Tag Archives: Andalucia

Artist Feature: Ruben García

Tuvimos la buena fortuna de conocer a Ruben García en 2013 en Granada cuando Ruben me invitó a pinchar en su bar, La Iguana. Ruben nos dio la bienvenida a su bar que utiliza su espacio para ofrecer buenas vibras junto a exposiciones, conciertos, sessiones de DJ, y varias otras actividades creativas. Ruben y la Iguana representan un núcleo creativo en esta ciudad activa y estimulante. En la entrevista abajo, Ruben nos da la bienvenida al Colectivo y comparte sus ideas sobre la importancia de Reflexión y Repuesta, su papel como facilitador de lugares de expresión, y mucho más.

We had the good fortune to get to know Ruben García in 2013 in Granada when Rubin booked me to spin in his bar, La Iguana. He welcomed us to his bar that harbors good vibes while also utilizing its space to present expositions, concerts, DJ sets, and other forms of creative expression. Ruben and la Iguana are an important creative nucleus in this active and stimulating city. In our interview below, Ruben welcomes us into his world and shares his ideas about the benefits of Reflection and Response, his role as a venue facilitator, and other themes.

Ruben García

Y creo, sinceramente, que hay que apoyar a los nuevos valores. Todo el mundo se merece una oportunidad y me siento muy orgulloso de poder hacerlo.

I sincerely believe that we need to support new principles. Everyone deserves an opportunity and I feel very proud to be able to provide that.

– Ruben García

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicos, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

RG: Nací en Madrid, España, donde he pasado la mayor parte de mi vida. Una ciudad increíble que te ofrece un montón de cosas, pero que en el día a día, en la época que nos ha tocado vivir, se hace un poco difícil la supervivencia…

Un buen día, hace ya 10 años, decidí irme a Granada de vacaciones y desde entonces estoy  aquí. Se ha convertido en mi hogar y estoy muy agradecido por las oportunidades y vivencias que esta ciudad me ha dado.

RG: I was born in Madrid, Spain, where I’ve spent most of my life. [Madrid is] an incredible city with lots of stuff going on, but in the day-to-day in the era that we live in, survival is a bit difficult.

One good day 10 years ago, I decided to travel to Granada on vacation and I’ve lived here ever since. It’s become my home and I’m very grateful for the opportunities and experiences that this city has given me.

Qué quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

RG: Son dos palabras que podrían ajustarse al ideal de cambiar el mundo, pero sinceramente, esto me parece un poco utópico. Creo que para cambiar el mundo,  puesto que es evidente que la mayoría de la gente no estamos de acuerdo con cómo están las cosas, estas palabras deberíamos utilizarlas con honestidad. Empezar por cambiar todo aquello que no nos guste de nosotros, principalmente, y aplicar ese cambio a nuestro día a día. En las cosas pequeñas. Sobre todo con la gente con la que nos relacionamos y la forma que tenemos de hacerlo.

Reflexión: Qué estoy haciendo con mi vida? Me gusta lo que hago y cómo lo hago? Podría mejorar y aportar algo para hacer mi vida y la de los demás, si no más fácil, más divertida?

Respuesta: SIEMPRE SE PUEDE MEJORAR. Y SI CREES EN ALGO, VE A POR ELLO. NADA ES IMPOSIBLE.

RG: These are two words that fit in with [an overall] goal of changing the world, but frankly, this seems a bit utopian to me. I believe that in order to change the world – since it’s evident that the majority of people don’t agree with the way things are – we should use these words honestly. First off, we need to begin by trying to change things about ourselves that we aren’t satisfied with, and apply these changes to our daily lives, [especially] in small ways. More than anything, [we should focus on] people whom we come in close contact with, in the ways in which we do so.

Reflection: What am I doing with my life? Do I like what I do, and how I do it? Can I improve [on what I do] and contribute something more in order to make my life, and the lives of others more pleasant, if not a bit easier?

Response: YOU CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE YOURSELF. AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, GO FOR IT. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your art fit in with that definition?

RG: Bueno… No puedo definirme a mí mismo como un artista. Eso es tarea de otros.

Sí puedo decirte que soy una persona multidisciplinar, a la que le gusta “jugar” en diferentes campos, relacionados de alguna manera con el arte: diseño gráfico, sesiones de música, fotografía, moda… Pero lo de considerarme un artista, me viene un poco grande!

Con mi proyecto actual, un bar llamado LA IGUANA,  intento ayudar y darle una oportunidad a gente que tiene algo que enseñar o que decir. No es sólo un bar. Es también una plataforma donde artistas de diferentes disciplinas pueden mostrar sus ideas. Ofrecemos un espacio en el que quien quiera, es bienvenido y valorado. Colaboramos con músicos, fotógrafos, pintores, disc jockeys… Tengo la suerte de vivir en una ciudad que cuenta con gente muy activa y con muchas ganas de hacer cosas. Y creo, sinceramente, que hay que apoyar a los nuevos valores. Todo el mundo se merece una oportunidad y me siento muy orgulloso de poder hacerlo.

