Paradise Of Feelings is an avant-garde project of the utmost quality, directed, composed and orchestrated by the young composer VARELAND (Cristian Varela) for strings, piano, choruses and church organ. With the prestigious National Ensemble of Contemporary Music (E.N.E.M.C.), it fuses in a completely innovative way compositions inspired by the baroque period with experimental electronic music, where for so many years Varela has shined as a veritable specialist.
This ambitious project will be released very soon and accompanied by an elaborate live show along with E.N.E.M.C., and with the collaboration of renowned musicians and professors from various parts of the world (Vienna, Berlin, London...). It will also feature stellar collaborations interpreting the work of our young composer, along with a contemporary dance ballet directed by internationally-renowned choreographers, and a spectacular audiovisual montage in 3D, laser and multimedia. In short, a highly futuristic, striking and innovative show, coalescing the latest technology with the classical instruments we have admired for decades.
In addition, Paradise Of Feelings was mixed and mastered by none other than the prestigious London studios of ABBEY ROAD, which has always recorded the biggest producers, artists and groups from PLANET MUSIC:
The Beatles, David Bowie, Radiohead, and sound tracks such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings o Harry Potter, among a long list of successful stories in music and film.
Finally, the Past and Future are fused to offer what could very possibly be a new musical and conceptual era!
The concept of this work involves fourteen pieces based on a particular mood, feeling or perception of what occurs within us, or what we take in from the exterior. Each of these feelings or states are represented by one or various acoustic instruments (classical) such as cellos, double bass, violin, harp, piano... accompanied by synthesis of the digital sound (synthesizers).
As such it bears a certain parallel with the work of Vivaldi “The Four Seasons”, in which each piece represents a season of the year.
For our artist, each piece of the album represents the human state and its variations, debilities, wonders and the nuances that differentiate us.
01 No Holding Back
Work inspired by happiness and represented by violins.
02 Tempestuous Tango
Inspired by love and represented by piano and large accordion.
Inspired by solitude or melancholy and represented by piano.
04 Extra Sensory Perception
Inspired by mystery/intrigue, represented by harp.
05 Grieving For You
Inspired by sadness and represented by cellos.
06 Luce Guida
Inspired by nostalgia and represented by soprano.
Inspired by anguish and represented by violins.
08 Synths Of Optimism
Inspired by optimism and represented by synthesizers.
09 A Cautious Adventure
Inspired by hope and represented by soprano and cellos.
10 The Fear Of Being Alone
Inspired by fear and represented by trills of strings.
11 A State Of Consciousness
Inspired by meditation and relaxation, represented by strings.
12 Exhausted Soul
Inspired by weariness and represented by piano.
13 Uncontrolable Despair
Inspired by desperation and represented by church organ.
14 Fighting For a Miracle
Inspired by rage and represented by an ensemble of strings.
His father is an acclaimed Spanish theatre actor, his mother a ballerina and Spain of “Swan Lake” performer in Spain. His grandfather directed the Spanish opera, and his uncle just happens to be one of the most celebrated pianists in Spain. Madrid-born Carlos C. Varela Duran certainly has showbiz in his blood.
But as a child, the young composer would sit alone in his room, playing around on a battered synthesizer, trying out melodies. And it was there, aged 10, that he wrote his first piece of music “Tempestuous Tango”, recently mixed and mastered at Abbey Road studios by Sam Okell/ Geoff Peische (Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars…) Minogeand to be included on the debut album “Manita Paradise of Feelings”.
“I must have worked on hundreds between the ages of 10 and 12”, says V A R E L A N D “But I will never forget the look on my father's face when I first played him “Tango”. In fact, Señor Varela was so impressed he rushed straight out to buy V A R E L A N D a new synthesizer, who in turn began developing the track to be used in one of his father's productions. His mother, meanwhile, acted as choreographer. “It's pretty amazing to think Tango's made it all these years”, smiles V A R E L A N D.
Growing up in a smart suburb in the 1980s, V A R E L A N D became enthralled with the music on his parents' stereo at home, usually Bach, Mozart, and Handel. “Creatively it had a huge impact on me”, he says. “Classical music has always been part of my life, and it's important for me to be recognized within this world”.
