Raimundo Rodulfo was born in 1970 in Venezuela. He pursued musical studies in 1977 and 1978 at the Escuela Sinfónica Infantil. At the age of twelve, he started studying violin and at the age of fourteen he began autodidactic studies of classic and electric guitars. Between 1986 and 1992, Raimundo joined several groups for which he composed music blending classic and contemporary elements. He performed at several festivals and shows in his country and participated in some professional recordings. Since 1992, Raimundo has been dedicated to his musical projects as a soloist, composing music for guitar and group. In 2000, he produced his first album Dreams followed by his second album The Dreams Concerto in 2001. This is a concert in three movements for guitar, group and chamber orchestra, featuring fifteen guest musicians. This second release was played live for the first time at the sixth edition of the BajaProg Festival in Baja, California Mexico.
In 2003, Raimundo Rodulfo released To Live A Dream, Official Bootleg and To Live A Dream 2, Official Bootleg. Both virtual live-albums are available by downloading them from his website (see below) featuring music from several live performances at BajaProg, ProgJazz and the concert opening for The Flower Kings. Parallel to his musical career, Rodulfo is an electronic engineer, specialized in digital systems and telecommunications. He has dedicated several years to Research & Development both in the academical and in the industrial field.
In 2000, I wrote a review for Background Magazine about his first album Dreams in which I called him ‘The Latin-American Steve Howe’. I hailed his outstanding guitar work. Well, listening to his third solo album Mare Et Terra, I’m again impressed by his virtuosity on guitar and again I notice strong hints of Steve Howe and Yes. The album starts with Naufrago, a very alternating and melodic epic composition lasting for almost 37 minutes! The intro delivers an excellent piece of solo classical guitar that alternates between classical, Spanish and flamenco. A jaw-dropping technique that also sounds very pleasant, not clinical or ‘scale-acrobatic’. When the music blends with flute play, Dutch prog folk band Flairck comes to my mind. Then we can enjoy cascades of shifting moods and breaks. It starts with a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar and piano, a string-section, a blend of classical and Howe-inspired electric guitar with grand piano. Then the atmosphere changes to a swinging rhythm with saxophone, a compelling part with electric guitar and Mellotron-choirs followed by a seventies Yes-oriented bombastic grand finale with jaw-dropping classical guitar runs, accompanied by castanets and lush Mellotron-choirs. Just great!
The other four tracks also showcase Raimundo’s guitar skills and his pleasant and varied way of composing. I’m delighted about the Mellotron-violins and the warm classical guitar in Libertad, the Santana-inspired atmosphere with trumpet, flute and synthesizers in Blue and the MiniMoog-flights in Thoughts, part 1. The variety in the final track Thoughts, part 2 is just phenomenal with a swinging rhythm with conga’s and flute, bombastic Hammond and MiniMoog-runs with delicate steel-guitar work evoking Yes and a final part with tender classical guitar and violin. Simply beautiful!
If you are up to a varied and very tastefully arranged guitar driven album with a nice vintage keyboard sound, this one is yours!
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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