Sol y Luna Guitar Duo to return to Los Alamos

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

Tito Rios and Petra Babankova of Sol y Luna Guitar Duo unveiled an original composition during their Guitar and Gateaux concert last year. This year, they are back in the guitar series with more original music.

Sol y Luna will be showing off their composing skills during the first Guitar and Gateaux show of the season, which will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge. The Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC) is sponsoring the show.

Rios said they are looking forward to this show, after their successful performance last year.

“We were really well received – a warm welcome that we felt from the folks who came to see us,” he said.

Thursday, the program will be divided into three categories, Rios said, there will be original compositions, pieces that the duo were recorded and performed last year, and new pieces that are not original but “beautiful.”

While Babankova has written compositions, Rios writes most of the pieces for the duo.

In describing his work, Rios said, “I believe it’s a result of the music I enjoy listening to, it’s varied.”

He explained everything from Stravinsky to Radio Head is his music collection.

Additionally, the guitar music he creates is not a-tonal; it’s mainly tonal.

While outside artists have influenced the duo’s work, the biggest impact on Rios’ and Babankova’s music is each other.

In fact, they perform exclusively with each other.

“For me,” Rios said, “the first thing that comes to mind, has been that we’ve been working together for over five years, but we really work in union ee that has helped us to grow ee it is the music that brought us together.”

This union is more than just professional. Rios and Banakova are married and have children.

They each bring more than 15 years of experience to the duo. Babankova was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and started playing the guitar at age 12.

When her family moved to Canada, she studied with Czech guitarist Antonin Bartos. She spent a year in Brazil and eventually got a degree in interpretation from McGill University and earned a master degree at Universite de Montreal. She continues to teach and perform.

Rios was born in La Paz, Bolivia. He was introduced to the guitar at age 8. Later, he toured the U.S. and overseas with different bands, including Sukay.

Regarding their upcoming show in Los Alamos, Rios thanks organizer Greg Schneider and the community for the opportunity to perform again.

General admission to the show costs $15 or $10 for LAAC members. Desserts are included.