Even with this heritage, V A R E L A N D only studied piano to Grade 5 before quitting, and he has never learnt classical composition, instead preferring to experiment - and therefore remain untouched by perceived restrictions. “Vangelis never followed the strict musical rules”, argues V A R E L A N D. “He feared the affects on his creativity, how it would change his creative process. “I'm the same”.
Besides Hans Zimmer, Cristian's two heroes are Vangelis and Ennio Morricone. “The melodies and synthesizers, the subtle nuances and epic scale of their work – it's so powerful”, he says. “Zimmer, Vangelis or Morricone can make pure magic with just four notes, and it's this that inspires me”.
Michael Nyman's seminal soundtrack to “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” springs to mind upon hearing “Manita Paradise of Feelings”, and it comes as no surprise that V A R E L A N D has his sights set on the film world. “I would love to score films for Spielberg, or Scorsese, Tarantino or Ridley Scott. To be involved with something like Gladiator, where the orchestration fuels the film - this is what drives me” says V A R E L A N D.
Unlike traditional classical music, electronic elements are a key aspect of V A R E L A N D´s work. “It's a big part to me”, he says. “I think it's important to mould the electronic and the classical, it gives the music more power. I see the classical parts of composition as the soul, and the electronic as the body”.
And it's as an electronic artist that V A R E L A N D has made his mark to date, having composed his first piece, “Intruders”, for the Classical Dance Festival back in 1991. A big success, V A R E L A N D continued composing for future festivals, as well as enjoying a lucrative worldwide “electronic music” producer career. His compositions for theatre, movies and TV and constant tours, have all made V A R E L A N D the top-rated Spanish electronic artist in the world. He has also worked on more than 150 productions for international labels from Sony to Elephanthaus (USA), as well as remixing inspired in name acts like Eurythmics, Michael Zager's Band or Kraftwerk, resulting in a slew of awards on his native turf, including best producer and independent label “Black Codes”.
There was no overall concept in mind when V A R E L A N D started to compile “Manita Paradise of Feelings” four years ago, although one theme pervades: the human condition. “There were so many compositions to work through, all from different periods in my life. After deciding on the final list, I saw that there's a track for every emotion, from happiness to sadness, rage to melancholy. I wrote some with the naivety of a child, and some as a tearaway teenager who rails against everything. Every major moment of my life is there”.
V A R E L A N D’s main concern for collaborators was that they were at the top of their game. “One of them was the E.N.E.M.C Orchestra”, says V A R E L A N D. “They're a huge group of musicians from different countries around the world, who teach in places like Berlin and Viena. They saw an interview in a Spanish newspaper and wanted to get involved. They contributed a lot to the album”.
So are there any plans to bring “Manita Paradise of Feelings” to a live audience, Vangelis style? “I want to direct big shows”, announces V A R E L A N D. “I want to take on orchestra and tour around the world. I want to incorporate stunning visuals, contemporary ballet; I want to create a huge spectacle. I love the studio, that's where all the strategy and preparation comes in, but I need to get out there and perform, to connect with the people”.
V A R E L A N D chooses a suitable soprano RACHEL WENSTON for the stage, as well as percussionists (Pablo Guadalupe) and classical choreographers, and he hopes the show will be ready to tour in 6 months. “There are so many places I want to perform”, he concludes. “Tokyo, Berlin, Vienna, LA, New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo...” It would seem V A R E L A N D is more than an able ambassador of the family legacy.
NATIONAL CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE (E.N.E.M.C.)
