, I don’t see it as a job. The idea of the swim remained a dream for me, until I heard of some other friends who had done a swim in Africa of a similar distance, this rekindled my idea and I started to train.

Excersise4

“I’ve been preparing for the past 3 years, lost weight, got a coach who helped me not to burn out, and got involved with Rosemary and Joanne from The Allen Graham Charity: they’ve been helping me to organise all of the paperwork and permissions for the swim. The thing which will really motivate me to keep swimming will be raising money for this charity; I really hope everyone will sponsor me.”

Richard is in a strict training routine, swimming for between three and six hours a day, six days a week. “If I had been doing another sort of job I wouldn´t have been able to train the way I have, the US markets open at 3.30pm so that leaves me the whole of the morning to swim and spend time with my children and my wife.”

“What do I think about when I am swimming? I just shut my mind off, the first two kilometres are the most difficult, once you are in a rhythm your arms go numb and you just keep going. It is really important to visualise what it will be like, what the start will be like, and visualise the end when you get out of the water. You can get into a meditative state, that makes it easier. The more tired you get, the longer it takes to get into that zone. Apparently I will be a zombie for the first seven days and then I will get better according to my friends who did the Madagascar to Mozambique swim. They say I will sleep a lot and eat a lot. I’ve been doing feeding practice in the water as I am not allowed to touch the boat during the stages, if I did so I would be disqualified. I will be taking energy smoothies, and supplements, and I have been getting B12 injections as training this hard really lowers your immune system.”

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“It’s called Mallorca 360 because of the distance in kilometres that I will have swum by the end of the challenge. I’m aiming at covering 20 kilometres every day with the intention of completing the swim in eighteen days, weather permitting. But rather than aim at distance I am swimming in blocks of time. I decided to come over in September because the sea temperature and weather is good for swimming at this time of year. Instead of saying how many kilometres I will aim to complete in each stage I will be doing it in blocks of time. Three hours, then two and then finally a swim of one hour. Three hours of swimming is quite a heavy strain on the body and the mind. I don’t want to swim during the dark; I really need to have sunlight, to have daylight. That’s the plan at least.

“I will be trying to swim from a beach towards another beach each day but there are a few places on the island where it won’t be possible to get to a beach at the end of the day so I will have to get on to the boat, take a GPS location reading and then start from that same point the next day. The open water swimming association have categorised this as a “stage swim”. For it to be recognised as a record you need to swim every day even if the weather is bad so I have to get into the water every day from the day I begin.

“I’m really looking for people to participate in this with me; I am hoping for people with Stand Up Paddle boards and Kayaks who can travel beside me, it will help to make me more visible to other vessels and give me much needed support: both physical and moral. I have also have a support boat called Atlantis which is sponsored by ETY, Superyacht Electrical Services, an old employer of mine; we’re going to have a traditional Majorcan Llaut which moves slowly. And I will also have a land based support crew who will be in communication with radios to bring me my supplies for my rest periods.

“I am quite nervous. The magnitude of this has begun to hit home now. But I’m excited as well. My head’s there. If I can complete this it will be one of the three swims I want to do. I want to swim across the English Channel and swim across False Bay in Cape Town, which is like the English Channel, just with 100% more sharks.”

Richard Krugel was speaking to Vicki McLeod

To contact Richard visit www.agrahamcharity.org or

https://www.facebook.com/palmademallorca360.

You can’t stop the party

David-Guetta-at-Mallorca-Rocks-PHOTO-CREDIT-PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA-8-of-78-1024x682Thirteen thousand people had a date last weekend with French DJ David Guetta at a much publicised event in Majorca, only to be stood up at the last minute when it transpired that the promoters hadn’t quite got round to organising all of the paperwork. “Boo”: a lot of disappointed people and “Whoops”: terrible PR for the internationally famous DJ who had only just got over the embarrassment of another gig being cancelled due to licensing issues at the Jarama stadium in Madrid in July (also organised by the same promoter).

