Memories: A Musical Adventure by Pedro González Arbona

If you found your way to this post you must be a fan of the music of Pedro González Arbona, or film music in general.  In my last post about Pedro’s latest CD, Memories, I gave my readers a glimpse into the making of his CD.  In this post, I am taking you on a musical adventure of the sound, movement, and artistic beauty that these songs entail.  (Click on any of the song names in this post to sample or purchase the song through Amazon.)

Memories CD Cover

Memories: A Musical Adventure

Have you ever noticed when you watch the beginning of a film how the music fills the theater as the name of the movie, main actors, director and key production personnel appear on the screen?  It is a glimpse into the music to come.  Often it is blending of some of the songs for that movie, or maybe a medley like an overture in a musical.

Memories starts in the same way with track 1, aptly named “Opening Titles.”  It is a large and extravagant piece that showcases Pedro’s musical talent and ability to draw the audience into the songs (or scenes) that follow.

Track 2 is one of Pedro’s most beautiful compositions, “The Great Beauty.”  What can I say about a song whose title sums up the music that it portrays?  Delicate, soothing, and distinctive notes from the piano, oboe, harp, and building up to the addition of some mellow horns.  Yes, it is a great beauty! (Select the song title on the media player on the right sidebar to hear this song in full.)

I first heard this beauty a few months before the screening of Pedro’s new movie, Tempting Fate.  I was already privy to his submitted work on the Tempting Fate soundtrack.  This piece seemed to take his work to an even higher level.  Yes, his work is (was) destined for the big screen.

Memories CD back cover

There are several other songs on this CD that are soft songs that would accompany slow or romantic movie scenes.  Some songs may lend themselves to a sad scene with strings accentuating the mood.

Which mood is really up to the listener.  They are all magical.  Included in this variety are “Memories,” “Dreams,” “The Crime,” “Ordinary Lives” (listen on the music player in the right sidebar), “Green View,” “Autumn,” and “Learning from Life.”

Memories contains several songs geared more on the dramatic side.  “Chaos” sounds like a scene right out of a drama or suspense film.  Riveting music that builds and takes you along with the action, glued to the music and the movie, awaiting the finale.

Another large song is “Flying.”  This song reminds me of a patriotic piece or something maybe in a war movie.  It takes me back to movies from years ago.  I can envision an old black and white movie playing as the victory is won in a waging battle.

Epic” is a song meant for a dramatic or suspenseful scene as the music builds.  The music (and the scene) end with a slow fade.  If action movies are your favorite genre, then “Action Theme” will be the song for you.  This song was used by KevStel, producer of Tempting Fate, in a short trailer alert for the movie, but was not on the soundtrack released in February 2015.  Watch the video below to check out how they used this dramatic music.

The last song on the CD is a sentimental favorite of mine, “Kalinda.”  This is Pedro’s first song that was composed for a movie.  It dates back to February 2013 when he first started to experiment with adding strings and other instruments to his piano compositions.  It was used as the trailer music for Thirst for Love, a Spanish short film directed by Chani Bas.  Check out the video below to watch the trailer and listen to “Kalinda.”

Hear it for Yourself

Memories is really music for the movie that is yet to be written.  It is from the movie in Pedro’s mind.  In time, some of these songs may accompany a movie in a theater near you.  Until then, please support Pedro’s music dreams by purchasing his CD, reviewing the music online, and liking his professional Facebook page, Pedro González Arbona, composer.

Want a copy for yourself?  Here’s the purchase links and methods to listen to his music:

Digital Downloads

Streaming

Or purchase the physical CD through my site.

For more information about Pedro González Arbona and his music, visit pgarbona.com.  Stay tuned for more updates on Pedro’s musical career and breaking news about the premiere of Tempting Fate across Nigeria and Ghana in July.

Making “Memories,” a CD by Pedro González Arbona

My desk and my mind are cleared of the clutter and busyness of life.  The most amazing music is engulfing me, stirring my senses, and begging me to share its beauty and my joy with the world.

What am I listening too?  It is the new CD by my favorite musical protégé and composer, Pedro González ArbonaMemories is Pedro’s latest foray into the music and film scoring business.

