“Intactvs” is Mike Porcel's 2008 new release. The CD condenses all these years of Mike’s prolific and active career, bringing together 14 compositions some of them new and also well known featured themes such as Ay del amor!, Diario & Esa mujer que llega, but all of them representatives of his successful incursions in a wide range of musical styles, from Renaissance, Baroque and Romanticism airs to New Age, Jazzy echoes and progressive Rock, blend together with Cuban roots, Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian atmospheres. The lyrics, a central component of Mike’s musical creations, offer a delicate poetry, intensely metaphoric, profoundly lyrical, and slightly nostalgic. They open the door to a rich gamut of emotions, creating the subtle, engaging experience of Mike’s voice and harmony.
Itinerary of an artist
Mike Porcel was born on Thursday April 13th, in the still yet not desolated city of Havana, Cuba. His first guitar arrived into his hands at the young age of three. However,it was not until he was 9 years old that he received his first guitar lessons instructed by his mother.
He acquired his musical formation through the hands of outstanding professionals and masters such as Leopoldina Núñez – who taught several generations of guitarists -, Harold Gramatges, Alfredo Diez Nieto, Vicente González Rubiera "Guyun" and Angel Vásquez Millares among others. With them he studied classical guitar, traditional harmony and harmony applied to the instrument, musical appreciation, counterpoint, composition, and orchestration.
He began to work professionally as a musician in 1968 with the band Dada, one of the most famous,innovative and controvertible Cuban rock groups of the sixties. At the same time he developed one of his fundamental lines of work: the composition. It is within this slope in which he has been better known for. His songs are characterized by a delicate poetic sensitivity in perfect harmony along with a not less elaborated musical work.
As a composer he has received numerous recognitions; his songs have been recorded by famous Hispanic speaking interpreters such as Nacha Guevara, Elsa Baeza and Danny Rivera among others. Also it was awarded with the First Prize of the World-wide Festival of Youth and the Students (1978) granted to his song En busca de una nueva flor (In search of a new flower).
In 1973 he expanded one of his fields of work as an arranger of numerous Cuban interpreters, and musical director of the theater group Teatro Estudio, where he worked for several years composing original music to theatrical plays such as: La hija de las flores (The daughter of the flowers), a XIX century Cuban theater play classic by Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda; Se hace camino al andar (Make a way but walking) a tribute to the Spanish poets Miguel Hernandez and Antonio Machado, both directed by Armando Suárez del Villar; Madre Coraje (Courage Mother) and Galileo Galilei by Bertold Brecht, both plays directed by Vicente Revuelta.
As a songwriter he performed recitals in different theaters such as Bellas Artes, Hubert de Blanck, Teatro Amadeo Roldan, Teatro Mella and Teatro Karl Marx.
His contact with the theater made him conceived and to performed, in collaboration with other actors, a show where they were combined poetry, theater and music, Que hablen los poetas (Let the poets speak), which obtained laudatory critics of the press for its originality and capacity to grant life to universal poetry -outside the solitary activity of reading-, and to make it accessible to all the social spheres.
In 1977, Mike happened to integrate, as a co-founder and musical director, the rock band Synthesis which stood out in their first year of existence by the attempt to fuse roots of Cuban folk music with tendencies of progressive and symphonic rock.
It is indeed very hard to understand why the work of Mike Porcel always stayed in the limits of an "underground music". The only possible answer to this question is that his resistance to become a spokesman of the Castro regime marked him and, little by little, lead him to a total marginalization of the immediately previous years to his departure of Cuba. This stage of his life was in 1980, when he decided to emigrate, and the Cuban authorities retained him and his family during nine years. Those years were signed by a constant harassment, repression, and the absolute lack of human rights. It wasn’t until 1989,after manifold and unfruitful efforts of international defenders of human rights organizations that he could emigrate to Spain, thanks to the direct intervention of the Commission of Human rights of the United Nations.
Outside Cuba he has developed an intense artistic-musical activity. He was hired by TVE (Spanish TV) like part of the cast of the daily program Buenos dias (Good morning), directed by Luis Tomas Melgar.
The creation of a series of 52 programs for Radio Marti, Despues de tanta vida…(After all that life…), directed by Norma Rojas and Marcos Miranda. From the point of view of composition and the orchestration, Mike co-produced the CD Mis momentos felices (My happy moments) sung by the Cuban-Spanish singer Elsa Baeza. This work was presented in tours that covered almost all the Iberian Peninsula, in which he participated as a musical director of the group of musicians that toured with Miss. Baeza. For the show Aunque es de noche (Although it is night), - who was presented within the framework of the Expo Seville 92- he set to music and orchestrated poems of San Juan de la Cruz and Teresa de Jesus. They also appeared as part of his activity during this period of time the music for the documentaries Un siglo de Madrid (A century of Madrid) and Corpus Christi, directed by Mercedes Segovia, and the music for the cartoon animated series Meme y el Sr. Bobo (Mimi and Mr. Bobo), produced and directed by Myriam Ballesteros. With the Spanish actor Francisco Rojas and Elsa Baeza he creates a second version of Que hablen los poetas (Let the poets speak) who toured throughout several cities of Spain and Belgium.
At present he is an American citizen residing in the U.S.A. where he has been collaborating since his arrival with the theater groups Teatro Avante (Avante Theater) Teatro Prometeo (Prometheus Theater) directed by Mario Ernesto Sanchez and Teresa Maria Rojas respectively. For them, he has composed music for several works released by these groups in the Festival of Hispanic Theater that is celebrated annually in the city of Miami, Florida. Finally, during the last years he has been working in several personal projects of New Age,World,Classical and rock music fusion. In this line of work it is possible to mention the composition of Echoes (A New Age Cuban suite) -not yet premiered- for symphonic orchestra and rock band with an English and Spanish versions. At the same time, he has continued performing recitals in Miami and New York city.
The itinerary of Mike Porcel, the artist, has been once again a test of the failure of the intolerance and the authoritarianism to silence the voice of the dissident art, for which –as Mike said in one of his songs- "there will be troubadours forever… throughout time… yesterday and today"