As the news was announced coincidentally Guetta’s manager was having lunch with the owner and founder of Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks, Andy McKay. A plan was soon hatched to try to stage a free gig to compensate the fans.  Only a quarter of the original audience would be able to fit into the snug confines of the Mallorca Rocks Hotel, but it was decided that at least this would be some way towards making it up to the people. At a press conference on Wednesday evening, prior to David taking the stage at Mallorca Rocks in Magaluf he and his manager spent twenty minutes with the press: a rare chance to meet a man who is adored all round the world.David Guetta at Mallorca Rocks PHOTO CREDIT PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA  (2 of 5)The first questions from the press were dominated by the subject of “what exactly happened?” Guetta replied, “To be honest I don’t know what happened, I was ready to take the flight to go play and they told me it was cancelled, my team was there, everybody was there, the sound check,  everything, we were ready to perform.  When I do a concert I am hired by a company who is the promoter, and they hire a venue and I work for them. Unfortunately it was cancelled at the last minute; I felt really bad for my fans, and I wanted to give something back to them”.  Guetta went on to thank Mallorca Rocks and Andy McKay for the enormous effort they had made with short notice.

David-Guetta-at-Mallorca-Rocks-PHOTO-CREDIT-PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA-4-of-22-1024x682It’s hard to understand David Guetta’s appeal until you have experienced the effect his music has on an audience. To many people a DJ is just someone who puts on records, but to others a DJ takes you on a journey through sounds, beats and melodies interspersed with meaningful lyrics and potent hooks to bring you back around and deeper in. This is what David Guetta is famous for, producing and playing music which makes people feel good. He has been DJing for more than twenty years, but only really started to attract attention in 2001 and then hit the big time internationally in 2009 with “When Love Takes Over”. He has collaborated with a roll call of famous singers and musicians, including Rhianna, Kelly Rowland, Flo Rida, and even Madonna. What did he think of her? “She is a legend, I respect her longevity.  I am finishing my next album now and it’s difficult to reinvent yourself as an artist so many times, so I respect this a lot. To have one record which is amazing is already great, sometimes it can be an accident, you have a sound or an idea and it comes at the right time, but when you do it every time then it’s really something else”.

David Guetta at Mallorca Rocks PHOTO CREDIT PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA  (5 of 5)It wouldn’t be summer in the Balearics without a single from Guetta, and he has finally released his offering for 2014. “It’s called “Lovers on the sun”, I’m finishing the video now, I produced it together with Avici and we are presenting a new vocalist, Sam Martin. As much as I have been working with the big stars I like to work with new talent as well”.

David-Guetta-at-Mallorca-Rocks-PHOTO-CREDIT-PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA-39-of-78-1024x682The French are famous for being the “avant garde” and being in front of the fashion, so in five years’ time what kind of music does he think he will he be doing? “In five years? I have no idea. I am actually learning about how to live in the present. This is a very tough job for me because I am completely a control freak, I always want to know what is going to happen and plan everything. My personal journey now is to try to enjoy the present and to live without the fear of the future, so it’s not the right time for me to answer a question about what I am going to be doing in five years because I am doing all of this work not to think about it!”

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The press conference closed with David being asked what he thought of Majorca compared to Ibiza “You shouldn’t ask me the question because I don’t know Majorca enough. But by definition I prefer Ibiza to any other place in the world, but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t love Majorca as much”.

David-Guetta-at-Mallorca-Rocks-PHOTO-CREDIT-PHOENIXMEDIAMALLORCA-22-of-22-1024x682Having heard the roars of love and excitement from the crowd as they waited for their idol to come to the stage at the completely packed out Mallorca Rocks Hotel on Wednesday night I think Majorca is quite fond of him as well. Guetta made a short speech to the audience saying “Thank you for coming, no body’s going to stop this party!” and with that he played his hits back to back and inside out for two solid hours.

 

More photos at http://www.phoenixmediamallorca.com

Photos and text: Vicki McLeod

Learning to see through new eyes.

Diana Hirsch

Diana Hirsch

Diana Hirsch is like a breath of fresh air. Her passion, sincerity and enthusiasm for her life and her work make her a pleasure to spend time with, and to cap it off, she is extremely good at what she does: photography, and the teaching of the art. It seems a little controversial to some that photography should be considered an art form, but to Diana it absolutely is: “The art of photography is a very recent gift to humanity that moves us often in unforgettable ways. Modern life would be inconceivable without images”.

