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The Jam Robert Diaz. Illustration: Kmilo Nieto. Robert Diaz. Illustration: Kmilo Nieto.

Roberto Diaz

At nine years old I took a guitar in my hands for the first time. My parents gave me a teacher, but I abandoned him after a few months. I was bored. I didn't feel the passion for the instrument that later, when I listened to The Beatles, would intoxicate me. Then something did light up: I became a fan of the band and wanted to learn all their songs. Then I continued as a self-taught person, I entered the Music Education career and the guitar has always been there. Its electric sounds always caught my attention more than the acoustic ones, although I studied classical guitar and some of its popular variants.

On more than one occasion I have had to define my approach to this instrument: first, to understand myself —somehow one is always discovering oneself, and although an essential part of that approach has already passed, the search never ends—; then to respond to the others.

With the passage of time, the guitar appeared again and again as a generator of textures and ambient and imaginative sounds, where what is heard does not seem to be, in fact, a guitar. I have never abandoned, however, its primary and most powerful function: to convey emotional landscapes to the listener.

But for some reason I wasn't passionate about it, and therefore I never spent time learning and executing millions of fast ladders. In English, two terms are used that can illustrate the most traveled paths in this instrument: there is the GuitarHero and the Guitar Scientist. Although a large part of the guitarists direct their efforts to achieve the first status; In my case, the passion for the exploratory world has gained a place closer, perhaps, to the scientific. I like hoarding effects, trying out multiple amps, having different guitar models —I only have seven, but each one has its own personality—, many times perverting the same sound so that it blends in with synthesizers and other sonic masses.

Likewise, I identify more with the melodic power of the instrument within a compositional whole and classical philosophy, than with the improvised discourse typical of genres such as jazz and blues. With Anima Mundi I have allowed myself that search and experimentation, achieving a path that critics have defined as progressive symphonic rock, space rock, psychedelia, new programexperimental music, eclectic program, among others. Labels at last, but —yes— labels that subscribe to the need to skip the borders of music.

On a more orthodox plane, I have accompanied other bands, playing what the guitar is supposed to play. That has also made me happy, even though I couldn't do it full time. I generally relax more on stage interacting with projects other than Anima Mundi, where, on the contrary, I am always alert and even nervous. The immense pyrotechnics of effects and textures that each song requires makes me very concerned about hearing every detail of the sounds I have planned with the guitars. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it doesn't. The time for the production of the concert, for example, can work against me and increase my tension. Tension that even prevents me from having a beer before or during the show. I need to be aware. I need, above all, to be.

In some way life goes on for each of us like an open book and we approach it with the ever renewed idea that there are still many things to discover. With the insight of that inner child that inhabits us and that does not stop listening, always looking for a sound that captivates him. At least that's what I want for myself.

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