Memories CD Cover

Pedro’s Musical Background   

In the three years since Introducing Pedro González Arbona, his debut album, was released, Pedro’s music has grown by leaps and bounds.  His first album was a collection of his earliest solo piano compositions performed on a Steinway Concert grand piano in a recording studio in Seattle.  It was a gift for his 18th birthday while visiting from Madrid.  It was a monumental day for us both.

I’ve written a lot about Pedro’s love for music and how it was nurtured and inspired at an early age by cinema.  Now his work has matured and blossomed into full orchestral music that rivals the likes of other famous film composers that he admires, like John Williams (Star Wars), Hans Zimmer (most recently Interstellar), and Alexandre Desplat, winner for Best Original Score for The Grand Budapest Hotel at this year’s Academy Awards.

I don’t say this to boast, although it is hard for me to be impartial.  I say this because, at Pedro’s request, I’ve been immersing myself in various film scores over these last few years as well.  I hear the similarities and have been captivated by Pedro’s music.  Not just listening to it, but also as I witnessed it on the big screen at the VIP screening of his movie Tempting Fate, last July in Houston.

Pedro knows music!

Making Memories, the CD

While I was in Madrid last fall, Pedro and I met over dinner one night to discuss his next CD project. On another night in Madrid, he played one of his newest songs for me, “Opening Titles.”   He was fully engaged in the music, as if conducting the orchestra with an invisible baton.  This was Pedro’s first orchestrated piece, complete with pages and pages of sheet music.  Watching his delight in the final cut of this piece, and immersing myself in the music, was one of my best memories while on this trip to Spain.

Sheet music

A proud moment in Madrid: “Opening Titles” plays through Pedro’s sound system as he reviews the sheet music.

Although we collaborated in the production of the CD, it is truly his project from start to finish.  He designed the album cover, titled the album, and naturally, composed the music.  I brought his vision to completion by working in America with our music distributor, CD Baby.  They make worldwide sales and distribution via iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other internet music sites easy for any artist.

Pedro’s album cover design (above) conjures up feelings of old time movies, before the age of digital technology, with strips of film negatives pinned to a clothesline.  Which scenes will make the final cut of the movie?  Which songs will make the final cut of the CD?

Selecting the Songs

It was a difficult process to select the final 14 songs for this CD.  The music was mostly composed over the last year during a period of prolific musical and artistic inspiration.   I received some of the songs along his composing process.  I’ve collected a large archive of his music over the past four years from his various film and internet projects or impromptu personal musical inspirations.

Some of the pieces included on the CD were composed for the Tempting Fate film, but didn’t make it to the final cut of the movie.  As I’ve come to learn, it is just part of the film composing process.  It gives Pedro the opportunity to showcase them on his CDs or use on other projects.  (The soundtrack to Tempting Fate is available on Amazon.)

Pedro also collaborated with orchestrators (credited as ‘featuring’ in the track titles) to provide the professional sound quality and feel to his music.  The final 14 songs showcase the variety of Pedro’s music composing ability.

Memories Track TitlesThe easiest way for me to describe this album is to say that even though it was not written for a specific movie or movie scenes, it is just like a soundtrack.  The songs conjure up a wide breadth of emotions that are commonly experienced in a movie:  romance, suspense, action, drama, mystery.  You’ll be hooked after the first song!  I certainly was.

So in my next post about Memories, I will take you on a behind the scenes musical adventure through his latest album.  Until then, you can preview one of my favorite songs “The Great Beauty” on Soundcloud or by selecting the song on the media player in the right sidebar on this page.

For more information about Pedro González Arbona and his music, visit pgarbona.comMemories is available for your immediate listening pleasure through any of the links below:

profileYou can show your support for this young artist’s music career by liking his page on Facebook, Pedro González Arbona, composer.

Lights, Camera, Action, Part 1 ~ Making Music in Spain

Those three simple words, “lights, camera, action” are universally associated with filmmaking. Until last summer, my only role remotely associated with the theater was a bit part I was required to play in the annual musical back in junior high school.

For Pedro, the young Spanish man whose music career I help manage, those words have been part of his vocabulary and part of his dreams since he was very young.  Now, at 20 years of age, he is living his dreams.

