'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, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

Whether you are already nursing a hangover, or about to go out and enjoy your evening, we wish you a very pleasant time.
All at Hillhouse would like to say, 'Have a happy and healthy 2007'!
Thank you all for reading about the 'Life of a musician - Robin Hill' in 2006, keep logging in over the next year as we have lots of exciting things coming up..

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Barrios and his Headress

Today I was reading Alex Ross:The Rest is Noise, and he was referring to a picture of Messiaen with a bird on his head. This wasn't actually the case but was rather amusing.
It reminded me of the guitarist Agustin Pio Barrios Mangore, who was born in Paraguay in 1885.
He appeared to be something of a character as in 1932 he began to call himself 'Nitsuga Mangore - the Paganini of the guitar'. Nitsuga is Agustin spelt backwards and Mangore was a legendary Guarani chieftain. He also promoted himself and performed concerts in full Indian dress.
Robin Hill - Yorkshire, Peter Wiltschinsky - Yorkshire/Ukraine, there must be something in their backgrounds that I can come up with and produce some outlandish costumes. I'm off to find my sewing box..

Friday, December 29, 2006

Robin Hill and his Eclectic iPod

I often see people wearing headphones as they are going about their day and wonder what they are listening to. It's easy to make assumptions based on appearance but I'm sure they are not always correct.
The other day we had some friends round for a meal, so put the iPod on party shuffle and left it to do it's thing whilst we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.
Our guests were quite surprised at the variety of sounds filling the room.
As a classical musician you would expect Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, as a guitarist, they weren't surprised to hear Pepe Romero and Paco De Lucia, they weren't even too shocked at The Beatles, Pat Metheny or Ravi Shankar, (Robin does own a sitar and there are plans to do some recording with it at some point in the future).
They were most surprised by Steely Dan, Shakira, Billy Cobham and Black Eyed Peas. I don't know why really. As I've said before it is essential for musicians to listen to all styles of music to give a more rounded performance. Classical musicians particularly are often required to play in many different styles, so it can only help to be truly eclectic.
Anyway, I must go and ask him to turn down the Arctic Monkeys a bit...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Testing, Testing

It's always a strange time, post Christmas and pre New Year. Technically I should be back into the swing of things. In reality, apart from checking up on travel immunisations for Robin, I haven't done a great deal. Unless you can include a family game of Disney Trivial Pursuit.
Robin however, is starting to prepare for some solo concerts, that are coming up at the beginning of January. He's also still sorting out this new recording equipment and really wants to get stuck into that before he's whisked away on various trips.
I think he must be making some progress as there are some very strange noises coming from the music room. Either he has decided to re-train as the next Pavarotti, or he is testing some integral part of the equipment.
It's very frustrating for him as all he really wants to do is play! I'm sure once it's up and running he'll be very pleased as he'll be in total control of the recording sessions, which as I said the other day, removes a lot of pressure.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Music with Matt Munro

Last night we watched a documentary on Matt Munro. He had an incredible voice and after a slow start to his career evntually found fame and fortune after moving to the USA. On his return to the UK he was then given the acknowledgement that he deserved, but it makes you wonder why the British can't appreciate their own home grown musicians without a struggle.
This all brought back many memories for Robin. In the late 70's and early 80's he did a lot of session work, both on classical and electric guitar, and consequently played with many big names.
At the time Robin was listening to bands like 'Tower of Power', and performing in his own band 'Force Ten', (more on them another time), as well as his classical concerts which were beginning to take off.
Even though he didn't naturally listen to the 'crooner' style of singing, he could certainly appreciate it.
During this period he worked many times with Matt Monro, usually for week long stints at various venues around the country. He therefore played songs such as 'Portrait of My Love', 'My Kind of Girl', 'From Russia With Love', and 'Born Free'.
Listening to these tracks reminded Robin of many of these shows. One memorable occasion Robin trapped one of his fingers on the left hand adjusting a stool seconds before the gig started, but despite the throbbing digit, he made it through the performance.
Matt Monro was an entertainer in every aspect of his shows which made it a pleasure for any of the band members to work with him.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day with The Beatles

