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Student Profile: Recording Music in the Nicaraguan Tranquility

Francisco is a member of our second level English class and has been studying with us for about two years. He is also a member, and lead singer, of the band Portal Heaven. Though currently Francisco’s band only sings in Spanish, Francisco hopes that in the future he will be able to write and sing his own songs in English. Francisco and his band travel every month to perform in various venues across Nicaragua. They travel more frequently during the summer, performing two or three times a month. During the rainy season, they travel less frequently but still try to perform once a month.

Francisco’s passion for English is indicative of his greater desire to learn, teach, and expand his horizons. His smile and sense of humor greet you warmly and his passion for music and English drive those around him to excel. His knowledge of both English and music shows through each month when he sings a song for the English class after his presentations. During the visit of Professor Glenn McClure, a fellow composer and musician from Geneseo NY, we had the opportunity to talk to Francisco more about his plans for his music and English in the future.

Here is Glenn’s experience:

Over the last 5 years, I have watched the steady growth of new restaurants, shops, and service businesses in El Sauce. However, I never imagined a full-service recording studio! Francisco Sandoval wisely located his studio outside of the busy urban life of El Sauce. His studio records music and produces audio advertisements for a customer base that stretches from El Sauce to Leon and Managua. His work has been so successful that the foundation of a bigger studio has been laid.

Glenn and Francisco discussing recording methods in Francisco's old studio

Francisco was drawn toward audio production by recording his band, Portal Heaven. He quickly

realized that same recording equipment could also be used for audio promotions for radio and the roving car advertising so common in El Sauce. Francisco plays many instruments, sings, records, mixes, and even adds voice over tracks. He has become a master at creating high quality audio productions in this small, rural studio.

I was humbled to hear that, in addition to his work at the studio, he also teaches music in several towns, studies English with Enlace, and is working toward a college degree. Francisco’s energy and professionalism is matched only by his gentle fortitude. I look forward to using Francisco’s studio to record with my Nica musician friends in the future.

The next time you hear an advertisement calling out from a loudspeaker on top of a car in the streets of El Sauce, listen for Francisco’s voice!

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