Pedro González Arbona, professional musician and composer (Madrid, July 2013)

Pedro González Arbona, professional musician and composer (Madrid, July 2013)

Pedro’s First Short Film

When I headed to Madrid nearly six months ago, Pedro was up to his ears putting the finishing touches on the soundtrack for his first professional short film, Sed de Amor (Thirst for Love).  The premiere was held two weeks after my arrival.  Unfortunately, Pedro’s family and I were vacationing in southern Spain and couldn’t attend.  (The soundtrack is at the bottom of this post.)

Sandwiched in between sightseeing excursions and writing, my time in Madrid was spent collaborating with Pedro on his music and promotional projects to prepare for the premiere and beyond.  Together we launched his website (pgarbona.com), developed a site for his music sales, had publicity photo shoots, and worked on a Facebook marketing campaign to build interest in the film and his music.

Launching Pedro's new website.

Launching Pedro’s new website.

The Premiere

Since Pedro couldn’t attend the Thirst for Love premiere, the director, Chani Bas, asked him to create a video to introduce himself and explain his composing and music synchronization process for the film.  “Take 1.  Take 2.  Take 3,” I said as we made light of the multiple takes he had to do to get a flawless video.

Then since I couldn’t attend the premiere, Pedro gave me my own private showing of Thirst for Love.  Knowing the story, but not understanding the actors’ Spanish dialogue made it difficult to get the full movie viewer’s experience.  That didn’t stop the tears from flowing at the end of the movie though.  My tears were perfectly timed with the closing song “The Last Tear.”   Pedro’s parents joined us for the final minutes of the film, making my joy, and my tears complete.

Celebrating the Thirst for Love premiere while on vacation in Seville.

Celebrating the Thirst for Love premiere while on vacation in Seville.

More Music Collaboration

After our return from vacation, there was still much more music work to do.  Chani had enlisted Pedro to score the soundtrack for his next short film, Always Together.  Those songs filled the family home throughout my remaining days in Madrid as Pedro composed every free moment he got.  We also worked on reviewing and cataloguing Pedro’s ever growing list of compositions—about 120 at the time.

On one of our last days in Madrid, I met Chani, Pedro’s director, face to face at a local Starbucks.  It was a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the film industry, hear firsthand about the Thirst for Love premiere, and get to know each other.  Chani was already preparing for the next film project as well.  (Always Together premiered a few days ago.)

Chani Bas, Ardis A. Nelson and Pedro Gonzalez Arbona

Chani Bas, Ardis A. Nelson and Pedro Gonzalez Arbona

First American Film Project

The biggest music news of the summer though was the contract Pedro negotiated with the KevStel Group, an American production company, for his first full-feature film, Tempting Fate.  Days before we headed off to the island of Mallorca, international calls and email negotiations were flying through cyberspace.  We were rushed to complete it because once we arrived on Mallorca, internet access was extremely limited.

On Mallorca we settled into vacation mode for the remaining 2 ½ weeks of my trip surrounded by Pedro’s family and friends.  But one day while in siesta mode, I sat poolside and read the script of Tempting Fate.  I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read through lines that had a spiritual message of unconditional love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption.

I believe it was not a coincidence that this production company or this script landed in Pedro’s lap.  Like the prayer that moved mountains and connected Rosa and I, my prayers for Pedro’s music were again answered in heavenly ways.

Projected release date, July 2014

Projected release date, July 2014

Two Years in the Making

At this season of my life, I am often in awe of all the perfectly timed coincidences that have fallen into place between my Spanish family and me: the timing of the passing of Rosa’s and my mothers, how my trip to Spain came to fruition and its timing, and now, most assuredly, the recognition of Pedro’s musical talent beyond our friends and families.

It was two years ago this week that Pedro’s CD of original compositions, Introducing Pedro González Arbona, first went online at CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.  What started on a whim and a nudge from God launched Pedro into a professional music and film career, and stepped him into his dreams.  It’s hard to watch these music milestones from 5,300 miles across the globe, but I am very blessed to know that God has done more than I could ever have imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

~ To read about the exciting premiere of ‘Always Together’ recently held in Madrid, check out Part 2 of this series..  To experience his music for yourself, click any of the links below to hear an original composition from the ‘Thirst for Love’ soundtrack, ©2013 Pedro González Arbona, or check out Pedro’s video page of this site.