Artistic Director Joaquin de Haro
Musical Director Sergio Alapont
Fifteen musicians from different countries comprise this group (Viena, Berlin, Madrid…), which, based purely on musical quality, is among the leading five in the world. Their idea was to eliminate the clichés, stigmas and taboos associated with this genre with the motto “Open your ears to Contemporary Music”. Analyzing the vacuum in the Spanish culture surrounding contemporary music, the E.N.E.M.C constitute a stable group spanning many disciplines of the arts. All the musicians was selected in New York, they form part of The National Contemporary Music Ensemble Foundation of Spain, an entity designed to accommodate all kinds of disciplines, such as film, dance or theater, in addition to encouraging research. Joaquin de Haro intends to bring contemporary music closer “to a potential audience that exists and that has affinities for another type of art, such as architecture and design”. The ensemble's repertoire covers everything related to the most recent music, but in the broad sense of the phrase “emphasizing Spanish composers”. Likewise, it focuses on the area of musical research, education, and dissemination of contemporary music. Among the engagements of the group are a series of activities and concerts in the National Auditorium and in the new auditorium created by the expansion of The Reina Sofia Museum, as well as an already sold-out tour for next April in The Fine Arts Museum of Mexico, in collaboration with The Spanish Embassy of that country. In addition, next summer the ensemble will travel to the United States as part of a project in which the Cervantes Institute of New York has participated.
Violin Soloist: Sergey Teslya, Violin Soloist: Nicolas Miribel, Violin Soloist: Raquel Castro, Viola Soloist: Jose Manuel Saiz, Cello Soloist: Kepa de Diego, Double Bass Soloist: Kevin Mayner, Flute Soloist: Mia Elezovic, Percussion Soloist: Esti RofeOboe Soloist: Jorg Schneider, Clarinet Soloist: Ivan García, Bassoon Soloist: Rui Lopes, Horn Soloist: Juan Manuel Gomez, Trumpet Soloist: Nenad Markovic, Trombone Tenor Soloist: Juan Carlos Matamoros.
RACHEL WENSTON (Soprano)
New Zealand-born Rachel starred in several television series including Children of Fire Mountain when she was young. However, music was her greatest passion, and she played the piano and violin as well as singing in choirs and a band.Having graduated with a degree in music, Rachel worked as a singer/pianist and as a presenter of arts and music television programmes.
Selected to represent New Zealand in the World Chorus at the Calgary Winter Olympics, Rachel sang the solo in David Foster’s theme song at the Opening Ceremony to a live audience of 40,000 and a TV audience of 2 billion people. Invitations to record programmes of pop songs for Radio New Zealand followed, one of the programmes earning Rachel a prestigious Mobil Radio Award.After moving to London, Rachel sang in The Phantom of the Opera before joining the a cappella vocal octet The Swingle Singers. For four years Rachel toured with the group, giving concerts in 25 countries and working as the Swingles’ Musical Director for two years. Since leaving the Swingles Rachel has returned to her parallel careers in music and broadcasting. She has presented Proms concerts for BBC TV, worked for BBC Radio, and has sung on the soundtracks of dozens of movies (including Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek and Moulin Rouge) and on the albums of such artists as Bjork, Missy Elliott and Michael Jackson. On stage, Rachel toured with Rambert Dance Company in 2004 and 2005 as the solo singer in their Cole Porter ballet Elsa Canasta. Because of her remarkable vocal range and stylistic versatility, as a soloist Rachel is able to cover repertoire from Kurt Weill to Sting, Joyce Grenfell to Sinead O'Connor. Her cabaret appearances in London have been critically acclaimed, and she has been a guest on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Rachel tours internationally as a soloist as well as with the ensemble Synergy Vocals. She performs her own cabaret recitals and has released a solo album, gentle rain.
Following her 2007 appearance in Dublin with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra singing music associated with Fred Astaire, Rachel returns to Dublin in 2008 for their RÉTCO at the Movies: Screen Idols programme. During 2008 she will appear with Synergy Vocals at Lincoln Center singing Berio with the New York Philharmonic, and in a new Louis Andriessen opera in Amsterdam. Rachel will also sing with early music group Joglaresa in England, and will perform the Astaire show around Europe.
PABLO GUADALUPE (Percussion / Battery- Electronics)
Pablo Guadalupe, born in Buenos Aires in October of '63, completed his drum and percussion studies in the conservatory of his native city, and immediately began his journey as a musician in '76.
In 1984 he began as a professional drummer in the charismatic Argentinian group “Twist”, where he remained until '87.
In just one year he combined careers with the prestigious group “Lions in Love”, with whom he enjoyed countless successes in sales and various awards.
In a very short span of time, Pablo Guadalupe became an icon among the professionals in his field. In the mid-90´s the great Charly Garcia noticed him and he immediately recorded the percussion for Mercedes Sosa's compilation album (for Charly G.).
