Discovering a memorable circa late-1999 video - Café with Mario
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Discovering a memorable circa late-1999 video

A rare video find from my digital archives.  When I stumbled upon a file with an .rm extension that I could not open to see the content I discovered I could convert it to an MP4 format revealing a surprising and memorable content. The video (see below) was filmed circa late 1999 with an Intel USB CS330 USB Camera on a Win95 system and recorded in the leading 240 x 176 RealMedia streaming format of the time.  The video is my interpretation and execution of a transcription for guitar of a segment of the Presto movement from Enrique Granados’ Valses Poéticos on a Carlos Piña 1996 guitar.  So much fun with the artificial harmonics a la Julian Bream on this guitar.

Carlos Piña is one of the most respected and sought-after makers from Paracho, Mexico and was named best classical guitar luthier of Paracho in 2005.  Located in the mountains of the state of Michoacan, about a six hour bus ride west of Mexico City, Paracho is a very unique city in that its economy is mostly based on the guitar making trade.  Paracho holds an annual classical guitar festival and performance contest which attracts world class performers including the likes of Pepe Romero (a former Del Mar neighbor of mine before he moved) and John Williams.

This particular instrument’s sound is very smooth, balanced, warm and extremely powerful - much like an authentic Miguel Rodriguez.  A superb concert guitar from Carlos Piña who was gracious enough to invite me to his home for a delicious “Dientes de Dios” (God’s Teeth) soup he himself prepared and whose explosion of flavor, as with the sound of his guitars, is unforgettable.

Here is the memorable video.

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Item Reviewed: Discovering a memorable circa late-1999 video Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mario Larach