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RomanceWell actually Romance Anonimo ( Anonymous Romance).

There is no known author that can be attributed to the composition of this piece of music
Yet it is one of the most recognised and loved pieces that is normally played on classical guitar.

I find though, that in a lot of European countries where I play it there is always someone who claims it is from their country
Be it Spain, France , Italy  or Greece.

On a recent visit to Danang in Vietnam I was sitting in a port cafe and a Vietnamese girl selling marble turtles asked me if she could play something on my guitar.

Expecting some heavy metal or pop song I was surprised to hear her play Romance.

It was probably first made popular by a French film entitled ‘ Les Jeux interdit’ ( The Forbidden Games) A 1952 French war drama where Romance was used as the soundtrack.

While working on a cruise ship contract I was approached by a member of the crew who asked me to play at her renewal of wedding vows ceremony on the beautiful Thai Island of Ko Kood.

The ceremony was to be conducted by the Ships Captain on the beach.

This of course was a very important event and she was quite concerned that everything would be perfect and that we should meet to discuss music I would play.

However we never really could find the time for this so I told her not to worry and to leave the music to me.

So I find myself installed on the beach while the ceremony was underway and I hadn’t really thought about what I would play but when I looked at the couple who were obviously still very much in love and in  the perfect setting , like a soundtrack to a love story, I began to play Romance.

It was probably the perfect choice and I felt as if I was watching a film that I was also performing in… it couldn’t have been more perfect.

During my contract we had a great guest entertainer magician ( Peter Mehtab ) and he was also a guest at the ceremony and took the perfect picture of me which I ended up using for the Front  cover photo of my latest album ‘ Mundo Lindo

This piece of music was one of the first I learned on the Spanish guitar and is a standard for students of classical guitar but I never get tired of it and neither do those who listen to it.

Then romantic couple renewing their wedding vows…Maria Fernando Magalhaes and Eduardo Dias Madureira

Captain Daag congratulating the bride!

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Album, Diary


Diary of a Cruise Ship Guitarist

How did I end up in the North Pole?
By following my dreams and finding my sea legs.
With a little help from serendipity.

Maida Hill,
London 2013. I’m sitting in my tiny studio flat with no windows, freezing cold outside and a very weak internet signal. The entrance to my studio is round the back of a row of shops overlooked by grim tower blocks with dodgy looking characters on the dimly lit street. The cost of living in London has narrowed down my choices of accommodation and I find myself and my guitar in a damp basement wondering how got here.

The one saving grace to this place was the complete transformation of scenery once you turned into the alley round the back of the shops leading to the entrance of my studio. It was like you had space warped to another world. A courtyard of trees and cute converted stables with children playing and laughing. Quiet and calm seemed to pervade this space.

It was in Maida Hill that I received on offer of a six month contract as a guitarist on a six-star cruise ship and it was the memory of Maida Hill that kept me calm and peaceful while playing alone at the highest point of the ship in The Midnight Sun Lounge in four metre swells in the North Sea on my way to the North Pole.

Being at the highest point you felt strongly the rocking motion of the ship.

One day I was playing and remembered a piece I had composed in Maida Hill entitled ‘Maida Hill’.  I began playing it and quickly found that the rough seas and rocking motion no longer disturbed and actually began to enjoy myself.

The memory of my time in Maida Hill seemed to imprint on my present reality with all the emotions felt at the time. But now as I write this blog in the busy, bustling hot and humid city of Bangkok, Maida Hill holds yet more memories and emotions. Footprints in South East Asia.

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