I recently gave a short lecture/performance at the Sta. Isabel College Conservatory of Music in Manila, Philippines. The talks was entitled “Skills for the Modern Guitarist” where I discuss my personal experiences as a working musician in the modern world. I also gave advice, both musical and non-musical, to the audience so they have something to follow as they navigate through their own careers.
Unfortunately, my video camera didn’t capture the entire talk, so I will add video snippets to this post as I upload them. The first video, talks about building a strong musical foundation. Enjoy!
It’s 3:10am and my mind is still reeling from the news of Paco de Lucia’s passing. Even though I am not a full-fledged flamenquista, Paco’s influence on me, and countless other guitarists, is undeniable. I feel like l have lost one of my teachers.
As I always do when I deal with grief and sadness, I take to my instrument and play whatever comes to mind. The improvisation below is not any particular Flamenco form nor is it a cover of Paco’s music, but rather a lament… a cry of anguish for this huge loss for the guitar and the entire musical world. Descanse en Paz, Maestro.
It’s that time of year again and I’d like to share this arrangement I did of “The First Noel”. This was recorded several years back and I do plan to re-record it maybe even in a video performance but perhaps I’ll get to it next year.
In the meantime, feel free to share this post and spread some Christmas cheer!
The Philippine island province of Bohol suffered a massive 7.2 earthquake on October 15, 2013 leaving hundreds of people dead and hundreds more injured. Also destroyed were historical structures, churches that were built centuries ago while under the Spanish regime. Also affected was the nearby island of Cebu where more people were killed and injured as well as buildings and structures damaged or destroyed. As of this writing, the area is still experiencing strong aftershocks. News story
This saddens me because my own roots are from this beautiful island. My mother’s father was born there and went on to be among the first Filipino lawyers to have hailed from Bohol. I have personally visited and performed in some of the churches which were magnificent in their old age at the time and it breaks my heart to see that they are now reduced to rubble.
Cebu also holds a special place in my heart and is a frequent concert stop whenever I tour the Philippines. And the ties are clear since Cebu is the guitar capital of the Philippines and I concertize on a guitar built by Cebu Luthier Domingo Javier.
During my last trip to the Philippines I was able to visit Cebu and record a new piece entitled “Sakali” which I have since released on my YouTube channel. In light of this recent disaster I have decided to offer this recording in exchange for donations for disaster relief and help re-build those affected by the deadly earthquake. Please donate any amount you’re comfortable with using the PayPal button below and I will forward all the proceeds to Gawad Kalinga http://gk-usa.org, an established non-profit organization dedicated to helping and rebuilding communities in the Philippines. As soon as I receive your donation I will send a high quality MP3 of “Sakali” to the email address used in the PayPal donation.
Please help. Give a little bit and please share this post to all your connections. Thank you for your kind support.
PERFECTO DE CASTRO
**UPDATE 11/4/2013** I have wrapped up this fundraising effort and have sent $900.00 to Gawad Kalinga for their earthquake relief operations. Read about it here. If you still wish to make a donation, please send directly to Gawad Kalinga USA.
Acoustic Guitar Magazine approached me a while back to write an article to introduce the 10-string guitar to its readers. I titled it “When six is not enough” and included a sidebar about other multistrings.
The article is included in the November 2012 issue which just hit the newsstands so do go and check it out!