If this is your first time hearing about the music of Pedro González Arbona, check out his website at pgarbona.com, or “The Music” page on my site for more information about how his music was discovered.  You can support his music career by liking his Facebook page, Pedro Gonzalez Arbona, Composer.

Updated 2/12/2015: The Tempting Fate soundtrack with Pedro’s music released today and is available on Amazon and iTunes. The movie will be released across Nigeria on July 17, 2015.

The Road to Spain, Update 6 ~ The Music

The last time I physically saw Pedro González Arbona we were waving each other goodbye at the security checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport two years ago.  He arrived that summer as an aspiring composer.  He left America that day with 50 professionally recorded CDs of his original compositions, eager to share his music with friends and family in Spain.

Managing Pedro’s Music

Our relationship changed that summer, not intentionally, but it went from one of family connection (as a result of a short term exchange program, Education First) to a music partnership.  When I offered to take Pedro into the recording studio in July 2011, he started to affectionately and jokingly call me his manager.  As I caught his dream of composing movie scores, I came to take that responsibility more seriously, as did he.

Since that time, his music found a home with CD Baby, an independent music distributor, giving him an online presence on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other retail music sites, and giving him worldwide exposure.  As fantastic as this may sound, online access doesn’t automatically equate to fame and fortune—although I was naturally concerned it might.

Introducing Pedro at his debut American performance, June 2011

Introducing Pedro at his debut American performance, June 2011

Carrying on our relationship across 5,300 miles has not been easy.  But like the online translator has helped bridge the distance between his mother Rosa and me, Pedro’s music has helped to connect us as well.  When Pedro left in July 2011, he had a repertoire of 18 songs; 13 of them were recorded on his CD, Introducing Pedro González Arbona.

Since then he has become quite prolific with his music, growing from simple piano melodies to fully orchestrated pieces.  Last month, he reached a major milestone by composing his 100th piece, sending each song to me via email along the way.

And Then it Happened . . .

One day out of the blue several months ago, Pedro emailed me an incredibly beautiful composition that seemed to stretch his music to a new level.  I made a mental note on that day of this shift, prayed about it, released it to God, and even wrote in my journal how it felt like his music was truly ready for the big screen.  The very next day, I received an email from Pedro that he got noticed by a Spanish film production company who was interested in hiring him to compose for a full feature film.  This was incredible news!

Pedro informed the company that I was his manager and the international communications began with the producer.  Things progressed very rapidly after that.  Pedro was offered the chance to compose for a short film to test his talent—which he passed with flying colors.  He was then offered the job to compose for the full feature film next year.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of musical commitments for Pedro and a steep learning curve for me.  I have been blown away by his beautifully orchestrated compositions for the short film.  Throughout the production process, he has demonstrated his maturity and creative genius in working with the producer and the director.  It has all paid off well for him as the trailer for the short film, “Sed de Amor” (Thirst for Love), below, was released last week.  (By the way, the song I mentioned above was the basis for the song featured in this trailer.  It really was meant for the big screen and answered prayer!)

It’s a Small World

What is so interesting to me in all of this is how the connections for this film came to fruition.  It wasn’t because the film company stumbled upon Pedro’s music.  It was through a high school friend, Chani Bas, who is the director and screenwriter for the short film.  He heard of Pedro’s musical pursuits and shared Pedro’s music site with the producers.  Pedro’s music spoke for itself.

Putting Pedro’s music online was never rooted in financial motives.  It was all about sharing Pedro’s music and getting him exposure.  We just had to be patient for the right circumstances to materialize and God’s timing.

6 DaysReunion on Spanish Soil

When I arrive in Spain in one week, I will be reunited with Pedro—no longer an aspiring composer, but a professional one, with the score of his first professional film under his belt.  The timing couldn’t be better, as we will be able to partner for his music promotion, the release of the soundtrack on July 1, and the premiere of the movie.  I’m also anxious to watch him perform the dozens of songs he sent me over the past two years.