We are huge fans of The Beatles in this house and the children have grown up listening to all their recordings. Son number one's favourite track is 'Rocky Racoon', whilst son number two's is 'Hello Goodbye'. In fact Hill/Wiltschinsky have arranged and recorded many Beatles tracks over the years, enough to produce 4 CDs!
So it was with some trepidation that I gave Robin a copy of 'Love' for Christmas. I wasn't sure if he would like the original recordings being altered.
Today we sat down to listen for the first time.
What a fantastic job George and Giles Martin have done. I knew we were going to love it as soon as the first track played.
It was 'Because' and the vocals alone remained from the original multi-track recording. It is beautiful in its simplicity with fantastic harmonies. There aren't many vocalists that could get away with all other instruments being removed and the piece still sounding so fresh. The only other thing heard on this track is some distant birdsong captured on the original recording which just adds to the whole feel.
From that point on I knew the whole project had been safe in George Martin's hands.
The rest of the day has seen Robin fiddling with his recording equipment and gradually getting the studio ready for his next CD. More on that as it develops.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

We at Hillhouse would like to take a moment to thank all the growing band of readers around the world for their interest and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
As son number one only went to sleep at 4.30am and woke me again at 5.30am I am feeling slightly delicate this morning.
Robin however slept through the whole thing, as only fathers can, and is beautifully refreshed!
So thank you once again for your support, have a great day, whether it's just starting or nearly over, and keep logging in as there's lots more to report.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve and 'Silent Night'

Busy day in Hillhouse with plenty of secret comings and goings. Children are beside themselves with excitement and I may need to sedate them to get them off to bed tonight. (Only joking, it's the one night of the year that they force themselves to go to sleep without any struggle..)
No rest for Robin though, he's still putting in a couple of hours of practice, we'd all be too shocked if he didn't.
I'm just preparing to watch the annual service from King's College Cambridge which is always a good way to unwind from the pre Christmas chaos.
Just a little snippet of information for you. The carol 'Silent Night' was first played in 1818, an eventful evening as the church organ broke, and it had to be played on guitar. You see, you can always rely on guitarists.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

New iPod and Downloads Galore

Yesterday Robin went out to buy my Christmas present and came home with an new iPod. He did also have some secret packages that were spirited away to an unknown location, (well a cupboard in the music room actually, but I promise I won't look.)
Since the purchase of the iPod, I have been inundated with technical information and its amazing capabilities, most of which I'm afraid I can't remember.
I do know that all day we have been unable to attract Robins attention as he has been wearing his noise reduction headphones and listening to his freshly downloaded tracks. I have tried the headphones and they are great. I often wear them around the house, not actually plugged into anything but they are fantastic at filtering out children, doorbell and telephone!
I must say the new toy is incredible and has a huge capacity for tracks, videos, photographs and pretty much anything. The main attraction for Robin was that the battery lasts an amazing 20 hours, so it's ideal for all the long haul flights he does. As he has plenty of those coming up next year, at least he can while away the time listening to just about anything he wants.
I don't think he has realised yet that all the invoices for the tracks are being sent to my computer so I know exactly how many he's been purchasing.....
Those packages in the cupboard better be good, but at least I inherit the old iPod.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Recording Companies

There has been a lot of debate recently about the role of record companies and how the situation is rapidly changing.
Hill/Wiltschinsky have recorded with many major labels, Teldec, ASV and Hyperion to name just a few.
There is nothing quite as exciting for an artist as coming across their latest recording in Tower records New York!
These contracts are harder to come by now as labels try to adjust to modern technology.
We have been recording in our own studio for some time which has many advantages. You can go over a piece as often as you like until you are happy with it, not having to worry about engineers etc.
I recently read an interview with Pepe Romero who was saying that he was about to undertake some recording in his own living room. (His children are obviously grown up and he can't have two dogs and a cat..)
He is looking forward to 'intimate music making' for the reasons I have given.
Problems do occur though. When we got the musicians together to rehearse for 'Robin Hill's Eklectica' we couldn't get the double bass up the winding attic stairs and didn't even attempt the piano!
This CD was therefore recorded in a studio, as will any orchestral pieces, unless of course you have an extremely large lounge..
I was in fact contacted the other day by a company asking me to review their product. Whilst I haven't tried them out myself their website looks interesting for those of you wanting a complete studio on your PC, they are called Fleximusic and have a few different packages available.
We, however, are sorted out in that department, and all we need is Robin to stay here long enough to record his next CD.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Flamenco Guitars...

