Guillermo Peña (HANDpan)
"It is the hidden poetry of intrinsic, complex mathematics, that I love so much about music, and that numbers alone never tought me. after playing only Percussion (which is mostly numerical), The HANDPAN has brought to me the opportunity to also understand harmony And Melody. Accordingly, through Composing music i can finally express my inner poetry, ideas and feelings that have always sounded inside..."
Born and raised in Alicante/Spain, Guillermo Peña soon started to learn and play percussion, being a Member of PAN DE AZUCAR, a so called „Batucada“(Brazilian Perc. Band). While studying science of the seas, he got more and more into music and continued to connect with other musicians.
It was about 2012 when Guillermo made his first contact with the Handpan (Hang, Hangdrum), watching it in a concert perfomance on a Percussion Festival. Hence, it was only a matter of time until he bought his own Handpan. Ever since, he couldnt stop studying and playing this extraordinary instrument.
Guilles next destination should now be the beautiful island of Tenerife, where he intensely continued his studies and successfully worked as a street and concert artist. In the meantime he obtained his second Hang, trying to expand the limited harmonic possibilities of one single Hangdrum.
Connecting to a lot of musicians, he also started various Duo and Trio projects for example with violin, flute, chant or guitar. It followed an Invitation from Tenerife's main Conservatory (Conservatorio Profesional de Musica de Santa Cruz de Tenerife) to present this „exotic“ Instrument. He excellently demonstrated the huge spectrum of possibilities that arise by approaching the instrument in a more pianistic than only percussive method.
In 2016 he moved to Sevilla, continuing his work as a musician and taking various masterclasses, for example with the famous LIRON MAL, who has really established a lot the Hangs pianistic attributes by playing up to four Handpans simultaneously.
In the same year Guillermo recorded his first solo Album SOMNI (click HERE), travelled to Germany and finally met Dennis Merz. Their friendship and musical connection has strengthened ever since. Various mutual visits and a shared journey through southern Europe in the summer of 2017 followed.
The music they composed in this common time was then recorded in Autumn 2017 subsequently. Using Water as a Metaphor, they describe their journey through the versatile cultural landscapes they crossed and were influenced by from the beginning.
Besides this special project, Guillermo continues his andalusian life together with his beautiful girl Noelia and his cozy dog Ra in Sevilla, playing Music, connecting with people, and acquiring more musical knowledge every day...
Dennis Merz (Guitar)
"The function of Music is to liberate us from the tyranny of conscious thought (Sir Thomas Beecham). Playing my Guitar has always been the best way to feel this energetic flow of the actual Present, which is so impossible to maintain while thinking all day long about the past or the future.
Besides, Music for me HAs always Been the most intense way to connect with other people. This Moment, when you start playing with people you don't know and probably have never seen before, sometimes real Magic happens. somehow you can find together in such a strong and emotional manner, that spoken words aren't necessary anymore. in my opinion, this is the sincerest and most honest way of communication that exists"
The Guitarist Dennis Merz, born 1988 in Wittlich/Germany, received his first guitar lessons at the age of six with Johannes Weber. From the beginning he was interested in all different kinds of Music. On one Day he enjoyed for example listening to the melancholy Blues of B.B. King when the other day he was thrilled by the intense Passion of spanish folk music. Then again, he discovered the complexity of european baroque polyphony through Bach, or the turbulent atmosphere in Beethovens Piano Sonatas. Playing the guitar, of course he also came across Pop and Jazz. Inspiration came here mostly from Modern Jazz Guitarists such as Pat Metheny, John Scofield or Jim Hall.
All these Influences always were part of Dennis' creative Work. Soon he started to compose his own Music, mixing those different Styles into a Melange and creating his unique sound. In 2009, at the age of 19, he recorded his first Solo Album SUITE POPULAIRE, summarizing his own compositions that had arisen over the last years.
From 2008 to 2014 he studied Music and Pedagogics at the COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS (HfMDK) in Frankfurt am Main. He studied Classical guitar with HELMUT OESTERREICH and jazz guitar with Prof. MICHAEL SAGMEISTER, complementing his Studies abroad at MUSIKENE in SanSebastian/Spain with MARCO SOCIAS. Numerous master classes (e.g. with Leo Brouwer, Zoran Dukic, Andrew York, Thomas Fellow & Seth Josel) complete his education.
Meanwhile, concert tours as a member of the "Youth Guitar Orchestra Baden-Württemberg" and in the "Ensemble GuitArt " brought Dennis Merz to Brazil, Chile, Australia, Hong Kong, Iran, Georgia and Spain.
In addition to his Diploma in the classical area, D.M. extensively studied folkloristic music from all over the world and learned thereby stylistics and playing techniques from Flamenco, Tango, Bossa Nova as well as Arabic and Indian music. The interest in musical diversity kept its major part in his musical activities.
Nowadays Dennis Merz is taking part in various musical projects such as a Modern Jazz Guitar Duo (Beppo built a Street of Sound), a World Music Project with Refugees (Bridges - Musik verbindet), a chamber music duo with flute and a Livetronica Project with the DJ Jonas Hühne, just to name a few. Besides, he just finished the recording of his second Solo-Album VAGABUNDEANDO, which will also be released in July 2018.
Being a guitar teacher, for D.M. almost has the same importance than being an artist. Since 2009 he is teaching in Bad Soden(Taunus) and since 2014 Bad Nauheim. His focus is here, besides a solid playing technique, above all laid on the mediation of social and cultural values.