Shine Music School has a host of impressive and talented teachers. Many of whom are working on new music. Our teachers are often recording albums or performing, and continue to practice and learn everyday. They bring these talents and expertise into the classroom and each of their students can benefit from their knowledge.
Check out some of their new work!
Gian Carlo Scevola is one of our brilliant guitar teachers. He has been teaching with Shine since its humble beginnings in Barcelona, almost 10 years ago! Visit his profile to learn more about him, or sign up for lessons with Gian Carlo. Gian Carlo recently made it to the final of the International Music Competition of Cambra d ‘ Andorra, Amics Cambra Romànica with the Trío Desconcierto. Here is some of his new music with his Scevola Ensemble:
A new album by the accomplished César Munera titled Wood Mirror is out now. Cesar teaches guitar, specialising in fingerstyle guitar, classical guitar and flamenco guitar at Shine. Follow him on Instagram and enjoy frequent videos of his playing or contact us for a lesson. You can purchase his album on amazon or listen on Spotify.
Sebastian Pan, another of our superb guitar teaches plays in collaboration with Antonio Monasterio Ensemble in the video below. Sebastian frequently shares great videos performing on his really cool travel sized electric guitar on his Instagram. He teaches electric guitar at Shine. Contact us if you would like to do some lessons with Sebastian.
2020 has been an unprecedented year, and probably not for reasons we had expected. Human beings are masters of adaptation however, and 2020’s pandemic has produced quite a few interesting responses. The virtual world has taken off, from gaming, to meetings, online schools and more! Last but not least are virtual concerts! As the northern hemisphere heads into winter, and covid numbers slowly start to increase again, and we navigate our new normal, why not take a break, take off the pressure, stay at home, or invite your bubble buddies over and enjoy a virtual concert.
Virtual live streams from your favourite musicians and bands are currently becoming the “new normal” and it’s kinda fantastic! How amazing to join other fans online for an intimate concert with your favourite band from ANYWHERE in the world! You no longer have to wait for the band or artist to visit your city! You can experience something unique from where ever you are! OK, we know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s still a really cool way to support the musicians, and also to be part of something really interesting! Musicians are also releasing plenty of never before seen footage and recorded concerts. So get your computer out! Enjoy some great music!
The Royal Albert Hall streamed plenty of fantastic concerts like the one below from Gary Crosby and Tomorrow’s Warrior’s CHARLIE PARKER CENTENARY CELEBRATION. Gary Crosby is a British jazz double bassist, composer, music arranger, and educator. He was a founder member of the celebrated group the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s and has worked with many top international artists. You can watch a whole host of other concerts that they live streamed, and sign up to their newsletter to be notified when they release new ones.
The Boiler Room, famous for live streaming their DJ sets from clubs across the world, have a Streaming from Isolation broadcast on their website, where they have been hosting live streams from DJs at home. You can view the archive on their website and request special limited edition invitations to their upcoming live events. An accepted invite allows you to join a private zoom call to view the artists live stream. Here is an example of their videos of Dixon, a Berlin-based artist, best known as a house and technoDJ and producer, as well founder of record label Innervisions.
Carnegie Hall presents a series of live concerts. You can watch shows with musicians such as Joshua David Bell, an American violinist and conductor. Bell reunites with his frequent trio partners—pianist Jeremy Denk and cellist Steven Isserlis—for an afternoon of music and conversation. Watch the broadcast here.
Cuba the largest island nestled in the Caribbean sea, guards a fascinating history. From Spanish Colonisation in the 15th Century, to American occupation and then independence. It got caught in the middle of the cold war under communist Fidel Castro, and is responsible for a string of humanitarian accomplishments. Geographically at a crossroads, many people have found their way to Cuba, and the island has certainly carved a name for itself in history. Its uniqueness is often expressed through music and dance.
With influences spanning from West Africa to Europe, notably, of course, Spain, Cuban music genres are often considered one of the richest and most influential regional musics of the world.
Music often tells a tale, and Cuba reflects it’s people’s histories and cultures. Home to people of different ethnic, religious and national backgrounds, Cubans generally do not equate their ethnicity with nationality but with citizenship and their allegiance to Cuba. This melting pot of a nation has resulted in a fantastic amalgamation of musical styles and composition.
“For instance, the son cubano merges an adapted Spanish guitar (tres), melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms.”