Diana has been working as a photographer for many years now, and specialises in creative photography, weddings, and portraits. Her photographs express joy, beauty, and humour, very much like Diana herself. There are transferable skills that good photographers and teachers share: the ability to connect with people, put them at their ease, and guide them gently into what you want them to do. “There was a time, many years ago, when I was asked continually whether I’d like to share my knowledge, to actually teach how I take photographs. I thought, why not? And that’s how I got started. I have been teaching photography courses and holding workshops for many years now and can say that, for me, teaching my art is as fulfilling as photography itself. So “Photoclasses Majorca” is not just a photography school, but rather my second passion as a photographer”. And so it is in this capacity that I find and meet Diana and attend her Beginners’ Photography Classes.

“Anyone can take pictures. Even a machine. But not everyone can watch. Photography is art only in so far as to use the art of observing. Observation is an elementary poetic process. The reality must be shaped, it wants to speak and reveal”. Friedrich Dürrematt

Getting up before dawn pays off

Getting up before dawn pays off (Photo by Vicki McLeod)

I’ve been interested in photography for many years now, but being married to a professional photographer (Oliver Neilson) doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to pick up the knack. I’d wanted to take my own photos, and increasingly have had to for my work, but always with a generous dash of hit and miss as I didn’t really understand the second hand camera that I had acquired for myself. I knew that I was not going to learn (like many others do) via You Tube or the internet, as I have to learn in a group with a teacher. I knew that if I just tried to learn at home in spare moments that I would never pick up the skills that I needed to start to make photographs that I would be proud of. I also knew, just like my father hadn’t been able to teach me to drive a car when I was 17 that my husband, as brilliant at photography as he is, would not be able to teach me to drive a camera: we’re just too close and it’s a great way to start an unnecessary row!

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved”. Ansel Adams

Happy Snappers!

Happy Snappers! (Photo by Danyel Andre)

Enter Diana Hirsch and her 20 hour (three day) intensive course.  The first two days are in a classroom, and the third out on location. It’s aimed at beginners wanting to understand their DSLR cameras, and who want to say goodbye to using the fully automatic mode. We start our course with theory sessions and Diana explains the process of photography, features and properties of lenses, cameras, some special effects such as motion blur, freezing objects in motion, and learning how to control and manipulate your shutter, aperture, ISO, the art of composition and using light, under and over exposure, and depth of field.  Diana tells us that “the word “Photo – graphy” comes from the Greek words meaning “to draw with light”. This is a wonderful explanation for what we are doing when we press the button.
A good photographer paints with light, conveying a unique message in such a way that can never be recaptured”.

Getting right into it

Getting right into it (Photo by Danyel Andre)

We go outside of the classroom occasionally to practice the theory and soon I cannot wait to get on location and really get stuck in to it. When Sunday morning dawns I am already up, in the car and on my way to our meeting spot in the north of the island. We arrive just before the sun rises and set up. Soon we are taking some of the best photographs I have ever done, and without all the hit and miss, accidental elements that have littered my shots up until now. We go to several different spots and learn and practice and shoot, shoot, shoot.

Reviewing the images we’ve taken (Photo by Danyel Andre)

After a few hours we have all taken a lot of photos and we retire to a bar to look at what we have achieved. We are all delighted with our results, and it’s great to share the experience with each other. “Now you will “see” photos in places you would never have imagined, “ says Diana, “Photography is not only used to make an exact copy of the world around us but to surprise, to move, to impress, to motivate and to dream… You have to keep it up now, you have to keep taking photos and enjoying it!” and I know there’s no stopping me now.

Sunrise over Playa de Muro (Photo by Vicki McLeod! Yes, me!)

I have been very fortunate in the past year or so to meet a few really fantastic teachers who have helped me personally to move forwards with my own ambitions and dreams and I count Diana Hirsch amongst those people.  As we finish our last session on the Sunday afternoon I realise I owe her a great debt now, she has opened up a world to me that I have always longed to understand, and now I am on the other side of the door, exploring, and seeing in a different way.