He once again recorded with Charly G. “Say No More”, a project that attained great success throughout South America.
From this moment on, his unstoppable and fruitful career led to more than fifty projects ranging from styles such as “Tango”, “Rock” and “Jazz” all the way to present-day electronica.
He has collaborated in several soundtracks for shorts films and films, receiving an award at the “Tomaunica” festival for second best short film of the year for “Un Miercoles”. He also received an award for the short “Sueñito”. In April of '87 he moved to Amsterdam, where he gave drum and percussion classes for approximately a year, but his passion for Spain brought him to Madrid, where he definitively consolidated his career as a producer.
From this moment on, his productions for the most prestigious record labels in the electronica world, such as “lntec”- UK, “Donkeyhead” - Spain, “Elephantaus” - USA, became unstoppable. Thanks to the inroads he made in contemporary music, Pablo Guadalupe completed several tours around the world with well-known brands as Marlboro “Dance Tour”, “Ministry of Sound”, “Playstation”... along with the most acclaimed artists and producers of the time: Carl Cox, Cristian Varela, Marco Bailey…
Pablo Guadalupe will be in charge of directing all of the percussion and drums alongside several of the best artists of the moment in the upcoming classical music show “Paradise of Feelings”. Composed and orchestrated by the young composer V A R E L A N D.
HABU MORI (Bass)
Born July 18, 1976, in La Habana, at a young age he joined the “Alejandro Garcia Caturla” Music Conservatory and specialized in Classical Guitar. Afterwards, he continued his education at the Amadeo Roldan Intermediate Level Conservatory, graduating in 1995 with the title of Professor of Classical Guitar and instrumentalist. Since 1995 he has developed his entire professional activity as a bass player. Since 1997 he has been living in Madrid, where he has collaborated with various artists in Spanish musical projects. He has gone on tour with none other than: Beatriz Luengo “Carrousell” (2008), “Free Hole Negro Tour Georgia” (2008), “Haydee Milanes” (2008), Lolita Flores “Caminando” (2007), Habana Blues Band “Habaneando” (2007), Mojo Project “Revolution” (2007), the musical “El sueño de una noche de verano”, Blanca Romero “Blanca Romero”, Habana Blues Band “Habana Blues” (2005-07), Karen Ramirez (2005), Ela Musiklan “Abreme la puerta” (2004), Boris Larramendi “Yo no tengo la culpa” (2003), David Montes “Costa Norte Costa Sur” (2002), Habana Abierta “24 Horas”, Kelvis “Kelvis”, Manzanita “Dimelo Bajito”, Antonio Rodríguez “Bravisimo”, Luis Pastor “Por el mar de mi mano”, Athanai “Septimo Cielo”…
He has also collaborated on albums by Julio Fowler “Fundacion Autor (SGAE)”, Boris Zomba “Yo no tengo la culpa”, Raimundo Amador “Un okupa dentro de tu corazón”, Manolo Tena “Insolito”, Kelvis “Kelvis”, Arrebato “Arrebato” among an extremely long list.
He is presently a member of the Habana Blues Band, he collaborates in the Jazz/Fusion project by pianist and keyboardist Tato lcasto, and also with Zoco/Funk/Band and Haydee Milanes among others.
LUIS CARUANA (Large Accordion)
Argentinian accordionist, composer and editor, with a degree in Composition from the National University of Rosario. He completed specialized courses with masters such as Mauricio Kagel, Samuel Adler, Cristobal Halffter, Manfred Trojahn, Francisco Kropfl, Enrico Fubini, Leonardo Balada, etc. In addition, he obtained a Doctorate in Music at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He was awarded numerous grants from, among others, the Ministry of Culture and Education of the Republic of Argentina, AIE, Fundacion Autor, CDMC , Fundacion Phonos, SGAE, UAM, JJMM of Gerona, Cuenca Conservatory, etc. He worked as a professor with the Music Faculty at the National University of Rosario from 1995 until 2000. He has debuted various projects in Argentina, Spain and the United States. Some of his compositions form part of several CD's released in Argentina. He has received awards in composition competitions: Edicion Coral de Real Musical - Carlos III University. Composition Competition “Ciudad de Miramar”, International Composition Competition “2 de Agosto” (Bologna), etc.
