TRIP TO KUALA LUMPUR




TRIP TO KUALA LUMPUR (21st to 26th October 2016)

My nephew José Enrique and I landed in Kuala Lumpur the 22nd of October in the afternoon. We were picked up in the airport by Andrew Chew, the general manager of the Guitar Store, our distributors in Malaysia, and he took us to the hotel to leave our luggage and refresh ourselves a little. The hotel was communicated with a mall, which in turn was communicated with another mall… so we could see during our stay that the malls have invaded the city and are interconnected. And we understood that there is a good explanation for that, as the heat and humidity are so high, mainly at this time of the year when it is constantly raining, it turns out that life is wonderful in one of these shopping centers, a haven where you can enjoy a nicely regulated temperature to hang around. Still we went out the street, it rained all of a sudden more than once – and really torrential rains – and anyway we ventured to visit the Batu Caves, which entrance is guarded by a golden statue 137,8 feet high. It is a Hindu temple, apparently the biggest spiritual Hindu centre out of India. To access the temple, we heroically went up the 272 steps, and we even took pictures with the monkeys that live there and that obviously are used to the continuous influx of visitants to the temple.

Although we didn’t go up the Petronas Towers, we decided to see then from a bar that one of the friends of my nephew had very much recommended us, the Heli Lounge Bar. We got lost. We were lost. We noted that it can be really difficult to ask for directions in Kuala Lumpur to the always kind people you find along the street. But finally we could find the entrance of the building in whose top floor it was the bar that ended up being a great place, with impressive views over the city, we could enjoy delicious beer while we saw the illuminated towers and the rest of the city with the colors of the night of Kuala Lumpur.

On Monday the 24th, we had lunch with our hosts, the management team of Guitar Store, Kuah Wei Chin, Low Kia Soon, Jordan Kuah, Ice Hoong Qiu Xia and Andrew Chew, before the presentation we had been invited to. The presentation took place in one of their shops, the historical, in other words, the place where they started their business and the one from which they grew until they became a key reference for the lovers of the guitar in Malaysia.
When I was invited to make the presentation a few months before, it was suggested that I could do it on Sunday, but I thought that I wouldn’t be appropriate to make them work on bank holiday, and I proposed that it would be better to do it on Monday, and they accepted. But they accepted because they are good people and really complacent. And the thing is that once there, I knew that they had proposed Sunday because it would be the day of higher assistance and not on Monday when a lot of people would be working. And although assistance was quite high, the room was not completely filled, as it would be if the presentation would have been on Sunday. So we learned one more thing and we will accept any proposal we have in the future to make a presentation on a bank holiday.

Before the talk, we had a meeting with the whole management and sales team of Guitar Store, to explain them the technical details or our models and give them information that will facilitate the sale.
This was followed by our speech about our guitar makers family, it awoke great interest, and many people there showed their complicity because they knew a lot of details about our history, as it happens every time we make this presentation. Enrique make his demonstration of how we make the mosaics in the sound hole, it was a great success, as it is usual. It is a beautiful job and nobody that has ever made a mosaic has an idea of the hard work it is.
Among the assistants to our talk, there was a Chinese guitar teacher, Mr. Chin Seong Sum, he was a great fan of Ramírez. We had a great time with him telling us anecdotes and histories of guitarists, and he made us part of his joy, as at last he was able to buy a Ramírez, which had been his lifetime dream.

The last day Low invited us to a Happy Hour, and I think we drank all the beer in the bar, in spite of that we left unscathed, inexplicably. The thing is that we had fun talking about everything and anything, sharing videos, stories and getting to know each other better.


On October 26th, I took the plane to Shanghai, where Marisa Sanzano and Arancha Prieto were waiting for me in Music China. And I left Enrique in Kuala Lumpur, as he had to go back to Madrid to continue with his work of constructing guitars. 