Tienes una idea y no puedes mostrarla? Vente a La Iguana!

RG: Well…I can’t really call myself an artist. That’s other people’s job.

I’d tell you [instead] that I’m a multidisciplinary person who likes “playing” in different fields, in some way connected with art: graphic design, music, photography, fashion…But to consider myself an artist seems to me a bit profound!

With my current project, a bar called La Iguana, I’m trying to help out and provide opportunities to people who have something to teach or say. It’s not just a bar. It’s also a platform where artists from various disciplines can share their ideas. We provide a space where anybody that wants to [participate] is welcome and valued. We collaborate with musicians, photographers, painters, DJ’s…I’m lucky enough to live in a city with people who are very active and have strong desires to do things. I sincerely believe that we need to support new principles. Everyone deserves an opportunity and I feel very proud to be able to provide that.

Have an idea and aren’t able to show it anywhere? Come to La Iguana!

La Iguana

La Iguana – Granada, España

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Artist Feature: Clarke Reid

Clarke Reid is a musician and traveler who we first met in his hometown of Seattle, Washington. He’s played a variety of music, an eclecticism made ever wider by the distances he’s traveled. Whether playing with Seattle-based the Cumbieros or wielding a ukulele throughout Andalucía, Spain, music has been an important common ground for this creator. We welcome Clarke to the Collective to speak on his unique perspective on Reflection and Response, the social nature of music, and other topics from our dude straight out of Pozoblanco, Spain.

Clarke Reid

Response is what just naturally comes out of being in new situations and playing music with new people.

– Clarke Reid

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

CR: I’m from Seattle, in the United States. I currently live in a town called Pozoblanco, which is in the Cordoba province of Andalucía, Spain. I’m doing a yearlong program here where I’m like the native English-speaking assistant in a public high school.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

CR: Deliberate reflection is probably something I should do more often. The Alarm on my phone that wakes me up in the morning is titled “look up, notice little things.” It’s something I got from reading  “peace is every step” by Buddhist teacher, philosopher, etc. Thich Nhat Hahn and its a reminder to slow down and relax and notice what’s going on around me and enjoy it. It’s something I don’t do often enough, but when I do it’s awesome. Especially when I’m traveling or living in another country and running around all the time and trying new things, it’s important to slow down and reflect on things. Like, if I feel like crap sometimes I don’t even realize it until I slow down for a sec and think about it and then think about why. Or if I’m feeling great (often a result of just having eaten a wholesome meal, being outside in nice weather, an unexpectedly pleasant exchange with a stranger, a laugh with a friend, or any combination of many other things) its nice to recognize it and revel in it. Then I have to respond. Like I said I’m still working on it. One thing I’m trying to do right now is sleep more and drink less. And get sick less (like cold/flu sick).

I’ve been traveling a lot recently, so when it comes to music, reflection and response is about noticing what kind of inspiration is around me and really trying to dive into that. When I was younger my dad listened to a lot of progressive rock from the 70s so I got into that. My high school had a really good jazz band so in high school I listened to a lot of jazz and was really influenced by that. In college I had a music professor that was more into experimental music and free jazz so I tried that and learned a lot of new things. I was also part of a hip-hop band so I started checking out more of that culture and music. The story goes on and on like that, including a year living in Chile and some other travels. Now I live in Spain and I’m doing the same thing. I’d like to think that I’m constantly responding and changing and evolving my style and music and stuff, but I haven’t really studied music formally recently so it’s harder to see and measure exactly how I’m changing. I guess the response is what just naturally comes out of being in new situations and playing music with new people. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll sit down and really reflect and play something or write some material that brings everything together. That would be a good goal actually.

How do “The Other Side of the River” and “Woodle” fit in with that definition?

CR: Firstly, “The Other Side of the River” is written for ukulele, which is an instrument that I bought recently when I discovered it’s a great travel instrument. It’s portable and can be used to jam with other instruments, by itself, or with singing. So it fits with the sort of traveling chameleon approach I’m taking to music in general right now. It also incorporates some elements of flamenco (the clapping) that I’ve been exposed to here in Andalucía. The recording is a bit of a rough draft. It has a fiddle line that I still need to record and I’d like to get some more Spanish ‘jaleo’ on the track too (shouts of encouragement, percussion, etc.).

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Peter Muller Live in Granada Recap

Whatup LIFESTYLE Fam!

A few weeks ago I went on my first LIFESTYLE-organized tour of looping/DJ sets. I started out with three performances in two days.Two sessions were to be at bars (Republik Club in Madrid and La Iguana in Granada) and one at a hostel also in Granada (Casa Bombo) overlooking the historic Alhambra. However, I ended up finding an opportunity to spit lyrics from Shake This Maze at a weekly jam session at the Boogaclub in Granada at the end of the weekend. Below is a photo/written recap of the First LIFESTYLE Tour.

