Manuel Gutierrez Rojas’s reputation as a brilliant performer has not been established worldwide, but in several ways, he doesn’t mind that. He makes music, because it’s his passion and his way of living, not because he wants his fame. When talking about fame, however, he has had a worthwile TV performance, reciting 400 digits of π from memory on national television.

Born in The Hague in 1985, Manuel began playing the guitar at 14 years of age. During his Pre-University studies, he studied classical guitar with Otto Wolthuis, and later switched to rock & blues with Loek van der Knaap. He also discovered his passion for singing, studying Bel Canto with Muriel van Dinteren, and performing at school as a guitarist, singer, and actor. Manuel attended the Conservatory Codarts Rotterdam for 4 years, where he studied with Paco Peña, Ricardo Mendeville, and Alexander Preuss.

In 2010, he put his full dedication toward singing. He continued his singing lessons with some of his former teachers, kept on learning the ins and outs of the voice by the help of the Estill Voice Training system. He became the lead singer for the progressive rock band Complexity.

Outside of the flamenco world, he has influences from classic rock and progressive metal bands. John Petrucci, Nuno Bettencourt, James Hetfield, Brian May are notable influences for guitar, while Geoff Tate, James LaBrie, Freddie Mercury, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, and Adam Lopez are vocal influences. In his conservatory studies, he also discovered a lot of very interesting and beautiful classical music, like Gustav Holst, Bach, and Chopin.

Singing Voice



Music Theory

Style Guide

I want consistency with everything​—​including my writerly style. Therefore, I’ve decided to use a style guide. There are many of them, the AP Stylebook Stylebook, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage being the most popular. I’m using The Times’s for this site. However, I’m in disagreement with some rules, which I adapted to how I prefer them to follow:

apostrophe. … Also, use the apostrophe for … terms like PC’s, TV’s and VCR’s. While many authorities prefer to omit the apostrophe in these cases, it is necessary for clarity in all-upper-case headlines. Therefore use it in other kinds of copy also, for consistency.

My way: …PCs, TVs, and VCRs.

I understand that it’s necessary in all-upper-case headlines, but it’s only confusing if used for regular headlines, or just text. “I have several TV’s,” would be confusing, because apostrophes are mainly used for the genitive and so it looks like there is a possessive usage here.

Also, how would you use the possessive for the remote of the television? “The TV’s remote,” wouldn’t be an option because of this rule. What about the electricity of televisions? “TV’s’ electricity”? That’s hypothetical, but still …

comma. … In general, do not use a comma before and or or in a series: The snow stalled cars, buses and trains. But use a comma in sentences like this to avoid confusion: A martini is made of gin and dry vermouth, and a chilled glass is essential.

My way: The snow stalled cars, buses, and trains.

I always use the x, y, and z system. The ‘stalled cars, buses and trains’ example is confusing, too. As if buses and trains are connected, somehow.

dash. … Because newspaper columns are usually narrow, with few words to a line, the dash should be surrounded by spaces; they provide openings for the computer to distribute spacing evenly when justifying the type.

My way: The dash won’t have be surrounded by visible spaces; use zero spaces instead.

This rule isn’t needed anymore, because there is a zero space character available for HTML, and modern desktop publishing software have one such character as well. Ironically, the text written on the back cover of the book has dashes without spaces.

decades should usually be given in numerals: the 1990’s; the mid-1970’s; the 90’s. …

My way: … the 1990s; the mid-1970s; the ’90s.

I agree with the rule, I just don’t like how​—​yet again​—​apostrophes are used for the plurals. The contraction apostrophe is not used, even though the apostrophe section of the book says: “Use it … to denote a contraction or omission of letters or numerals ( … ’94 for 1994).” Then again, the ’90’s would look terrible!

There are probably several other rules I don’t follow accordingly, but these are the noteworthy ones. By the way, if you read The Times, you will find examples that contradict its own rules.

As long as there is consistency, it’s all fine. I just couldn’t work with these main rules, though; it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, either.