"THANKS TO THOSE WHO SAID NO, SO I DID IT MYSELF"
Rodolfo Troncoso (born in 1979) is a composer, singer, and classical guitarist from Santiago, Chile. At the age of 10, he moved to Spain where he developed a need to play the guitar. Hence, why he worked in the kitchen of a restaurant to afford his first nylon string guitar. At the age of 13, his family moved to the U.S. and tied by financial
limitations it would be a year until Rodolfo would have another guitar to play. Shortly after Rodolfo started going to school in the U.S., he also began to show great potential for music and excelled in his guitar classes and music groups.
Rodolfo found his way in American culture by playing music. His natural talent simply led the way and soon he earned himself the opportunity to study under the legendary classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco and flamenco guitarist Juan Serrano Jr. While in high school, he was selected as the lead guitar for the prominent Miami Beach
Senior High Rock Ensemble. At a young age, he experienced the exhilarating taste of playing live. Rodolfo performed with the Rock Ensemble not only in venues across the country, but also in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Rodolfo’s list of performances includes: performing at the Lincoln Center in New York City; he has been the featured solo guitarist with several orchestras such as The Regina Symphony Orchestra in Canada and The Lima Philharmonic in Ohio; he has toured with Alex Fox, and shared the stage with Kenny G and Kenny Rodgers. Additionally, he has performed for Jennifer Anniston at her birthday party and played for former Attorney General, Janet Reno. Rodolfo’s accomplishments include: having received the highest ratings for five consecutive years at the Guitar Association of Florida and at the University of Miami guitar evaluations. Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including his first prize at the 1996 Atlanta Music Festival, first prize at the 1997 New York Big Apple Classical Festival and first prize at the 1998 Orlando Music Festival.
Rodolfo is not limited to only live performances, he is also a composer, producer and he is the owner of a full production studio in North Miami, Florida- USA called Satori Sounds.
Q. What's shaped your artistic journey since then?
A. I exist in a circle where music is performed more as a service than art. I thrive in providing my services professionally not necessarily seeking the appreciation of my art, but rather that of my services, in this case, Live Music Services. I relate to my art and my instrument in a different way. I have become more cynical on how I think people view what I do. I think people like guitar music and they hire me for their events and functions because it embellishes their dealings, but no one really cares about what I have to say as an artist. Therefore, my relationship to my art is purely about working to pay for my life needs. Ironically, this makes me very grateful to have the opportunity to do this for a living. And I am good at it, a good musician, performer, and composer... but I am just emotionally more disconnected than other artists are to their art.
Q. Do you remember the first piece of music you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. I started making music from my first days of playing, but I never allowed myself to believe those ideas were any good. I was around 16 years old when I wrote a ballad for a girlfriend that broke my heart. It took other people to tell me it was a good song and then I accepted it as my first official composition. It was called "Don't ask me not to cry"
Q. How did you start in music? Why did you decide to become a musician?
A. My childhood was beautiful but I had a lot of goodbyes from all the people I left behind each time I moved from a country, starting from the time I left Chile. I carried on but I grew internalizing all that loss. By the time I was 10 years old, music became a way to deal with those emotions as cliche as that sounds. I developed a need to play the melodies that made me feel better.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. Financial stability seems to be what the world is after. Our society seems to be built around that. But on the other hand, I have chosen to live from gigs which is a very uncertain way to make my income. This is at times very challenging and there isn't a day where I don't question what I do, especially now that I am a father. But I love the production of music both on stage and in the studio... I am not sure I could do anything else at this point.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. I admire successful people who use their positions to help and give back. Some of my main idols today are: Elan Musk, Jon Stewart, Barack Obama, and Leonardo Di Caprio.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. I am not only a versatile musician but also an audio engineer, composer and nature lover. I believe that my work is totally connected to the universal laws of abundance and attraction. What I do does not define me as a person so I am not too invested in my artistry. I have no artist ego and I mostly care about doing great work whatever that may be. I think that it is my professionalism the trait that separates me from other people
doing what I do.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of music?
A. I have a deep sense of spirituality and believe that each one of my jobs are miracles. Actually, the fact that I can make a living doing things related to music is a miracle already. I trust that the universe will always provide what I need and maybe not more, just enough. That is my daily mantra to be thankful for what I have today... tomorrow who knows!
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. To maintain what I have built up to now and be able to continue to pay my way with my work.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. An old mentor said to me; "In this business, people want you for sex or for money". Nowhere does that ring truer than in Miami.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Return all phone calls and inquiries about your work no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
Written by Rodolfo Troncoso, the piece was featured in the 2000 independent film "The Last Semester"