Along the Sea in the North of Spain

Along the Sea in the North of Spain
Gijon, In the North of Spain. Miguel Prado, photographer

Mario is a pianist and composer from the North of Spain. I met him on Twitter. He began following me because we both like the music of the Icelandic composer, Olafur Arnalds. Mario’s music is equally beautiful. Once I listened to it, I knew I had to know more about Mario and his life. To listen to his lovely music yourself, go to his Spotify page at http://open.spotify.com/artist/4hAdpygElM5qnAI534XVRp …

Photos by Miguel Prado.

My Conversation with Mario

Mario, looking to sea. Miguel Prado, photographer.

Mario, looking to sea. Miguel Prado, photographer.

Please look outside your window and tell me what you see.

 The sea, the green, the clouds.

What animals roam freely near your home?

Cows, horses, birds, and sometimes even a peacock. It´s amazing and beautiful.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Orange juice, coffee, and toast with olive oil.

Musically, who inspires you?

A great variety of ages, styles, and countries. I have found a huge inspiration in Bach, Wagner, Prokofiev, and Erik Satie. My favorite Spanish composer is Alberto Iglesias. I love his cello melodies for the films he scores. I've learned a lot from him.

What do you do on a typical workday? 

Mario at the piano. Miquel Prado, photographer.

Mario at the piano. Miquel Prado, photographer.

I work on several projects at the same time: a soundtrack for a film, a music production, a video-clip, some postproduction, etc. I used to spend lots of hours in my studio (La habitación con una cama), since there´s always something to spend time on. I play the piano every day and I compose some pieces or melodies as ideas, then I work on them several days later. I record everything I compose to have many tunes recorded for upcoming albums or soundtracks.

What are your impressions of America?

America is too big to have a concrete impression about it. It seems to be better on TV and film, where it attempts to impose an American way of life to the rest of the world. Sometimes we accept it and sometimes we don't. Though it may seem beautiful and perfect on the screen, there are problems in America that do not come to light, such as immigration, weapons, obesity, and social security. On the other side, the U.S. people work really well and do pretty cool things. I love New York, and the work of Martin Scorsese, Dustin O´Halloran, and Philip Roth.

What rumors or myths about Spain would you like to dispel?

Not all the Spanish people like the bullfights and flamenco. We work hard. And the best dish you can find in Spain is not the Paella, it´s the Fabada. It is found in Asturias, the North. Don´t miss it.

What makes you most proud about being a Spaniard?

Family overall. It´s the center of the social net we have in Spain, a way we organize life to help each other anytime someone needs it. Fortunately, from the beginning of the economic crisis, many people in Spain survived because of family, grandparents, parents, etc. Otherwise, it is impossible to understand how five million unemployed people survived during the last three or four years.

Sorry about Spain’s defeat at the 2014 World Cup. What is the mood like there?

No problem. Better than in Brazil. We have not only soccer almost every day in Spain, but also pubs to have some beer, talk to other people, and feel better. The mood for politicians is different. They wanted Spain to win the World Cup and keep the people and the media busy on it. Now they are alone, and every day we all see their corruption and non-social policies.

What do you do to relax?

Walk by the seaside: that is how I composed my “seaside song”.

Gijon, Mario's hometown.  Miguel Prado, photographer.

Gijon, Mario's hometown.
Miguel Prado, photographer.

Where is the most beautiful place in Spain that only a native would know?

If I say exactly where it is, then it would not be a place that only a native would know. But I´ll give you a hint: Asturias. Just come and discover it!

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    Laura E. Vasilion

    I am a published writer whose credits include The Chicago Tribune newspaper and magazine, Readers Digest, Entrepreneur and a number of national and international publications. Last year, I completed my first novel, set in WWII Iceland. I have another blog, Le Colonel and Me (http://lecolonelandme.wordpress.com) which chronicles my friendship with Paul Fossat, a 90-year-old Frenchman I met through the Internet. Paul taught me it is never too late to reach out into the world. To be curious. To talk to people. To listen. This blog is dedicated to him.

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