Reviews

'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Grow - Felix Hill


Felix Hill has released his 3rd single, 'Grow', you can listen on Spotify and it can be found on all digital platforms. To hear all his songs, 'Pale Moons', 'Streetlight Panorama' and 'Grow', go to his Spotify page.

They are all very different and 'Grow' reflects another of Felix's many musical influences. The topic, concerning the break up of a relationship, is a familiar one to most people.

From a very early age, Felix has listened to many diverse styles. I'm as likely to hear Frank Sinatra blasting from his room as I am the Arctic Monkeys, Declan McKenna or Rex Orange County.

I feel that 'Grow' highlights this very well. It has an 'old school' feel, which reflects his interest in Sinatra, Chet Baker, Wayne Newton and more recent artists, Michael Bublé and Bruno Major. There's no hiding place in the vocals for a song like this and I feel the depth of emotion Felix has achieved is way beyond his mere 17 years.

As with his other recordings, Felix plays all the instruments except the drums. These were recorded by the wonderful Maurice Cheetham.

Grow has already been performed live a number of times, with Felix's excellent drummer Ewan McDonough and is always very well received. Their next gig is on Saturday 14th March, Off The Square, Manchester, and tickets are available here.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Streetlight Panorama - Felix Hill


Felix has released his second single, 'Streetlight Panorama', a fast-paced indie-rock song, which reflects the current struggles that many people face, and tries to highlight the often-overlooked details of our society. The driving drums and the layering of instruments show the gradual change in our lives, with memorable and hard-hitting lyrics. The timing coincides with his gig at the Deaf Institute in Manchester, an established and well-respected venue.

Felix also plays all the instruments on the single, apart from the drums which were recorded by the fantastic musician Maurice Cheetham.


Streetlight Panorama is very different from Felix's first single, 'Pale Moons', and this highlights his diverse musical influences. Having grown up surrounded by music it is no surprise that he regularly listens to artists as varied as the Arctic Monkeys, Sam Fender, Rex Orange County, Chet Baker, The Beatles, Bruno Major, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie and many more.

You can find Streetlight Panorama on all the usual digital outlets, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon etc.

Enjoy!


Thursday, July 04, 2019

Pale Moons - Felix Hill the Nature/Nurture Debate Continues...




Back in 2007, I wrote a post called, 'Musicality and the Nature/Nuture Debate', where I looked at the musical skills of both our sons. It was interesting for me to look back at it, particularly due to current events.

Our youngest son, Felix, is now 16 and has just released a single. This is an achievement in its own right but he has done this completely on his own, lyrics, guitar, the whole song. Not only that but he also has many more all ready to record.

He only started playing the guitar 3 years ago and whilst he has dabbled in songwriting for much of that time it was only in the last few months that something 'clicked' in his brain and he started writing songs of high quality on a daily basis.

This started when he was revising for his mock GCSE's and continued throughout his actual exams some months later. He literally disappeared studying for 2 hours, came downstairs and wrote half a song then completed it on his next revision break. It was astounding to see and hear as the days and weeks went by.

Of course, both boys have grown up in a very musical background, they have not only heard Robin practice the guitar for many hours every day but also been exposed to music from many artists via the radio, CDs, vinyl and live performances. So we shouldn't be surprised at the interest both boys have shown in music.

But today is all about Felix, his first single is now available and more will surely follow.

Why not go and have a listen, 'Pale Moons' can be found on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and many other digital outlets.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Robin, the Bat Guitar and the Cricket World Cup



Robin has been very busy recently with several of his more unusual gigs...

For the last few weeks, he has been playing an electric cricket bat guitar at Old Trafford and Headingley as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup. His first match was a massive one between Pakistan and India to a worldwide audience of over a billion!
Standing on a podium at the pitchside, following a cue in his earpiece, he plays a famous guitar riff every time a wicket is taken. The riffs are an eclectic mix of Hendrix, Guns 'n' Roses, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Clapton, etc., etc.

The spectators have been loving it as they can view proceedings on a giant screen. Over the tournament, word has spread and Robin has been getting many messages of encouragement on Facebook and also some requests! (which he has snuck in from time to time...) He has also been talking about it on BBC Radio and made the local newspapers!