We’ll start with the tour poster, designed by none other than LIFESTYLE co-facilitator Vicken Donikian.

Peter Muller Live on Tour Madrid / Granada

V conceptualized and completed the piece during a weekly marathon Skype session as we discussed tour goals and possibilities. Part of what makes a LIFESTYLE tour is the important idea of spreading the Collective in order to learn from and collaborate with those who practice Reflection and Response in different contexts. Below are the fliers I brought along for the ride to present to creators (Also by Vicken):

PM Flyers (6) the LIFESTYLE RR Flyers (6)

First up for the tour was a session in the cavernous basement at Republik Club in Madrid. I made the connect at Republik because the same family that owns the bar also has a locutorio three buildings away. Before I got internet in my apartment in Madrid I would visit the locutorio to both work on projects and try spit game at the super cute girl that worked the register.

After packing up for my 8 AM bus ticket the next day, I headed out to Republik for the first session. I listen to the end of a blues jam in the cave and with the homies Chema and Richard, then set up my laptop and APC 40 at 12:30, ready to rock.

Republik Dj Peter 3 Copas 10 Euro Republik

A lot of my Madrid people came out- word to those who made the cave rock for a solid three hours. After grabbing some late night pizza I went home to sleep for a supposed 2 hours.

5 hours later I had slept through my alarm and missed my bus while managing to leave both my camera and an audio cable that goes from my external soundcard (Traktor Audio 2) to RCA inputs. I booked a later bus ticket and hailed a cab going straight to an audio store to pick up a replacement cable. I had to hop out of the cab and leave the driver with everything- laptop, APC, clothes, while I ducked in to pick up the piece. After purchasing a new 8 meter cable, I headed outside to a street with no cabs. For 5 minutes the world stopped and had forgotten about me. I started considering how many English classes I would have to teach to replace my stuff.

Then, suddenly I heard the cab driver whistling to me on foot. He started to run to the cab parked a few meters away, I followed and we jumped in. As we neared the station told me that he would never rob the tools someone uses to work with- a good omen after a stressful beginning to the tour.

The show at Casa Bombo was supposed to start at 6. However, as I knocked on the door at 7:30, one of the managers greeted me warmly and showed me the room I was to stay in for the night in exchange for the session, where I showered up and prepared the show. The patio of the hostel had this view of the Alhambra:

Casa Bombo Day Patio

I ate some bomb homemade Italian food (most of the managers were Italian), then hit a session in their sala (you can see Reflection and Response Vol. 1: the ‘zine next to the fliers):

Casa bombo Session

After looping for about an hour and a half I headed out to a bar called La Iguana for the third session of the tour. Rubén, the bar’s owner, met me outside and I quickly set up and started in with Funk Around, which has become my opening track for sessions. Rubén kept the tapas coming, and again I set up the #LRR Fliers near the setup.

Iguana APC Iguana Set Up

Tapas Iguana

Rubén is one of the most legit bar owners I’ve met and I was stoked when we made plans to kick it the next day. After sleeping in at Casa Bombo, I headed out to check into my second hostel and met up with Rubén, his awesome girlfriend Pilar, and some other homies to grab some tapas. They let me know that there was a jam session with an opportunity to perform that night at the Boogaclub, a bigger venue in the city. We agreed to meet up later on.

As I walked back to the hostel from tapas with the crew I snapped a few pictures with my phone.

Skateboarding is not a Crime Cafe Bar Granada

I feel the idea that these images could come from wherever. The Reflection and Response detailed in the scenes bring up this anti-territorial, global nature of R&R. Skaters want to declare their innocence anywhere, and blues is advertised in places far from Route 66.

The biggest surprise of the tour almost never happened. I met Ruben and Pilar at Booga around 11 P.M. After listening to a jazz band kill it for an hour, the homies had had enough and had to go home to get some sleep. I was ready to leave too until I saw a guitar player standing outside the club who assured me that we would be able to perform. I headed back down to the stage this time unaccompanied. I spotted another guitar player tuning up and asked him what type of stuff he was going to play. He introduced himself as Mario, and said he does funky Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque grooves. I realized with the abundance of guitar players, I would have to bring something unique to the stage, so I let him know I was interested in rapping a few verses over the instrumental groove he was about to set up. He sounded excited and when we hit the stage, it felt right to spit “Wake Up,” as part of a once-in a lifetime remix.

This moment encapsulated what the LIFESTYLE on tour is all about- Promoting Collaboration and Community Through Practicing Reflection and Response. Mario and I had just met, but when we were done with our set we realized the common thread of R&R breeds Collective- wherever that collective happens to be. Be on the lookout for Mario and Ruben’s Features coming through soon!

-Reflection and Response.

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