I couldn’t be happier for Pedro.  His dreams are becoming a reality.  I fertilized the seed that was planted in my home when we met three years ago (when he first played the piano for us).  The hard work has paid off.  Now it’s time to enjoy the fruit of our labor, and thank God for the abundant blessings He has bestowed on us.

Update 12/18/2013:  To read about my music related adventures in Spain, check out “Lights, Camera, Action, Part 1.”

Name That Tune

Ever since we welcomed Pedro into our home two summers ago, his music has become a part of my life.  For the first summer, I watched and listened to him play movie soundtracks on our old upright piano.  Before that summer, the piano was reserved solely for my oldest son, Evan, who for years only played classical pieces from great composers like Beethoven, Bach, Chopin and Tchaikovsky.  Both of these young men were classically trained, yet their music was strikingly different and influenced by the environment in which they grew up.

A Tale of Two Musicians

Pedro at the Nelson family piano, July 2010

Pedro at the Nelson family piano, July 2010

From an early age Pedro fell in love with the cinema, going to movies with his parents and grandparents.  For his first communion he received books from his grandparents about American and European cinema.  He was drawn to the chapters about the composers and started paying attention to how music influenced movies.  When Pedro was eight, his parents discovered he had an ear for music and he was enrolled in a conservatory in Spain.

Across the globe in Seattle, Evan’s interest in music was being fostered by his parents and trips to the symphony with his father.  Evan was enrolled in private piano lessons when he was six years old. With his aptitude for math and complex equations, he was stretched by his teachers to remarkable levels in mastering works like “Polichinelle” by Rachmaninoff.  At the pinnacle of his musical career, we produced two CDs of Evan’s music and he held a fundraiser concert where he performed eight classical pieces.

Evan's final year of music, 2010

Evan’s final year of music, 2010

Evan’s days of playing the piano were winding down when Pedro and his music entered our lives.  It wasn’t until months after Pedro left that we even found out some of the pieces he performed were his own compositions.  All of this led to producing Pedro’s debut CD, Introducing Pedro Gonzalez Arbona, the following summer. (Pedro’s music is available on itunes, Amazon, Spotify, CD Baby and other online music sites.)

The Soundtrack of My Life

Ever since the receipt of “Seattle”, a song Pedro composed and dedicated to our family, Pedro has been sending me his songs—over 30 received to date.  What is most unique about this relationship is how it often feels like I have a soundtrack that goes along with my life—at least this season of it.

Last year for my birthday, Pedro composed a song for me, “Ardis’s Song”.  It was one of the best gifts I’d ever received.  When my father passed away this summer, Pedro composed “Van’s Requiem” which we played at the memorial service. Then when “Journeys to Mother Love” was released, he surprised me with a song for the Open House (The story really does have a soundtrack that goes with it.  I send that to anyone who buys “Journeys to Mother Love” through me or my site.)

Name That Tune

When my birthday arrived last month, I tried not to expect another song, yet Pedro did manage to surprise me again! Unlike last year’s song, Pedro gave me the privilege to name this one.  I’ve been pondering a name for a few weeks.  With my birthday falling on Thanksgiving, I wanted this song and this birthday to stand out from my other birthdays.

Name That TuneSo my new song, “Day of Thanks”, was born from a friendship that transcends the 5,300 miles across the world.  It is testament to how grateful I am for my Spanish connection and so many other blessings in my life.  As a simple reminder of this gift, the ringtone on my cell phone now plays the opening notes to my new favorite song.

Music has a way of touching us at the heart level and lifting our spirits when we are down.  It sets a tone in our movies, in our homes or wherever we listen to it.  With the gift of Pedro’s music in my life, I am never far from my Spanish son or the memories of the good times we have shared.

I have already named my song, but I want to hear what you think.  I encourage you to listen to “Day of Thanks” (click song title) and tell me what you would name this song if you received it.  What feelings or scenes does it evoke in you?  Enjoy this lovely composition and like the American game show from the 1950’s, “Name That Tune” in the comments below. (Please return back to this page to post your comment.)

A Year To Remember, Part 2

While God was transforming and healing me with my mother’s passing in 2011, He was also giving me a connection with a family in Spain.  Our families met the year before through a short term summer exchange program when their son, Pedro, stayed with us.  Pedro’s grandmother was also diagnosed with a terminal illness and only had a few months to live.  So Rosa, Pedro’s mother, and I ministered to each other through the painful process of preparing for our mother’s passing.

