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Guitares Cinématiques: Biography

Guitares Cinématiques

Nicolas formed Guitares Cinématiques in 2007 with the idea of combining classical guitar, voice, and sound effects to create visual music that evokes imagery suggestive of cinema.

Background:

Nicolas studied classical guitar with Bruce Holzman at the Florida State University School of Music while at also pursuing a degree in physics. He performed in master classes with Jose Tomas in Madrid and David Russell in Vigo, Spain.  He continued his guitar studies for several years studying privately with Ralph Towner in Seattle and with Steve Cardenas in San Francisco in the 90's.  In 2005 Nicolas attended a lecture demonstration of multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven.  Inspired by Craven and Towner to compose, he began creating music with unconventional rhythms of 7/8, 10/8, 11/8, and 15/8.   

 

Albums:          Penguins on Mars (released Feb 2009)  - CD 

                         "Heavenly Forces Are (Not Necessarily) So Divine" - single

 

Influences:     Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, Weather Report, Oregon, Chet Baker, Yoko Kanno (The Seatbelts), Frederic Chopin, Baden Powell, Pink Floyd

 

Latest Favorites & Recommendations:    Wonderful contagious energy of collaboration between virtuosos Brazilians Yamandú Costa (classical guitar) and Hamilton de Holanda (mandolin) !!! Joey Alexander and Beka (two astonishingly gifted young jazz pianists!!!), Carnaval Palace (just catchy fun stuff), Cacho Tirao, Chris Thile (great mandolinist and gives wonderful interpretations of everything he touches including Bach!), Rokia Traore (unique style), Venetian Snares, Chet Baker's, Pat Metheny's and Martha Argerich's phrasing

 

Interests:       Solar CMEs, Dynamos & Oceans of Mars, Space Weather ((See the "Links" section in website))

 

Guitares Cinématiques is:   

Nicolas (classical guitar, guitar synth, cello, voiceovers, sfx)

 

Guest artists (on Penguins on Mars CD):                    

Shanna Gilfix(vocals), Steve Stanley(flugelhorn), Xavier Horcholle(synth)

 

Some info about the Music: ...Multiple Sclerosis and Solar storms?

Nicolas had several friends who suffered from the diseases of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.  His background in physics and neurobiology led him to consider those diseases as being fundamentally electrical in nature.  

Through his interest in the astrophysics of solar storms (CME's - Coronal Mass Ejections) Nicolas knew of the occurence of solar proton induced electromagnetic storms on the Earth that roughly followed the 11 year solar sun spot cycle.  He was also keenly aware of the statistical data showing a geographical connection between the occurence of multiple sclerosis and geographic latitude. That is, MS is roughly 6 times more prevalent in people who grew up at latitudes between 40 and 70 degrees magnetic north or magnetic south. When he compared the maps showing the occurence of SEP (solar energetic particle) events to those of the maps showing the statistical maximum of multiple sclerosis they were nearly the same!  Later Nicolas checked the scientific literature and discovered that several research papers had been published regarding this surprising coincidence.  (*** see below for scientific references)

These ideas led Nicolas to envision a film about this correlation and to compose the music for it.  Penguins on Mars is the resultant CD.  The name comes from the fact that meteorites from Mars have been found in Antartica.  Thus, if a penguin were to step on such a rock it might be said to be "a penguin on Mars" for that brief instant!

 

***Anyone who is interested in the link between solar storms and multiple sclerosis (MS) may wish to read one of the following scientific papers:

(1) The possible effects of solar and magnetic effects on multiple sclerosis published in the April 2016 issue of the journal Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.  Authored by Panagiotis Papathanasopoulos , Panagiota Preka-Papadema, Anastasios Gkotsinas, Nikolaos Dimisianos, Alexandros Hillaris, Christos Katsavrias b, Gregorios Antonakopoulos, Xenophon Moussas, Elisabeth Andreadoud, Vasileios Georgioua, Pinelopi Papachristoua, Odysseas Kargiotis.

SEE LINK:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301734562_The_possible_effects_of_the_solar_and_geomagnetic_activity_on_multiple_sclerosis

(2) Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis: an ecological study of 111 locations in 24 countries by Seyed Aidin Sajedi and Fahimeh Abdollahi, published in the journal BMC Neurology in 2012.

SEE LINK:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2377/12/100

(3) Correlation of the Geographic Distribution of Multiple Sclerosis With Cosmic-Ray Intensities by JS Barlow (Harvard Medical School), published in the November 1960 issue of the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 

(4) Geographische Verteilung der Multiplen Sklerose und Vergleich mit geophysikalischen Grössen by Johannes Resch, published in May 1995 issue of the International Journal of Public Health

((NOTE:  Some promising new stem cell treatment for MS patients mentioned in BBC News on 1/18/2016: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35065905))

IMPORTANT:

(a) Although epilepsy may be thought of as an "electrical" disease, unlike MS, there is no statistical connection linking epilepsy to geographical latitude. Thus, there is no relationship between epilepsy and solar storms.

(b) The connection between MS and solar storms is thusfar only statistical. As yet no one has proved that the statistical link is manifested via some physical mechanism. Thus, there is yet no clear evidence to prove that the geographical concentration of MS in certain latitudes is caused by solar storms impinging upon the earth in the same geographical locations.

 

The music on the Penguins On Mars CD has various styles. Each song is meant to represent a different scene of a film.

 

      Genre            Songs on the Penguins on Mars CD  

      Classical:       Rain (solo classical guitar)

      Jazz:               Hi L'eau (classical guitar, flugelhorn, female vocals)

      World:            Natsukashii (classical guitar, voiceover in Japanese, female vocals)

                               Kontiki (classical guitar, guitar synth, female vocals, synth, ocean)

      Space:            ALH84001 (classical guiar, guitar synth, female vocals)

                               Pas Encore Mars (classical guitar, guitar synth, cello)

      Alt Rock:        CME (classical guitar, guitar synthesizer, voiceover)

                                So Easy (classical guitar, guitar synthesizer, trumpet, trains)

                                My Semi-Annual Dream (classical guitar, guitar synth, voiceover)

        Story:            Penguins on Mars (classical guitar, voiceovers, water sfx)

 

About the Kasha-design guitar (see Jay Hargreaves in our Links section)

Nicolas plays a custom classical guitar designed by Dr. Michael Kasha and built by the Jay Hargreaves, George Majkowski and the late Richard Schneider. Kasha-design instruments are always distinguished by the appearance of an assymetrical bridge having a profile with a wider bass and a narrower treble construction.  This guitar features RMC piezoelectric pickups, redwood top and back, an extended fingerboard with a two octave range, and an assymetric bridge & internal bracing. Nicolas plays this guitar acoustically as a standard classical guitar and electronically as a guitar synthesizer using the piezo pickups hex output to an AXON AX 100 guitar-to-MIDI converter.

 

See also:                www.last.fm

e-mail:                   gc@guitarescinematiques.com

Thanks for listening!

-Nicolas