Berklee Students Produce Video of Spanish Superstar's Hit - Alejandro Sanz
"La Música No Se Toca"
Many musicians labor for years to get an opportunity like shooting a video featuring a top hit by a Grammy-winning superstar. For others, it’s a matter of being in the right Berklee class—in this case, last semester’s Songwriting in Spanish course, taught by Javier Limon.
Last February, one of Limon’s students, Lourdes Moreno Campos, was handpicked by the faculty member—himself a multiple Latin Grammy Award-winning producer and musician who serves as the artistic director of Berklee’s Mediterranean Music Institute—to produce a video of Berklee students and alumni performing Alejandro Sanz's latest hit, “La Música No Se Toca.”
Limon said he particularly enjoyed “La Música No Se Toca” on Sanz’s latest album and had his students study it last semester. Inspired by the song, whose title is a play on words meaning both “don’t mess with the music” and “music is not being played,” the students asked Limon if they could make a video of it. He took the request to Sanz, his longtime friend and collaborator.
“It was very natural for me when I told him about the idea, and he loved it,” Limon said. Sanz gave the okay and the students got to work.
Limon asked Moreno Campos, a third semester contemporary writing and production student who was in his songwriting and flamenco ensemble classes, to coordinate and produce the video. “And of course I was very, very excited about it,” Moreno Campos said.
Moreno Campos and her production assistant, Juana Aquerreta, began asking Berklee students they knew whether they wanted to take part. They looked for experienced musicians who would be willing to do the song in one or two takes. And they had to be able to sing in Spanish.
“The idea was mainly to have Latin American students,” Moreno Campos said. Although most of the 38 performers featured in the video hail from Latin America, students from North America, India, Europe and the Middle East are also included. Altogether, at least 20 nationalities are represented.
The video, shot over the course of a couple of days in February in the greater Boston area and in Valencia, Spain, is the product of collaboration between more than 60 Berklee students and alumni. Limon directed the video with Moreno Campos on site, working to schedule and coordinate the production. Gabriel Peguero filmed the video, which he edited with Pamela Hersch.
Remarkably, each piece was recorded on location, whether that spot was a studio or a busy outdoor place like Faneuil Hall. Limon had each student sing the entire song, from which he selected the best bits of each performance. He gave the cleaned and edited tracks to sound engineer and Berklee alumnus Julian Vidal, who mixed them seamlessly.
Moreno Campos said her education at Berklee helped her pull off the production. “Every ensemble, project and recital prepares you for real-life work situations much more than we realize. This job was a lot about seeing the big picture and being on (top of) every detail at the same time,” she said. “All these things are what we do all the time at Berklee when we follow a project from conception until it becomes a musical piece or a show.”
That show, the final video, is a production whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts, a passionate tribute to music and the power of collaboration. It ends with audio of Sanz's version of the song playing as a written message from him appears, thanking Berklee musicians for their work and for "giving us so many emotions."
“He loves the video,” Limon said of Sanz. “He was very touched with the video because it was very emotional.”
Berklee Student Francisco Ruiz performing on MTV Young & Married
A vocalist hailing from Ecuador, Francisco Ruiz is fluent in a wide range of styles, from pop to salsa. Here's Francisco featured in an MTV original series. Catch Francisco and the very same musicians performing July 18, 2013, at Atlantic Wharf in Boston.
MTV contacted Berklee College of Music with a last-minute request for a salsa group to perform on-camera in an episode. Francisco answered the call - within 24 hours, he gathered a group to play an integral role in the reality tv episode.