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis”. Henri Cartier-Bresson

Diana teaches courses in English, German or Spanish. You can get information about her photography classes and contact her here: www.photoclasses.eu . More examples of Diana’s work are here www.white-majorca.com and here www.dianahirsch.com.

To read more articles about people on the island visit http://www.mallorcastories.com

“I dreamt of exactly this”.

Vicki McLeod, photographer, Mallorca

Jake Bugg
Palmanova July 2014
©PhoenixMediaMallorca

It’s quite a sleepy Jake Bugg that stumbles down from his room to sit on a sunny hotel terrace on the afternoon before his gig at Mallorca Rocks Hotel. He’s got good reason to be tired as he seems to be permanently on tour. His manager, Jason, lists the European cities and countries that they will be crossing in the next six months, it’s intense, but apparently that’s the way Jake likes it.

Jake Bugg’s first album entered the UK album charts in October 2012 at number one, toppling Mumford & Sons making him the youngest British male at the age of 18 years and 8 months to premiere at the top of the charts with his debut album. This past year has seen him steadily rising up the bill for festivals, last Sunday he played his unique skiffle and blues flavoured songs to more than 70´000 people in Glasgow at T in the Park.

The media love him, and love to talk about him, his clothes, his supermodel girlfriend, his alleged dislike of One Direction and Harry Styles; they also love to speculate about whether he’s moving to the States or if he’s going to do a Dolly Parton inspired country album, so I guess we’ll start with that.

“Dolly Parton at Glastonbury, yeah. I don’t normally read my reviews but I couldn’t help myself from reading about that one. It said I was really inspired after watching Dolly Parton’s set. But I couldn’t even have watched her set as I was on straight after her and didn’t have the time so I don’t know where that came from. I like country music, Jolene’s a great song, Dolly has great songs and a great voice. Her show is pretty cool: it’s like the story of her life through her music. But, I’m not going to be releasing a Dolly tribute album anytime soon, let’s just clear that up now”.

I  warm to Jake immediately, he’s very laid back, something which seems to have been misunderstood for sullenness in some quarters, but he’s a polite lad from a working class estate in Clifton who’s worked very hard to get to where he is. It was when Jake was twelve that his uncle gave him his first guitar lesson one afternoon after his beloved football training. “My uncle just started showing me a few chords, he said the guitar was going to gather dust in the corner, I played these two chords he showed me and I just fell in love with it. I was thinking, wow I can make this cool sound, well it weren’t cool to everyone else but me at the time, just by moving my fingers a little bit, and I just couldn’t put it down. It became a hobby”.

He perks up a bit when we start talking about football and a smile spreads across his lips. “When I picked up a guitar I kind of fell out of love with football, but now I’m getting back into it. We’ve got some matches coming up against our support band soon and Notts County have said I can go and train with them”.

There was always music in the house when he was growing up. His mum had a very diverse taste, from boy bands to Beethoven. “My mum knows a lot about different types of music, the weird thing is she never liked the blues, no one in my family liked the blues, so that was my own little disco really, which is probably why I fell in love with it a little bit more. I heard the story about Robert Johnson going to the cross roads and selling his soul to the devil for his music: the story just pulled me in and then I heard his songs and they haunted me.  I read that people like Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones heard his music and thought it was two people playing when it was just him on his own; he was just a great, great musician. {Robert Johnson was an Afro American blues musician recording in 1936 and 1937} It was just soulful: they had nothing back then, they were living on the cotton fields, they had nothing, they were just sat out on the porches playing music and singing from their soul, just beautiful. They had it so hard, it was another world: you can’t imagine it now. I’m so thankful he gave us something very special, great music that still exists today, and a lot of stuff transcended from it, it was the roots for country, and rock and roll.”

