Five years later, they met again. Maite was now six years old and her parents let her play with the children of the Kelly Family. She still remembers that John defended her against two other children who were bugging her.
"He simply took my hand. He was so tall. The difference in height was even bigger than nowadays. He was a young gentleman."
Usually, John joined his two sisters when they took guitar classes with Maite’s father.
John says, "She was such an impressive character. She used to come into the classes and correct the pupils when they did something wrong. One day she came into the kitchen where I was sitting together with her grandmother. Suddenly, she pointed at me and said: 'I will marry you!' Ever since, this little striking person was to stay in my mind."
Life took them onto different paths, but the two families stayed in contact because of both musical and personal reasons.
John contiunues, "Sometimes I would call her, but I am such a shy guy that she never even remotely thought that I was actually interested in her."
Maite adds, "They always sent us their latest records and video productions. Of course I saw that he had become a very handsome and interesting man."
Ten years ago, during a TV show, they met again for the first time after fourteen years. However, John was very ill and too shy and buisy with the show, so there was not enough time to get to know each other closer. As a consequence, Maite had to leave after two days without knowing about John's feelings.
Maite says, "He was still the same handsome gentleman I used to know."
In 1997, John's sisters decided to take matters into their own hands and secretely invited Maite to spend the holidays with them. Although they became very good friends, Maite was too inexperienced to know what was going on and John was too shy to attack. Thus, his sisters decided to step in again and "interrogate" Maite.
Maite remembers, "They asked me: 'Do you like any of our brothers? What about Johnny?' I was shocked. What was going on? Of course I liked him, he was such a sweet gentleman, but I thought he already had a girlfriend. I never had the heart to ask him.
Soon, the situation was clear on both sides: We were single and we liked each other very much. We became best friends and after some time we knew that we were heavily in love. Finally, he asked my father for my hand in marriage. It was so wonderful! Just like in the old times! My father could hardly suppress his laughter. John just wanted to do everything the right way!"
Four years later, they married in a mediaeval ceremony and on a day which was very special for both: 24th July 2001 (St. John's Day and summer solstice), accompanied by wonderful Ancient Music (Maite's favourite music) and surrounded by romanesque architecture.
The history of the project
Four years ago, John started to write songs again and Maite began to experiment with new styles of composing. Some time later, she integrated the computer for the purpose of arranging a whole orchestra and familiarised herself with the treatment of voices.
Maite says, "It started like a funny video game, it was much faster than writing the scores by hand and the editing of voices and instruments was so fascinating for me."
John already had experience with the recording of sounds and so they produced their first album which contains exclusive Puccini arias, recorded with a whole orchestra. These were John's first steps into classical music, but his wide experience experience combined with Maite's knowledge about classicas music brought out a pure production.
Great critiques made them develop this kind of collaboration further.
It began like a funny video game and ended as a production which attracted more and more people who were fascinated by the sound of the voices, harmonies, melodies, arrangements, different styles, instrumental quality, energy and the possibility to get the two of them together live on stage.
During the recording process John collaborated with Mike Ungefehr, a very experienced producer of many genres, John had already been working with him for several years before leaving The Kelly Family and marrying Maite. The reason for this was that they needed a third partner to take care of the business aspect of this project. Right after the first takes he was convinced, so they started looking for the right business partners as well as record labels etc.
The recording sessions included a big symphony orchestra and supreme international soloists.
The combination of both backgrounds was very fruitful: John contributed his wonderful compositions, warm vocal timbre, drums and different instrumental arrangements. Maite contributed her experience from totally different musical styles as well as her knowledge of orchestral, vocal and instrumental arrangements, playing both classical and flamenco guitar, production and editing in the studio and graphics editing.
Together, they created a visual show filled with emotion, fantasy and reality. Now, finally, they managed to draw their audience into a world of dreams and fantasy, to escape for a while from duty and routine by designing magical soundscapes reminding us of legendary film scores.
For John and Maite this production is a dream finally come true.
For current information and tour dates see http://www.myspace.com/johnkellymaiteitoiz
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