Robin was going out this morning and as he left the house his passing comment was, 'Listen out for the doorbell as I'm expecting two guitars.' !!!!
He beat a hasty retreat before I could ask any questions.
The said guitars arrived, both Flamenco, one a Conde Hermanos and the other a Ramirez.
By this time Robin was home, and eagerly fought his way through the packaging adding, 'They asked me to try them out.'
Oh yes....
Well, some time, and many rasgueados later he decided they weren't the ones for him.
They were both beautiful instruments though, particularly the Ramirez which had traditional wooden peg heads. But they have to feel right to the player. We once had a family holiday in Spain and spent a day in Seville, not looking at the sights,(which incidentally are fantastic), but in a guitar makers shop trying out various instruments. Despite the intense heat outside this was the only time Robin broke into a sweat!
So we now have two huge boxes standing in the hallway awaiting collection.
But at least I can breath a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ramsbottom, Solti and Concerto Primavera

Ever since I went wireless I have been working from the kitchen table. This makes life much easier as I can keep an eye on general goings on in the house and keep working whilst I make the tea.
As I've mentioned before we have a cat called Ramsbottom. I realise this is rather an unusual name for our feline friend but it came about some years ago as we drove through a small northern town called 'Ramsbottom'. Son number one was quite small at the time and found this highly amusing, as only small boys can, and announced that if ever we got a cat then that is what we would call it.
Some months later Peter Wiltschinsky offered us a male, ginger, stripey kitten currently called Meatball. We agreed and Meatball arrived.
Son number one immediately remembered his idea and thus Ramsbottom was born.
Well, Ramsbottom is mesmerised by the computer. He sits for hours in front of it watching all the images as they glide around the screen.
I have a sneaking suspicion that he is heavily involved in 'Le Chat' rooms, possibly having long debates with Solti about the joys of living with musicians.
Meanwhile, Robin is oblivious to all this, as he is locked away in the music room making a few alterations to 'Concerto Primavera'. Sounds great.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You Tube Mania

Sorry for the late posting today but I have only just managed to reclaim my computer.
Robin has now discovered the merits of You Tube. As you may recall, I had broadband fitted whilst he was away recently.
Now he has returned he is delighted to find so many previously unseen clips and videos.
As I go around the house there are whoops of delight as another old master is unveiled. I was called to watch Segovia performing in New York in 1963, the Assad Brothers playing four hands on one guitar, (which is always a good encore!), and some excellent Jaco Pastorius.
It's opened up a whole new world to Robin.
The problem was that as he was away at the time of installation, with his computer, so he could only sample this new delight on mine.
Thankfully my fairy Godfather came around this evening and sorted it out.
So now Robin can watch as much as he wants while I get on with some work!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Post Rufford Old Hall

There's an 'end of term feeling' about the house today. After many weeks of travel to far flung places, tight schedules for UK concerts, and endless amounts of washing for me, things have calmed down a little.
More information came to light about Rufford Old Hall. There are three ghosts. A 'Grey Lady' who can be seen in the driveway, (don't all old mansions have one of these), a man in Elizabethan clothes who hangs out around the fireplace in the Great Hall, and Queen Elizabeth 1 who disappears if you try and talk to her.
Robin took son number one with him for this concert and they were given a room to rehearse in some way from the Great Hall. Little did I know that my son and heir was walking the corridors of this old house, on his own, with no lights on admiring the paintings.
I'm sorry to say I can't report back on any ghostly sightings, but I do hope the man in Elizabethan clothes enjoyed the lute pieces.
Robin is in good company performing in the Great Hall as it is said that Shakespeare also appeared there.
Meanwhile back at Hillhouse I issued Robin with a list of tasks to complete in preparation for Christmas only to find him surfing the internet for new machine heads! He has literally worn the others out along with the frets so I think we may have to get some repairs done.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Sad Day