Jake grew up on an estate in the Clifton area of Nottingham, he didn’t have any money to go out and spent most of his time at home practising and practising the guitar. “My first public gig was when I was fifteen. I played in this little bar; there weren’t many people in there. I took my cousin and my uncle. I was nervous but I was excited at the same time. I played a mix of my own stuff and covers. My cousin who was in a band had told me that you should have half an hour’s worth of material so I tried to write half an hour’s worth of stuff so that I could just go out and do gigs. Then I started gigging and I met Jason who became my manager. He got me into a recording studio and I got a record deal pretty quickly. It was amazing how easy it was to get a record deal. Every artist out there, that’s what they strive for. But when you get the record deal that’s when you realise actually that was the easiest bit of it all, and that’s a mad realisation. Then the hard work starts. The record label will probably sign ten acts in a year and maybe one of them will do well. When I was signed there were other artists around who got signed at the same time that were doing maybe a little bit better than me and then their careers didn’t take off and you’d see them going further down the bill as I was going up. It’s scary because it makes you think ‘when is it just going to stop, when is it going to end’. You can sit in bed and worry about it every night like I do for two minutes and then you have to think, well the time I am spending worrying about it I could actually be using it to be productive to help maintain my career and keep going up”.

Even though Jake is only just twenty years old he seems to have an old head screwed firmly onto his young shoulders. He’s quite philosophical about his success and seems to take the attention in his stride, “There might be highs and lows, if you look at someone amazing like Leonard Cohen, if you put his career on a chart it doesn’t always go up, it flows, it goes down and back up, sometimes it plateaus, so you have to be prepared for that. Keep your fans in mind, they’re the ones that are going out and buying your records but also don’t make a song which doesn’t feel like it’s you. It’s got to come from you, that’s the important thing”.

“With any art format there’s always an element of self-indulgence. With my stuff, especially with my first album, the songs are about where I come from, my experiences, and what I’ve seen, but even so people have just related to it anyway. It’s mad to be able to go to really different parts of the world like Japan and South America and for the audience to be stood there singing your songs back to you. It’s like, wow, my songs are about the little estate where I come from and you lot are singing them back to me. It’s very strange”.

“You try to pick out those similarities when you travel around, you’ll see something and “oh that’s just like that thing back home. It’s like dreaming, you know when you dream you are in your own house, but the stairs are the other way around or something’s upside down, it’s not quite the same but it’s very familiar. I wrote the whole of my second album on the road.”

Jake is clear that the backbone to any successful career in music is the music. “I’d say the most important thing, in my opinion, the key to it all, is songs. You have to have songs which people relate to and have a connection with, that they want to watch you perform live, that’s what is going to propel you: songs are the answer. All these people who are around today, all the legends: people like Neil Young and Led Zeppelin, you remember them because they have great tunes. If you write songs which are powerful enough for people to appreciate then they’ll appreciate you as well I think.”

It is inevitable that his experiences have changed him from the naïve Clifton boy he was into the experienced professional musician he has become, “On my first album all the things I was singing about were from me observing and experiencing life on my estate, but on the second album I was looking at it from the outside in. I’ve doing all right for myself and you go to see your family and your friends and you have little conversations with them, and they’re worrying about bills or what so and so is doing nowadays, or who’s gone to prison, and you hear stories about kids that you’ve gone to school with and grown up with, and you hear about them dealing, I would never have thought that person would have gone that way. It’s sad really.”

Indeed music, his precocious talent and a good dollop of luck have saved him from potentially a similar fate. “For me it’s my outlet, it’s what keeps me sane and makes me feel good inside, expressing my emotions and things that I don’t feel that I can talk about, I project them through my music. It makes me happy, at the end of the day when you want to cut yourself off I will just sit in the corner and pick up my guitar and go into my own little world.”

“I hope that I manage to maintain what I have achieved, I’ve already achieved more than I could have dreamt of”, he stops himself, checks himself and smiles, “well no, I dreamt of exactly this. When I was a kid I dreamt of being able to see Metallica, I never thought I would be actually clashing with them at different stages at Glastonbury. It was ridiculous really; it couldn’t have gone much better for me I think. I just want to keep doing my shows, and keep making music for people to listen to.”

That night at the gig in Magalluf I watch young British men on holiday who look exactly like Jake passionately singing Jake’s songs back to him. At least it doesn’t look like Jake is going to need to sell his soul to the devil anytime soon.

Jake Bugg was talking to Vicki McLeod

©VickiMcLeod2014 http://www.mallorcastories.com

Photos of Jake in performance CLICK HERE