Interview conducted by Virginia Tamayo & Jorge Munnshe

Jorge Calderon Moreno is a guitarist and keyboardist with an interesting side as a composer. He makes a kind of music without ties, which flows freely between the romantic aspect of New Instrumental Music and the most symphonic part of European folk, also including some Classical, Atmospheric and Progressive Rock touches. We have a good sample of his task in the album "El Chico de Reading" (The Boy from Reading). His live performances, where he has played some pieces of this work, have been very well received, and make us think that his activity as a composer will influence the panorama of the instrumental musics today.

Jorge entered the world of music at age ten, when he started playing a mini keyboard his brother bought. "I used to enjoy myself with it, making songs and the like." Already at age seventeen he was bought a keyboard. With it he followed a three-year-course of music, besides starting to play the lute and the Spanish guitar. At age twenty he bought an electric guitar and he also started working with it. With respect to composing, he began doing so as soon as he got his keyboard, at age seventeen.

About the musical influences that have somehow set a path for his style, he remarks: "Mostly,  Mike Oldfield, above any other musician or kind of music, although I also believe that other bands such as Pink Floyd, or Jean Michel Jarre have likewise influenced me, as well as Classical Music composers, (Vivaldi, Beethoven)..." He acknowledges that his tastes include very different styles: Folk, Rock, Pop, Celtic, New Age, Classical Music, and others.

For the time being, he doesn't consider himself related to any given label or musical trend in particular. "I guess that labels will be given by the musical critics as they listen to the kind of music I create. Nor would I have any problems should they classify what I do within any given kind of music".

About the process he usually follows to compose and record any tracks, he explains: "Normally a melody comes to my head, and from it I develop the rest. At the moment, I have always done so like this, although I would like to try creating melodies that ended up becoming an accompaniment for others. I record track by track until everything comes up to my taste and afterwards I mix the tracks. I generally do it all online so as to avoid background noises".

Practically anything that attracts his attention is useful for him as an inspiration when it comes to composing. "Nonetheless, there are pieces that I compose without thinking of any given idea, that is to say, without looking for a parallel story or an image... They may simply reflect a given, momentary mood".

In "El Chico de Reading" we find seven original pieces of a great strength, besides a version of the popular anonymous theme "The House of the Rising Sun". The melody is very well defined in all his compositions, while at the same time constituting the dominant element. The constructions of his themes are varied, as well as the emotions they generate. There are pieces with an air of happy Folk that seem to evoke the racket of a traditional open-air party. Others are of a classicist leaning and a more solemn shade, guided by a melancholy romanticism that suggests all the intensity of feelings. An impressive electronic guitar solo which agilely shapes a melody with a Folk air, slightly sad and nostalgic, captivates us very strongly. We also find passages where the mystery is pervaded with a crystalline, pure, ingenuous beauty, as if evoking the magic in fairy tales and in the illusions of childhood that vanish as we grow up.

This album was composed in different occasions. The tracks "La Vía Láctea" and "Marcha de Kurt" were made when he was seventeen, and from then on "I had them in my head until I recorded them with the rest of the pieces that are more or less recent". As for the title of the album, he admits that it is a little homage to Mike Oldfield. He also explains that all the tracks in the CD came up "without specifically looking for them, simply digressing a little with the keyboard or the guitar, and when they were already composed, then I tried to find then a title or story which was adequate for them".

He states that his music no doubt reflects his personality, though he has not included very personal issues. "I rather try to associate it with stories on any subject matter". For the time being, he doesn't intend to vindicate anything with what he has composed. "I simply wanted to create music for its own sake, although, certainly, each song must have an associated title, and with it, a story or theme it gets related to". In this respect he tells us that the task of assigning a name to each composition in "El Chico de Reading" took him a lot of effort.

Besides the kind of music he has shaped in "El Chico de Reading", he has also in mind some tracks of a different orientation, with Eastern, Celtic, Classical, and other influences.

He feels definitely more at ease with the guitar, as he confirms to us. "I believe that as time goes by, it would allow me to get a lot more out of it than what I could get from a keyboard". He also believes that with it one can express more things than with a keyboard. In fact, his relationship with the guitar comes to the field of professional performance, since for example, just as this interview is taking place, he is just waiting to teach the guitar to one of his classes.

He experiences the live performances he has so far taken part in with less stress than what he had once imagined in the beginning. "Although it is too soon to make a definite assessment". To play live is for him a unique experience. "Undoubtedly, a live performance is special just because it is unrepeateable and in it one can include improvisation". In his opinion, a musician worth his trade should control both the aspects of live performances as well as those from a recording studio. About these two aspect he says: "I relate the recording process more to an intellectual task (so to speak); and as for the live performances, I see them as a good chance to make yourself known, learn to improvise, increase your self-confidence or play with other musicians."

You can listen to samples of the music by Jorge Calderon here.

You can contact Jorge Calderon in this email address:

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