Amalia Ramírez

VIAJE A KUALA LUMPUR



VIAJE A KUALA LUMPUR (21 a 26 Octubre de 2016)

Mi sobrino José Enrique y yo aterrizamos en Kuala Lumpur el 22 de Octubre por la tarde. En el aeropuerto nos recogió Andrew Chew, general manager  de Guitar Store, nuestros distribuidores en Malasia, y nos llevó al hotel para dejar nuestro equipaje y refrescarnos un poco. El hotel estaba comunicado con un mall el cual a su vez estaba comunicado con otro mall… y lo que pudimos comprobar durante nuestra estancia es que los malls han invadido la ciudad y se comunican entre sí. Y entendimos que existe una buena explicación para ello, pues como el calor y la humedad son tan elevados, sobre todo en esa época del año en que hay lluvias casi constantes, resulta que se vive muy bien dentro de los centros comerciales, un refugio donde disfrutar de una temperatura agradablemente regulada para pasar el rato. Aún así, salimos a la calle, nos llovió de repente en más de una ocasión –y lluvias realmente torrenciales- y nos animamos, pese a todo, a visitar las Cuevas Batu, cuya entrada está custodiada  por una estatua dorada de 42 metros de altura. Se trata de un templo hindú, al parecer el mayor centro espiritual hindú fuera de la India. Para entrar subimos, heróicamente, los 272 peldaños, y hasta nos hicimos fotos con uno de los monos que habitan ahí y que están evidentemente acostumbrados a la continua afluencia de visitantes al templo.
Aunque no subimos a las torres Petronas,  decidimos verlas desde un bar que un amigo de mi sobrino le había recomendado muy insistentemente, el Heli Lounge Bar. Nos perdimos. Nos perdieron. Observamos que puede ser complicado pedir orientación en Kuala Lumpur a la gente, siempre amabilísima, que te encuentras por la calle. Pero finalmente logramos encontrar la entrada al edificio en cuya última planta estaba el bar que resultó ser un lugar estupendo, con unas vistas impresionantes de la ciudad, y pudimos disfrutar de unas ricas cervezas mientras veíamos las torres iluminadas, y el resto de la ciudad con los colores de la noche de Kuala Lumpur.
El lunes  24 comimos con nuestros anfitriones, el equipo directivo de Guitar Store, Kuah Wei Chin, Low Kia Soon, Jordan Kuah, Ice Hoong Qiu Xia y Andrew Chew, antes de la presentación, para la que habíamos sido invitados. La presentación la llevamos a cabo en una de sus tiendas, la histórica, es decir, el local en el que empezaron su negocio y a partir del cual fueron creciendo hasta convertirse en una referencia clave para los amantes de la guitarra en Malasia.
Cuando me invitaron a hacer la presentación varios meses antes, me propusieron hacerla en domingo, pero yo, pensando que no sería adecuado hacerles trabajar en festivo, les propuse que mejor la lleváramos a cabo el lunes, y aceptaron. Pero aceptaron porque son unas buenas personas y muy complacientes. Y es que una vez ahí me enteré de que habían propuesto el domingo porque era el día en que habría una mayor asistencia, y no el lunes en que mucha gente estaría trabajando. Y aunque hubo bastante asistencia, el local no llegó a llenarse del todo, como habría sucedido en caso de haber hecho la presentación el domingo. Así que aprendimos una cosa más, y aceptaremos cualquier propuesta que nos hagan en el futuro de hacer una presentación en un festivo.
Antes de la charla, tuvimos una reunión con todo el equipo directivo y comercial de Guitar Store, para explicarles detalles técnicos de nuestros modelos, e información que facilitara su venta.
Y a continuación tuvo lugar nuestra charla sobre nuestra familia guitarrera que despertó un gran interés, y muchos de los presentes dieron muestras de complicidad al conocer muchos detalles de nuestra historia, como nos suele suceder cada vez que hacemos esta presentación. Enrique hizo su demostración de cómo hacemos los mosaicos de nuestras bocas, que tuvo mucho éxito, como suele suceder. Es un trabajo bonito, y nadie que nunca haya hecho un mosaico tiene una idea de lo laborioso que es.
Entre los asistentes durante nuestra charla, había un profesor de guitarra chino,  Mr. Chin Seong Sum, que era un gran entusiasta de Ramírez.  Nos hizo pasar un buen rato contando anécdotas, historias de guitarristas y nos hizo partícipes de su alegría, pues  por fín había podido comprar una Ramírez, lo cual había sido su sueño de toda la vida.
El último día Low nos invitó a un Happy Hour,  y creo que nos tomamos todas las cervezas del bar pese a lo cual salimos indemnes, inexplicablemente. Lo cierto es que lo pasamos muy bien hablando de todo un poco, compartiendo vídeos, historias y conociéndonos mejor.