Since the 19th century Cuban music has been hugely popular and influential throughout the world. Since the introduction of recording technology, Cuban music has contributed to the development of a wide variety of genres and musical styles around the globe, most notably in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Europe. Examples include rhumba, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, soukous, many West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music (Orchestra Baobab, Africando), Spanish fusion genres (notably with flamenco), and a wide variety of genres in Latin America.
Let’s check some of them out
PEASANT MUSIC (MÚSICA CAMPESINA) perhaps some of the oldest popular musical styles from Cuba include punto guajiro, zapateo, criolla.
A variety of musical styles in Cuba can be grouped for their AFRICAN HERITAGE. Clave, Cuban carnival, Tumba Francesca all call on their African heritage, often combining religious rituals with songs and dance.
Tumba francesa combines musical traditions of West African, Bantu, French and Spanish origin. Cuban ethnomusicologists agree that the word “tumba” derives from the Bantu and Mandinka words for drum. In Cuba, the word tumba is used to denote the drums, the ensembles and the performance itself in tumba francesa.
Tumbas francesas are directed by a mistress of ceremonies called the mayora de plaza. Performances generally begin with improvised solo singing in a mixture of Spanish and French patois termed kreyol cubano or patuá cubano by the lead vocalist. Following this, the catá (a wooden cylindrical idiophone struck with two sticks) is played, and the lead singer alternates call and response singing with a group of female vocalists (tumberas).After the catá establishes the beat, the three tumbas are played. source
Originating in Europe, CONTRADANZA, where it was known as the “country dance” in the late 18th Century was adapted in Cuba. Mixing African musical styles with European, “this creolization is an early example of the influence of the African traditions in the Caribbean. Most of the musicians were black or mulatto (even early in the 19th century there were many freed slaves and mixed race persons living in Cuban towns)” source
The HABANERA developed out of contradanza in the early 19th century. Setting it apart is the fact that it was sung, as well as played and danced. Written in 2/4 meter, the Habanera is characterized by an expressive and languid melodious development and its characteristic rhythm called “Habanera Rhythm.” Versions of habanera-type compositions have appeared in the music of Ravel, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Fauré, Albeniz. The rhythm is similar to that of the tango, and some believe the habanera is the musical father of the tango.
The GUARACHA uses rapid tempo and comic or picaresque lyrics, and was most often sung in brothels. The genre became an integral part of bufo comic theatre in the mid-19th century.The guaracha survives today in the repertoires of some trova musicians, conjuntos and Cuban-style big bands.
RUMBA is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave. source
The origin of the Cuban SON can be traced to the rural rumbas. It gained worldwide popularity during the 1930s. Son combines the structure and traits of the Spanish canción(song) with Afro-Cuban stylistic and percussion elements as does much of the music from Cuba. However, the Cuban Son is one of the most influential and widespread forms of Latin American music today: its derivatives and fusions, especially salsa, have spread across the world. source Its most characteristic instruments are the Cuban instrument known as the tres, and the well-known double-headed bongó. Also typical are the claves, the Spanish guitar, the double bass (replacing the early botija or marímbula), early on the cornet or trumpet and finally the piano. This fusion of instruments is typical of the musical genre.
After the Spanish-American war, a variety of musical genres emerged as musicians from Cuba traveled to America and back. AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ, MAMBO, CHA CHA CHÁ all became popular.
Cuban music hit the US after World War II, Mario Bauza and the Machito orchestra on the Cuban side and Dizzy Gillespie on the American side were prime motivators. Chano Pozo, a Cuban jazz percussionist, was also important, for he introduced jazz musicians like Dizzy to basic Cuban rhythms. The mambo first entered the United States around 1950, taking it by storm, however it had been developing in Cuba and Mexico City for some time. Cuban jazz has continued to be a significant influence.
Cuban music has continued to diversify through the 1950s, the revolutionary 60s and 70s, and Cubans have been singing and dancing to a variety of genres such as FILIN and NUEVA TROVA. Cuban influenced Salsa music emerged in New York and recently the TIMBA, which differs from their salsa counterparts, in that timba emphasises the bass drum, which is not used in salsa bands. Lately CUBATÓN which evolved from dancehall and has been influenced by American hip hop, Latin American, and Caribbean music has taken precedence with the younger generation. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish.
Andrea Neuenschwander specialises in teaching music to children. She teaches piano, guitar, singing, music therapy and musical awareness for children at the Shine School of Music in Barcelona. Andrea is a music therapist, and graduated from the University of Barcelona. She studied music in Lima-Peru with a focus on Song Composition. Andrea has 8 years of experience working in music schools, foundations and centres and since 2017 she has been teaching early musical stimulation courses for babies and parents.