It is a sad day here in Hillhouse as Peter Wiltschinsky's mother died in the early hours of this morning. She was a remarkable lady who gave the duo huge amounts of support from the early days as struggling students to present day.
I knew her well as she frequently came to Hill/Wiltschinsky concerts. One of her favourite pastimes was to mingle amongst the audience during the interval, eavesdropping on conversations, and then reporting back all the tit bits of information and enthusiastic comments to us backstage!
She was a very proud lady, and was immensely proud of what the duo have achieved, and our sympathy goes out to all the Wiltschinsky family.
Robin meanwhile went to Rufford Old Hall where he carried out a solo performance in this fabulous setting. The event organisers and audience were very understanding about the whole situation, and the concert went very well.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Carols and Choirs

What a wonderful evening we had. The Great Hall is always a pleasure to sit in with the backdrop of the pipe organ used on this occasion to great effect.
It was lovely to have a good sing to the usual Christmas Carols, 'Once in Royal David's City', 'O Little Town of Bethlehem', 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing', and 'O Come All Ye Faithful'. The choir have a good reputation which was well deserved with some beautiful descant counter melody. We were particularly impressed with a quadruple canon in 'Rejoice and be Merry.' Considering all the boys are under 11 years old it was a fantastic achievement.
Despite only a few hours at home after his journey, Robin thoroughly enjoyed the evening, especially as he was able to sit back and enjoy the performance without being the one giving it!
It did bring back some memories though, he whispered to me at one point that he remembered being 8 years old, playing 'Ye Banks and Braise' on violin, in the very same hall. He was terrified at the time, and with just cause, because at that stage he hadn't realised the need for practice.
It was shortly after this that he fell in love with the guitar and things took a very different turn.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home at Last

Finally Robin has made it home after 24 hours of travelling. I did get to talk to him during a stop over in Miami which was very nice. In fact I also spoke to Ian Cooper as they had flown the first leg together. He was very complimentary about Robin's playing, 'Hey, your man, what a fantastic player, really enjoyed it.'
I was equally positive in my enthusiasm about Ian's playing from the reports I'd been getting. 'Only one thing,' he added, 'I got fed up with being beaten on the tennis courts.'
'Oh, well, England - Australia, we have to take our wins where we can get them!' was my reply.
Anyway, 'my man' is home, and we have a carol service to attend.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

San Jose-Miami-London-Manchester

We have remained incommunicado all day. A combination of time difference and disembarking the boat.
The constantly changing time zones is rather confusing. Sometimes he loses or gains an hour every day which makes it difficult to keep track of. It's not just me though, the other day Robin said he went for breakfast and couldn't understand why no one else was about. You guessed it, Robin had put his watch forward on the one day he didn't need to, everyone else was fast asleep.
There was a small window of opportunity for a 'phone call but I was out at the at second sons Nativity, in which he played a rather splendid shepherd, so we missed that one.
My guess is that he is on route for Miami so I may get a call sometime this evening.
What I do know is that Robin was invited to dinner with the cruise director last night, so things must have gone well.
He also e mailed me an action photograph of himself playing paddle tennis just to prove that he is out there getting some exercise!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Post Concert Downpour

The first day that Robin could relax as he'd completed his concerts and he awoke to torrential rain! Luckily it was only a passing tropical storm and the rest of the day has been delightful.
The concert went very well, two performances, both full. Vivaldi and Junkfunk played with Ian Cooper went down a storm, (maybe I shouldn't say that whilst they are at sea), but audience and artists both enjoyed themselves.
There was a minor hiccup in the second performance when Robin's capo fell off and must have been damaged as it refused to clamp itself to the neck of the guitar.
He asked someone to collect another one from the dressing room, he has hundreds of them and I'm always finding them in trouser pockets when I do the washing, and manfully went on to play a different piece until it arrived.
All in a days work for the travelling maestro.
No time to rest though, he's now practicing a couple of Christmas carols that are part of the programme he's playing at Rufford Old Hall the day after his return.
Any local people reading, I'm afraid you won't be able to get tickets for that one as it's sold out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Panama Canal