El 26 de Octubre cogí el avión camino de Shanghai, donde Marisa Sanzano y Arancha Prieto me esperaban en Music China. Y dejé a Enrique en Kuala Lumpur, pues tenía que regresar a Madrid a continuar con su trabajo de construir guitarras.

Amalia Ramírez

PREMIO LEONARDO DA VINCI- ROTARY CLUB



El día 20 de Mayo, asistí al premio Leonardo da Vinci que el Rotary Club entrega cada año. En esta ocasión el acto se llevó a cabo en  un lugar tan emblemático como la Real Academia de la Lengua, y el premio se le entregó al director de orquesta español Guillermo García Calvo. Para cerrar la ceremonia el Madrid Guitar Duo –Roberto García y Pablo González- tocaron un breve y precioso concierto. La música, el lenguaje universal que trasciende las diferencias de los idiomas, una vez más, interpretada con excelencia, nos hizo disfrutar a todos los asistentes, pertenecientes a diferentes países que nos reunimos para celebrar un acontecimiento tan hermoso.
#rotaryclub #clubrotarios #premioleonardodavinci #rae #realacademiadelalenguaespañola


De izquierda a derecha: Pablo González, Amalia Ramírez, Roberto García


Laly Paredes, Guillermo García y Carmen Kaiser

De izquierda a derecha: Rolf Egon, Antonio Donaire,
Guillermo García Calvo y Antonio Mosquera.

De izquierda a derecha: Rolf Egon, Guillermo García Calvo,
Emmanuela Masini, Mario Rohracher y Carlo Franzini


De izquierda a derecha: Javier Campos Bueno, Silvia Torán,
Guillermo García Calvo, Carmen Kaiser, Silos Manso, 
Concha Calvo, Humberto Oran



XLIII Leonardo da Vinci International Art Award 20th May 18, 2017 (Madrid) 

Leonardo da Vinci was not only a great scientist and a great artist but also interested in music. He played various instruments and was very good at improvising, he studied the laws of acoustics and even invented an instrument: a new kind of viola.

Leonardo was a great example for humanity because he showed us that life has an almost infinite number of sources of inspiration and that human beings can be creators in every area. Moreover, Leonardo's life and work show that all areas are connected with each other.

For me, music is the best way to connect everything in life. When I study I am connected with the composer; when I rehearse I am connected with the singers, the musicians and the staff; when I conduct a concert I am connected with the audience - so in the end, we are all connected! Quite some time ago, when I went to Vienna and started to learn conducting, I had the privilege of receiving the enormous and incredibly valuable support of the Rotary Club Madrid Velázquez.

So many years have passed since then, and today I am extremely happy and proud to receive this recognition from the Rotary Club Madrid and ten European Rotary Clubs. Every day, I try to make the world around me better through the music - or, if not better, at least more beautiful and more inspiring. 

I want to constantly remind us of the fact that music is one of the most fascinating ways we human beings have to express ourselves. Music can do great things with us. We only have to take a look around to see that no human being is exempt from negative qualities. It is not always easy to fight them. We can see that in politics, economics and so many other areas. 

This is why I consider it my mission in life to show how music awakes the best sides in us. Because when we play music we need to listen to our colleagues, we need to be tolerant, we must know how to wait, we need discipline, we must never stop growing during our whole lives, we always need to be critical with ourselves and must never take things for granted. 

I would like to thank all of you for your support - it is your effort and your dedication that make it possible for so many young people to dedicate their lives to music and thus awake their best sides. Thank you! Guillermo García-Calvo