My Spanish Connection – Introducing Pedro González Arbona

Those who know me well know that I have undergone some dramatic changes in my life over the last year.  It all started with the opening up of our home to an exchange student from Spain in July 2010, Pedro Gonzalez Arbona.  Pedro and his parents are like family to us now.  Even though his mother Rosa does not speak English, we are like sisters.  We have gotten to know each other very well over this past year as we communicated via online translators. 
We have both had a difficult year with the passing of our mothers.  But God was merciful to us as we were able to comfort and encourage each other in preparation for the inevitable.  He blessed us with some miraculous healing as our mothers entered eternity just three weeks apart. 
Another one of the ways that our families connected is through our love of music.  Pedro was initially placed in our home because he plays the piano.  What we didn’t know at the time was that Pedro was actually a budding composer.  In fact when he played his music in our home that first summer, he played some of those pieces, but didn’t let on that he had composed them.
Six months after Pedro left, he sent us a link to a youtube video for a song he composed, “Seattle“, and dedicated it to our family.  This was the first clue we had to this young man’s talent.  Over the next few months, Pedro continued to compose new songs and sent them to us.  Each time he did, I became more and more convinced that his music needed to be shared with a broader audience.
When Pedro returned to Seattle this past summer, in celebration of his 18th birthday, we took him to a recording studio to produce his first CD, ‘Introducing Pedro Gonzalez Arbona.’   We recorded 13 of his 18 original compositions.  Pedro’s songs are inspired by the events and travels in his life.  They range from beautiful melodies based on his travels to Rome and Paris to songs that celebrate and memorialize some of the key milestones in his life thus far—from the painful reality of losing 10 teachers from his school after the Al Qaeda train bombing in Madrid when he was 11 to the joyful completion of his university entrance exams at 17 this past June.
Ardis introduces Pedro at his American debut, June 2011

Ardis introduces Pedro at his American debut, June 2011

Pedro is also an avid cinema buff—American and European—and his music definitely reflects that as well.  His favorite composer is Hans Zimmer who composed soundtracks to such major motion pictures as Inception, The Lion King, Sherlock Holmes and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Pedro recently got noticed by Hans Zimmer through the aid of twitter after Pedro sent him a link to one of his compositions, “Portman.”   Hans Zimmer responded that the piece had a beautiful melody and that Pedro had a future in composing scores.  That is high praise for any musician to receive let alone an 18-year-old who is just starting out.

As Pedro’s ‘American manager’, a term he jokingly coined for me, I am inviting my friends and family to give your ears (and eyes) a treat by viewing and listening to some of Pedro’s music on youtube.com.  (Do a search on his name or click on one of the above links.)  If you like it, please share the link on your Facebook page.  His CD is now available for purchase also.  Soon it will be on itunes, Spotify and Amazon to download as well.  The CD cost is $12.50 for one or two for $20, plus $5 shipping, if necessary.  To purchase a copy of his CD, you can contact me directly or email ardis@pgarbona.com.
Introducing Pedro González Arbona, Pedro's debut CD

Introducing Pedro González Arbona, Pedro’s debut CD

I am not doing this for profit though.  It is a labor of love.  All proceeds are going to a fund for a trip to Spain so that Rosa and I can meet face to face instead of just virtually on skype.  I know that day will come.  Rosa is learning English in preparation for it and I am managing Pedro’s American music endeavors.  (Pedro is studying law and business administration at a university in Madrid where his real career goals lie.)
I never imagined I’d be going down this road in my life.  I never imagined I’d have family in Spain either.  I was pretty content in my own little corner of the world.  But the events of this past year have been a testimony to God’s healing and mercy if we surrender to His will.  It is proof that there are no geographical, language, religious or cultural barriers that God cannot break down.  For me all it took was accepting the invitation to open our home to a young man from Spain and choosing to invest in him and his family.  
What about you?  Where is God calling you to invest in someone or stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone?  You’ll never know the opportunities that await you unless you take those bold steps of faith and follow His will.
5/1/2012 Update: Pedro’s music is now available online through itunes, Amazon.com, Zune, Spotify and various other music websites.  His music can also be downloaded through his Facebook Store.  Physical CDs can be purchased at CDBaby.com.
8/3/2014 Update: I visited Spain and met Rosa in the summer of 2013. It was the trip of a lifetime, 6 weeks on a reciprocal sort of exchange program. You can read about my travels starting here. Pedro and I devoted many hours to his musical projects while I was there. Hans Zimmer was right about Pedro. He has gone on to compose for several movie projects including his latest American film score to Tempting Fate. You can find out more about the music of Pedro Gonzalez Arbona on The Music pages on my site, check out pgarbona.com, or like his Facebook page, Pedro Gonzalez Arbona, Composer.
On the red carpet with Pedro at the premiere of "Tempting Fate", July 2014.

On the red carpet with Pedro at the premiere of “Tempting Fate”, July 2014.

 

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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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