What was the first thing that got you interested in music?
When I was little, I would go to my grandmother’s house every weekend, with my father and brothers. Upon entering her house, we noticed the strangeness in her gestures, she did not recognize us. My grandmother had a disease called Alzheimer’s. This disease is characterized by memory loss, drastic mood swings, and orientation problems. My grandmother had a very small keyboard at home, she would drink mates and then she would sit in front of it. I, in the amazement of listening to her and seeing how her fingers moved and interpreted entire pieces, began to wonder what music did for her. Enabling her to play songs on the piano, by heart, without reading sheet music, having Alzheimer’s? That’s where my interest in music began.
Who inspires you to make music
In my case, I was inspired by a sequence of events that motivated me to treasure music, the excitement of seeing live concerts, discovering artists, their energy on stage and one thing in particular. Several years ago my sister won a guitar in a tombola (prize raffle), she brought it home and left it in her room for a year, without anyone allowed to touch it. I, in desperation, hating to see it there, so silent, saved money and eventually bought it for a modest sum. That is where my first direct contact with a musical instrument began.
How would you describe the music you normally make?
I was born and raised in a city called Arequipa, in the highlands of Peru, the radio constantly played cumbia and Andean music. Years later, stations with international music arrived. I started singing and playing folk music on the guitar and then unconsciously over the years, I leaned towards melodies and lyrics with characteristics of the folk music of my country. I would define the music I make today as Latin American folkloric.
What is your creative process?
I have a notebook where I write ideas, phrases or thoughts. Then when I get home, I try to delve into the concept through word brainstorming. This braingstorming becomes a bank of words that I try to put in order, writing sentences, then verses. I observe the structure of the verses, and try to find a certain rhythmic effect in them, through rhyme. Once the structure is ready, I imagine the melody that that letter asks of me. I take the guitar or the piano and I spend hours improvising and trying to find the music that best suits the message I want to give. Although sometimes the opposite happens to me, a melody comes to mind, I recognize it with my voice or the piano and I begin to think about the lyrics and the message I want to give it. On many occasions I get stuck and pause several songs to mature in silence, then pick them up again.
If you could choose to collaborate with any musician, who would it be?
I would choose La Lá, a Peruvian singer and songwriter, one of my favourites.
If you could choose to open any musician’s show, whose would it be?
That of Natalia Lafourcade, I think she is an artist with a wonderful musical journey, a sample of the constant search for her own sound, the beauty of her vocal technique and her compositions.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Yes, normally the song that I was listening to before going into the shower, the melodies stick with me.
Of your concerts, which one have you enjoyed the most and why?
Several months ago, before the pandemic, I started playing in a band “El Ingrediente”, with a group of Cuban musicians. When one of them could not participate in events, I was invited to sing backup and play the “Güiro”. There was one concert in particular, in the Tres Chimneas, during the PobleSec bloc party that stood out for me, it was a giant stage and more than 200 people in the audience. I enjoyed it very much because it put me to the test on my stage presence, management and musical development.
Where would you like to do a concert?
In the main square of my city, Arequipa.
What famous musicians do you admire?
Billie Holiday, Caetano Veloso, Celeste Mendoza, Devendra Banhart, Chabuca Granda, Joao Gilberto, Norah Jones, Leonard Cohen, Natalia Lafourcade and more …
What has been the best advice you have been given?
How fast you go is irrelevant, forward is forward.
How do you think the internet has impacted the music industry?
I think the internet has changed the landscape and the perception of music in general. On the one hand, it has helped to promote and disseminate emerging musical projects, especially independent ones, increasing their listeners. Something that did not happen in such a shocking way years ago, since the music scene was controlled by large labels that in turn controlled the broadcast content of many stations and concerts and therefore a large part of the listeners. This has changed, in my perception in a positive way, today there is a range of possibilities to discover and listen to artists that were previously out of our reach. On the other hand, as an artist, I consider it a very powerful tool for the development of projects and their dissemination.
If you could change one thing in the industry, what would it be?
I believe that in the current crisis compounded by confinement, both artists and musical educators are showing a deeper awareness about the positive benefits that a discipline such as music has in different areas and above all in people. Currently it is very difficult to monetize and make money with live concerts, these are very difficult times for artists in general, but we constantly reinvent ourselves, we survive.
What would you be doing right now if we weren’t in a pandemic?
Projects, concerts, I would be traveling or visiting family and friends more often.