Juan Llorente “Playing in Mula is always a pleasure, especially in a place like the Convent of San Francisco”

Juan Llorente “Playing in Mula is always a pleasure, especially in a place like the Convent of San Francisco”
Juan Llorente “Playing in Mula is always a pleasure, especially in a place like the Convent of San Francisco”

MICAELA FERNANDEZ

Juan Llorente is from Mula and is a flamenco guitarist. Next Tuesday, July 23, he will perform at the Claustro del Convento de San Francisco at 9:00 p.m., a performance framed within the celebration of the IV International Guitar Festival and Competition of the City of Mula.

Llorente, who was lucky enough to participate as a contestant in the festival despite not mastering classical music, will share the stage with Chilean guitarist Alberto Cumplido. Juan tells us how he is preparing his participation in the festival in Mula:

You are participating in the second FCIG Ciudad de Mula concert. How did you receive the news?

It was through the festival director, Ramón Vergara, and the councillor for Culture, Diego Boluda. The truth is that I received the news with great excitement as I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the competition. Playing in my town is always a pleasure, and even more so in a space like the Convent of San Francisco, which I believe is one of the best places in Mula to perform.

You made it to the final of the competition, how was your participation?

I actually showed up just to show up because I was aware that it was a classical guitar competition, not a flamenco guitar competition, but since it was in Mula and I like to play in my town and it was a great opportunity for this festival to be held in Mula, I showed up without knowing what was going to happen, just with the hope of playing in my town.

What was my surprise when I found out that I was in the final and, I admit, I am largely to blame,
Because in the final you had to play a compulsory piece that the competition imposes and I, out of my stubbornness because it was a classical piece, did not prepare it thinking that I would not make it to the final.

One Wednesday night they told me that I was in the final. There were two days left until the big event, and I tried to prepare the piece. It was crazy. On Thursday I spent more than 14 hours playing the guitar to be able to play the piece. I managed to play it in its entirety, but it was nowhere near enough to be able to play it at a good level, in front of people and in the final of a competition. So I reached the final without that piece. I played flamenco and, logically, I was disqualified because I did not meet one of the requirements required by the competition.

On the same day of your concert, Alberto Cumplido, a renowned Chilean guitarist who is also the organizer of the Entrecadenas Festival in Chile, will perform.

I didn’t know him until then because I tend to listen to flamenco guitarists more and I’m not very familiar with classical guitarists, but I’ve read about him and I know that he’s the organizer of a festival in Chile. It’s always an honor to be able to share time with another guitarist because in the end you always learn, whoever it may be.

It is an honour for me to be able to share the stage with him and I hope it is an honour for him too. What will surely remain is a night full of contrasts and styles that will allow people to enjoy the guitar in all its essence with different styles of music because the guitar is an art in itself. I hope to have the opportunity for my brother to accompany me on percussion to show some accompaniment with the cajon.

Besides this concert, what are you working on?

I am mainly focused on my studies at the High School, I am going to move on to the fourth year. I have been quite focused on my studies all year and I have not had much time, but I am still playing where I am called and this summer I intend, above all, to continue preparing myself, studying to be stronger in the next year.

I will also dedicate time to preparing the concerts that are coming up. I am focused on the Mula concert. Playing and continuing to train and continue improving and preparing myself as best as possible.

You have started a duo project with your partner, how is the experience?

We are just starting out, but the truth is that it is very good for us. She is a singer and a guitarist, and doing it together allows us to learn from each other, it helps us, and I think we can improve a lot.

We are also preparing a rumbeo repertoire, a lively repertoire, more flamenco, alegrías, bulerías to be able to improve ourselves and do performances of all kinds. For the moment, focused on Mula
I invite everyone to enjoy the concerts offered at the Convent on the occasion of the festival. Those who visit us from outside will also have the opportunity to enjoy Mula, one of the most beautiful towns in the Region.

Juan Llorente “Playing in Mula is always a pleasure, especially in a place like the Convent of San Francisco”
 
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