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In today’s contemporary global music scene,  the name LAUTARO MANTILLA rises as an iconic artistic figure that will lead the next decades among the top composers and guitarists of our era. Dr. Mantilla’s outstanding accomplishments over the past years, as one of the top DMA composition candidates of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston Massachusetts (www.necmusic.edu), have been recognized and celebrated around the world, due to the profound, innovative and unique vision and concept he has carefully created and put behind each one of his compositions, which now are starting to be exposed internationally, putting the 38 year old Colombian native, far ahead his peers and the top names in the artistic (composition and guitar) field in the world. 

Dr. MANTILLA's Interview

"My advise for the future generations is to be faithful with what you believe, what care about..."

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PERCUACTION Global Network Recognizes the artistic career of International guitarist-composer Dr. LAUTARO MANTILLA.

Published on February 1st, 2019 / 09:55AM Easter Standard Time 

PERCUACTION:
Tell us about your connection and perspective of your teacher Eliot Fisk and the inference that he has had on you?

 

Dr. MANTILLA:
Studying with Eliot was a dream for me. He is a force of nature and one of the sweetest men I know. His generosity and genuine care for his students have taught me the deepest lessons as musician and human being. He is one of the greatest guitarist of all time and he stills manage to care about every single person that crosses his studio. It goes beyond the music, he finds in every student their unique potential and explores ways for them to push their voices and their capacities to the highest possible levels. It’s really remarkable and inspiring. 

PERCUACTION:
Now in that order, what about the influences that you had previously to your life in Boston? How much of all that you lived before, and learned for that matter, helped shaping those initial seeds that eventually developed an evolved in the interesting concepts you created in your compositions over the past years?

Dr. MANTILLA:
I come from a family of musicians and to be honest I cannot remember my life not being about or surrounded by music. Very early on, my parents taught me the concept of respect for musical diversity. It was very normal for us to have in our mixtapes a Beethoven’s string quartet followed by a collection of traditional Venezuelan songs/laments by Simon Diaz, followed by the Beatles’ white Album... you get the idea. The common thread was always quality, power and purpose, regardless of the source.

By Andy Mier  -  International Press Representative

From our perspective, it is only a matter of time that the whole international community surrenders to the magnificent genius behind each one of his works and concepts. Therefore it is our very own pleasure to dedicate this 1st segment of our global-press newsletter to interview Dr. Mantilla, with the intention to expose his work to a global audience that we have no doubt, will appreciate his insights, ideas and creations, hoping that it becomes an inspiration for the newer generations of composers, guitarists and overall artists who seek role models such as Mr. Mantilla, as a source of constant creativity and sought-after musical concepts. 

PERCUACTION:
Dr. MANTILLA, it is a pleasure to have you here today with us, and by the way congratulations on your recent DMA degree with honors.

Dr. MANTILLA:
Thank you so much and thank you for the invitation as well. It is my pleasure to be here talking to you.


PERCUACTION:
We want to begin this interview by asking you to describe to us your actual feelings as a composer, after graduating from the New England Conservatory (NEC) from the DMA program

Dr. MANTILLA:
As a composer, I feel very excited about all the possibilities now that I’m done with my DMA. It really was a very intense period of my life where I had the chance to confront every single thought I had about music and about myself. This was a ten-year journey at New England Conservatory, an incredible place with endless possibilities for musicians to find their sound and their voice, in order to get to the place I am right now. I feel extremely fortunate to be making music in this particular time because of all the resources, technology, and knowledge that we have about the world and about each other and I’m looking forward to keep exploring and sharing my voice.


PERCUACTION:
It is not a secret for anyone in the field the outstanding results behind your compositions of the last years, how much do you attribute your latest creations to the fact of being part of an institution such as NEC?

Dr. MANTILLA:
Thank you! What New England Conservatory offers is an unbelievable platform for composers, for musicians in general to explore within a supportive, yet competitive environment - competitive in the good sense of the word-. At NEC, you will find people from all over the world with the highest musical level one could dream and because of this, I had the opportunity to collaborate with so many incredible musicians that allowed me to get to know different styles of music and different ways to understand music. I have been inspired by all these experiences so definitely I will say that my time there will influenced my music forever.

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Another important Element from my past is the concept of making music with the people you love. I started early on playing in rock bands, as well as orchestras, and never found more joy than when I played with people. That social element and that power that Music has to build communities and to empower people to feel part of something bigger than themselves its something that I have cared my whole life and that I will carry with me wherever I go.

PERCUACTION:
What about other influences in general. What can you tell us?


Dr. MANTILLA:
I guess another big influence for me has been movies and television. I have watched television as maniac for the past 30 years. There is a big visual component in the music I write and play. I try to understand sound as an object that can manipulate and transform with my hands. A lot of the perception I have about timing and rhythm in my music comes from Movies that I love.

PERCUACTION:
Now, how do you compare your initial works to the ones you are doing at the moment?


Dr. MANTILLA:
I think the music that I am writing now it’s more crafted than the one I was writing when I started, but I can recognize my voice in those early works. The soul it’s clearly the same. I am one of those composers that likes to go back and re-visit early works, I changed notes or ideas and try to keep developing new ways to perform those same pieces. I guess it is because there has been always a component of Improvisation as a structural element in my music that I still feel the possibilities are endless for these pieces to keep growing. 


PERCUACTION:
Please tell us what your creative process is like, once you are creating a new composition or concept from scratch.

Dr. MANTILLA:
In my work, so far, there has been a set of steps that I follow rigorously: 

  1. Concept/idea - it doesn’t matter how long it takes for this to solidify, I always wait patiently for the concept to reveal itself. Then I work and think more about it. 

  2. Dream as big as you can/want- it doesn’t matter how crazy the idea sounds like

  3. Figure out what are the techniques, sometimes musical some times technological techniques, and methodologies that I need to learn or deal with in order to be able to make it work.

  4. Make it happen- no matter how, no matter what but make it happen 

And so far these steps have worked for me.

PERCUACTION:
Give us a list of future projects that you’re looking forward to develop.

Dr. MANTILLA:
I am working in a solo guitar album that will be out at the end of the summer. The process has been incredible because by putting the album together I have learned and understand so much about the instrument and my musical ideas in a direct realization with the possibilities and limitations of the instrument. 

Another big project is that I am putting together a group of 56 musicians to play the piece I wrote for my doctorate (my thesis). The instrumentation it’s a little bit insane with a double rock band and a double choir plus a chamber ensemble and some noisemakers. It took me two years to write the piece and I had to put this group together to get to hear what this monster piece could sound like. It’s amazing to see a project like this one to become a reality. I feel very humbled with the reaction that the musicians had have with the material and the commitment and energy they are putting in the project. We are going to perform the piece in New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh in October and we will record it in November for a compilation album of my chamber works. We will see how it goes. I will keep you posted

PERCUACTION:
What message can you give the young generations of composers and guitarists in order to follow their dreams in this profession? 


Dr. MANTILLA:
I guess the biggest advice I could give young generations of musicians is to care about the world, to care about their environment, to care about the people they love, sometimes we forget that without that we cannot really be happy and it doesn’t matter what we do with our music. Another thing is to be faithful with what they believe, what they care about, what they say, being faithful with yourself will allow you to also feel proud of the work you’re doing and I find that to be important to keep working and challenging yourself. One last thing could be to look for the excellence in your work, not the perfection. Do the best you can and try to have empathy with yourself, that always will have good results.

Published on February 1st, 2019 / 09:55AM Easter Standard Time 

By Andy Mier  -  International Press Representative

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