As an accordionist, he creates experiences within contemporary electro-acoustic music and avant-garde tango. He has also participated in the groups: Calle 6 - Contemporary Tango in Argentina, and Ars Tango Quintet in Madrid, dedicated to the original work of Astor Piazzolla, Pigmalion Trio, with saxophone and piano, Duo Alonso Caruana with guitar and the present day Trio Mistongo. As a soloist he has worked with different ensembles, among which stand out his collaboration with the group “Enigma”, the Zaragoza Auditorium Chamber Orchestra and La Laguna Classic Symphonic Orchestra (Tenerife), as well as his participation in several series such as M.O.S.A.R.T. of Barcelona, “Salamanca 2002, European Cultural Capital”, “Musical Festival of Bermeo”, “Andaluz Music Circuit 2002”, “Summer Classics” by the Ministry of Arts of the Community of Madrid, “XII Spring Festival 2003” by the University of Salamanca, IV World Tango Summit, etc. He has released the show “Mares” - Contemporary Tango, being responsible for both the music and directing in collaboration with Juan Gelman and Moshe Banarroch, and with the participation of 10 artists on stage. He collaborates in various projects; “Afrotango” by Oscar D'auria, Juan Esteban Cuacci Quintet, Novo Artango Company, Maria Serrano Flamenco Company, etc. With these groups he has gone on tour throughout Europe, Morocco, Canada…
“Paradise of Feelings" was recorded and mastered in Abbey, located at number 3 of the street that gives the studios their name, founded in 1929. Since then, the studio has not ceased evolving, ultimately becoming the most important recording studio. The greatest producers, artists and groups from around world (The Beatles, Mike Olfield, David Bowie and a long etc.) have passed through the studio's doors.
Also working at Abbey Road are engineers of such magnitude as Sam Okell, Peter Cobbin, Simon Rodees, Jonathan Alen and Arne Akselberg. The final recording and mixing of “Paradise of Feelings” was created by charismatic engineer Sam Okell, while Geoff Pesche was responsible of the mastering.
Sam first went to Abbey Road in 2000 to complete his studies with the Tonmeister Course at the University of Surrey, and in 2002 returned for good to work as an engineer. After beginning his career with the studio, Sam has worked on super-productions such as Star Wars Episode III, Harry Potter, Cold Mountain…
He has also mixed the works of great artists such as Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, and John Powells Orchestra. Now, Sam has enthusiastically accepted the VARELAND “Paradise of Feelings” project, thus joining in a beautiful musical and visual work by one of our country's youngest and most promising composers.
Having worked in studios since he left school, Geoff got his foot through the door of the first one as a motorbike messenger at Tape One Studios before getting dragged off the bike and shown the ropes in the cutting room. Geoff has worked for a number of the UK’s top Studios including Utopia, Tape One, Masterpiece and West London’s Townhouse Studios, where he moved from to join Abbey Road Studios in 2006.
During his time as an engineer he has mastered albums and singles for many top artists including Gorillaz, Basement Jaxx, Simon Webbe, Kylie Minogue, Athlete, Coldplay and Dizzee Rascal. Over the duration of his career, Geoff has also worked with Pulp, Page & Plant, Mike Oldfield, Kenny Thomas, M People, Beta Band, William Orbit, Aphex Twin, Therapy, The Drums, The Divine Comedy, The Duckworth Lewis Method, Lily Allen and Blur among many others.
Infamously at Tape One Geoff cut the vinyl lacquers for the best selling 12” record of all time New Order's 'Blue Monday' as well as the platinum selling Dire Straits album 'Brothers In Arms.' He is also responsible for cutting the most played radio
record of all time Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.’
Recent Abbey Road projects include Rizzle Kicks’ chart-topping album ‘Roaring 20s,’ MIA’s 2013 album ‘Matangi,’ the 2012 multiple Latin Grammy-winning album 'Con Quien Se Queda El Perro' by Jesse & Joy, 'If You Leave' by the 4AD band Daughter and the Mercury-nominated 'Standing At The Sky's Edge' by Richard Hawley.