One of the perks of the job has been an excellent view of all the matches he has performed at and he has thoroughly enjoyed the phenomenal cricket he has been able to observe at close quarters.

If you aren't able to attend but are watching on Sky, you'll still be able to hear him in the background!

It has been an honour to take on this role and he still has a couple left to do, so why not try and spot him...

Here's Robin practising one of the riffs, 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC...






Thursday, April 04, 2019

New Podcast: Robin talks about the Bolling Concerto

Robin has recorded a new podcast in which he talks about Claude Bolling's 'Concerto for Classic Guitar and Jazz Piano Trio'.

This fantastic concerto is in seven highly contrasting movements and Robin discusses each of them in turn with musical examples from the Robin Hill Quartet.

This is a virtuoso work which places great demands on the two soloists, guitar and piano which are expertly complimented by the double bass and drums.

The musicians are: Robin Hill - Guitar
Stephen Wood - Piano
Dave Lynane - Double-bass
Maurice Cheetham - Drums

Robin gave this work its UK Premiere, so it has always been a very important piece for him.
You can hear it here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Robin Hill plays Bach's Prelude from Cello Suite No.1


This piece has long been one of my favourites. I have been playing and performing it for many years and always find it optimistic and uplifting.
This particular performance was unplanned, I was actually being filmed with a band for a future project (watch this space...) when the director, Oliver Hill, (my eldest son!) insisted we film a solo piece. I'm delighted he did.
The guitar is actually a flamenco guitar made in 1963 by Manuel Reyes.


Robin Hill plays Prelude from Cello Suite No.1 by J.S.Bach from Robin Hill on Vimeo.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Robin Hill Quartet play Claude Bolling - 'Concerto for Classic Guitar & Jazz Piano Trio'


I am delighted to announce the release of, The Robin Hill Quartet's recording of Claude Bolling's Concerto for Classic Guitar & Jazz Piano Trio. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon UK, Amazon USA, CD Baby, and wherever you normally buy your music!

Recent review: 5* "Simply amazing. Sheer musical quality from Robin Hill and his trio. I would urge all of you to purchase this and listen to one of the worlds greatest guitarists have fun!" Verified Purchase - Andrew Wright.

This is a unique piece allowing the classical guitar to be heard in unfamiliar company. The chief protagonists are the guitar and the piano who partake in a fascinating dialogue throughout the seven movements.

To hear the classical guitar in this company is refreshing and exciting. I should know, as I have performed the piece many times live, and audiences love it.

One of the most difficult challenges in performing this work is finding the right players. I've been lucky enough to manage this twice! Firstly with Eklectica and secondly, this current recording with the Robin Hill Quartet.

The guitar's role is primarily, but not exclusively, in classical style. For example, the opening movement requires technical precision allied with a classical approach but the 'Africaine' begs for a laid-back jazz groove.
The piano's role is both as an improvising jazz voice combined with the discipline of more classical writing. Thus it is very challenging to find a pianist who is comfortable in both camps. Stephen J. Wood fits the bill perfectly.

The percussion part is equally demanding and I have never heard it played better, or more effectively than by Maurice Cheetham. He combines energy, accuracy and groove with the needle-sharp articulation of a classical percussionist.

Dave Lynane supplies the essential jazz feel plus a significant contribution to the ensemble sound. The timbre of his double bass compliments the classical guitar beautifully.

I hope you enjoy the music, here is a review of a live performance we gave of this piece:

"This was the first performance by the quartet, consisting of Steve Wood, (Keyboards), Dave Lynane (Bass), Maurice Cheetham (drums) and Robin Hill (Classical Guitar). Of course, Robin Hill's reputation as a guitarist par excellence preceded him, but the quartet was an unknown quantity.
The second half was taken up entirely by Claude Bolling's seven-movement Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Trio. I am firmly convinced that it is only the unusual line up that has stopped this piece being played more often. It was melodic, firmly entrenched in jazz, and contained a heady mixture of classical, Latin American and other styles too. I was left with the impression of a piece one must simply hear again. The playing throughout was impeccable. It was very demanding on them all and, for a first performance by the band, we had all experienced something remarkable." Chris Dumigan - Classical Guitar.

Available from: iTunes, Amazon UK, Amazon USA, CD Baby and all digital outlets.