I awoke this morning to find an e mail from Robin rather anxiously asking me to find out where Caldera is. He had been told that the ship wasn't going to dock in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, on the 14th as planned, but this place called Caldera. This could have potentially caused problems as he has a very tight schedule for getting home. He's due to arrive back during the day on Friday and has a duo concert on Saturday.
So the last thing he needed was to miss any connections.
Initial the only Caldera I could find in my atlas was in Mexico so I resorted to the internet. Glad I did, as within minutes I had discovered that it is in fact in the same bay as Puntarenas, so no cause for alarm.
Meanwhile on board rehearsals have gone very well, more tennis has been played, and Robin was just off for a soundcheck the last I heard.
The concert is tonight, but I won't hear about it until tomorrow. So we'll all just have to wait!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Vivaldi and Junkfunk (Hill)

Things are hotting up out at sea. The Australian violinist that I've been talking about is Ian Cooper, an excellent performer who composed a piece for 100 violins to play at the opening of the Sydney Olympics!
Robin and Ian have decided on two pieces that they will play tomorrow. The first is Vivaldi concerto in D major. This was originally written for lute, strings and continuo. Robin has played this piece many times and was impressed that Ian also knew it from memory. He plays the violin pizzicato whilst Robin is playing the solo bits on guitar, then with the bow during the orchestral parts. Robin was very excited about it and said it was a great sound with lots of energy.
The other piece they are playing is one of Robin's called 'Junkfunk', which is a samba. I've heard this piece done solo, duo and quartet, and I'm sure it will sound fantastic.
My only regret is that I won't be there to hear any of it. I'm sure the audience are in for an excellent evening.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Aruba - Where?

The concert went very well last night with good attendance and lots of nice comments. Robin then went off with his violinist friend, Ian, for sushi which was rather brave..
They are still talking about what they will play together and have come up with a few ideas having spent some time listening to each others ipods to get to know their tastes!
Robin has now arrived, for a few hours at least, on the island Aruba. I must confess I'd never heard of it so felt compelled to look it up.
To save you the bother, it's a small island just off the coast of Venezuela. Very hot, beautiful sea and palm trees.
Sounds alright to me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Soundcheck in the Caribbean

Tonight is the first recital and Robin is just setting off for a soundcheck. He'll then have a few hours to prepare for the concert and a few hours to relax after it I'm sure..
He has met an Australian violinist on board who has asked him to join him for one piece of music during his show. Obviously he wasn't too upset by Robin beating him at paddle tennis.
So now they are working out what they might play.
But more pressing is Robin's own concert tonight which I will report back on when I have further news.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cayman Islands Calling

I have had a call from Robin as he stood on deck watching the Cayman Islands come into view. 'The weathers fantastic', he said, 'Oh lovely', I replied as I thawed out from the latest school run.
He has played more paddle tennis, very similar to the real thing but with a strange ball and wooden paddles, so it feels like tennis, but you are less likely to lose all the balls overboard. They hadn't banked on Robin's rather powerful right hand, built up over years of extensive guitar practice, (shake his hand at your peril), and now there is at least one ball floating in the Gulf of Mexico.
As well as tennis and sunbathing he has been doing large amounts of practice as his first recital is tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in his absence, I have had broadband fitted and I'm really enjoying watching videos on You Tube without having to wait for hours to access them. At least I can watch him on there, and in fact if I put it on repeat and shut the laptop in the music room, I could just pretend he was in there practicing away!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Crystal Symphony

Robin has now joined Crystal Symphony, appropriately on our crystal wedding anniversary!
We did manage a 'phone call to congratulate each other on 15 years of marriage before he set sail.
He's settling in nicely and is enjoying the weather and festive feel to the ship. He also managed to beat an Australian at tennis, so is feeling pretty good!
Now it's down to the serious business of practice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tampa for Robin, Tantrums for Me