Neither Rosa nor I spoke each other’s native language, but we used an online translator to send emails to each other.  Occasionally, Pedro would fill in the gaps or translate on a Skype call.  Our letters back and forth were beautiful gestures from the heart and proof that with God there are no barriers that cannot be overcome.  Each time I gave to Rosa, I also received from her and vice versa.  It was very comforting and healing.

Rosa, Pedro's mother

Rosa, Pedro’s mother

Early on in this relationship with Rosa, Pedro also took steps to deepen the connection between our families.  In January 2011, Pedro sent us a link to a YouTube video of ‘Seattle’ a song he composed and dedicated to our family.  It was an amazing gift of kindness and gratitude.  Over the next few months, Pedro sent more original piano compositions.  We were astonished by this young man’s talent and oblivious to the fact that he had played several of his compositions in our home the previous summer. 
The more Pedro sent his songs to us, the more I toyed with the idea of recording his music.  And so for Pedro’s 18th birthday, when he was in Seattle, I took him into a recording studio to produce his first CD.  That day was very memorable.  I did a photo shoot of Pedro in the studio for his CD cover, artist photos, etc.  I video recorded several of his songs as he performed in the studio.  Those videos are on youtube.com.  Then we spent several hours with the music engineer editing the songs.  We left the studio with a fantastic master recording of 13 songs from his prepared playlist.  As soon as we got in the car, we popped the master into the CD player.  Pedro was in disbelief—smiling ear to ear—as he listened in sheer delight to his music kiss the speakers and fill the car.
In the days that followed we created all the CD content, labels, burned disks, etc. and mass produced 50 CDs for friends and family in Spain.  The first printing of the Spanish CD was titled, ‘Compositions of Pedro González Arbona’.  An English version of the CD soon followed with the title ‘Introducing Pedro González Arbona’.  After all, I’m betting this won’t be this young man’s only album.  Pedro’s music is mostly inspired by cinema and soundtrack composers like Hans Zimmer and John Williams.  He dreams of scoring a motion picture soundtrack someday.
Introducing Pedro González Arbona, Pedro's debut CD

Introducing Pedro González Arbona, Pedro’s debut CD

After Pedro returned to Spain, I pursued having his music set up for online sales and digital downloads.  Months earlier, Pedro had affectionately started calling me his ‘manager’, but now it is a role I take more seriously.  I used my love for writing to create Pedro’s website copy and worked with Pedro on edits and Spanish translations as well.  By Christmas 2011, Pedro’s music was available on itunes,Amazon, Zuneand various other music sites.  He now has a Facebook artist page and his music can be purchased through his Facebook store as well.  Physical copies of his CD are available on CDbaby.com.

So 2011 really was a year to remember for me.  Although it started with the passing of my mother, it ended with the expansion of my family and some radical ‘career’ changes that I never would’ve anticipated. 
After some of my first published devotionals, one of my friends told me I found my calling.  Those were precious words to me.  I hope and pray that is true, because now that I’ve been writing this past year, I can’t imagine not doing it.  I cannot not write.
In the case of Pedro’s music, I ‘manage’ his American music endeavors out of love for him and his music.  Pedro is like a son to me and his mother is like a sister (which probably makes me more like an aunt).  I am Pedro’s #1 American fan so it is only natural that I would do this for him.  Someday the proceeds will be enough to buy the long-awaited ticket to Spain to meet Rosa face to face.  That trip will be the trip of a lifetime for me as I plan to write about their amazing country and more of the story that has brought our families together. 
That will be a year to remember too.  Will it be 2012?  Only God knows.  I’m waiting for His answer.
4/26/2012 Update: God provided a way for me to get to Spain in 2013.  Here’s the related story. Expanding My Spanish Circle of Friendship 
1/23/2013 Update: Tickets purchased. I will finally meet Rosa face to face on June 24, 2013.
6/24/2013 Update: Read about meeting Rosa and my travels to Spain starting with España Update 1: The Longest Day.

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.

 

  • WELCOME to my site!

    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.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

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    Arrival on Spanish SoilApril 29th, 2018
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