Before the birds had even thought about getting up Robin was on his way to the airport and jetting off to Florida. Some hours later I walked two small children through pouring rain to school, getting soaked from above, and by every passing car that sprayed us. When home again with the youngest son, and a complete change of clothes later, I decided that although Robin was heading for much nicer weather, he did have to endure an 8 hour flight. Mind you he has taken his new toy with him and will be composing away with his headphones on as we speak.
Before he left he estimated that he could get three hours of use from the laptop before it would need recharging.
I should imagine that is at least one movement of a new concerto ...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Frantic Packing

No matter how early we start getting ready for the next trip it always seem to be a mad dash in the last evening.
Mind you there are certain things that can't be packed away until the last minute, Robin's guitar for example.
That will be double cased just before bed with slackened strings to help the poor thing whilst it is in transit. Robin will be horrified to see me refer to his beloved guitar as ,'thing', it is of course a precious instrument and 'a very jealous mistress', as Segovia once said.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Concerto Primavera

Robin has been over to Leeds to see a few pupils at the university, but since his return has been immersed in his new computer, inputting the score of 'Concerto Primavera'. This should take him quite some time as he's making a few alterations as he goes along.
He had said he was undertaking this task next week whilst away, but as I've said previously, a day or two before any foreign trip he goes into denial. That's where we are at the moment.
I'll have to confiscate the computer tomorrow to get him to do a few things before he leaves on Wednesday..

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wakefield without Wiltschinsky

The duo had been booked to play in Wakefield but again Robin had to go it alone. It wasn't as stressful this time as he knew in advance and the organisers were happy to hear Robin's solo performance. They have seen the duo many times and realised they were still in for a great evening.
Robin always introduces the pieces with a little bit of information to make it interesting for the audience. Both Robin and Peter have composed and normally introduce each others compositions.
As Peter wasn't there Robin had to announce his own piece, 'Canzone', and this is what he said.
"Normally Peter introduces this one, I told him with a name like Wiltschinsky he shouldn't have gone to that sushi bar."
The audience were highly amused, and Robin has been asked back again, so I guess that was a good sign.
It sounds to me like he's trying to carve a little niche for himself as a stand up comic!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Trauma in Tenby

There was rather an unexpected twist to the Hill/Wiltschinsky concert last night. At 7.35pm it was decided that Peter Wiltschinsky wasn't well enough to perform. This left Robin 25 minutes to change his mind set to a solo concert and decide what he was going to play..
Ever the professional, he went out and gave an excellent performance, with all credit too him as that would have taken some courage.
Between pieces he was tuning the guitar and paused to inform the audience that it didn't actually require tuning but he was just thinking about what to play next.
They were very amused and also very appreciative that the show had gone on.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hill/Wiltschinsky on Upper Frog Street

Robin is currently on route for Tenby which is about a 5 hour drive from our house. They have played there a few times before and it is a lovely place to visit. We spent a very nice week there a while ago on the beach with the children. I don't imagine that Hill/Wiltschinsky will be making many sandcastles, especially in December.
But they are booked into a hotel overlooking the sea which sounds rather nice, and the concert starts at 8pm at a venue on a road called Upper Frog Street!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Soup, Strings and Peter Wiltschinsky

This morning Peter Wiltschinsky came over for a rehearsal as the duo have a concert in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, tomorrow. As I mentioned the other day, I enjoy it when he is here as they play through the whole concert. Unfortunately I was out all morning and only got back in time to hear the last few pieces, from the wrong side of the music room door. That sounded great though and I'm sure the residents of Tenby will have a wonderful evening!
They also ran through a few Christmas carols that they arranged some time ago to decide on a couple to play at a forthcoming event at Rufford Old Hall. Now Robin knows which ones to practice whilst on his next foreign trip which is looming on the horizon.
Peter stayed for lunch which was nice and gave me the chance to issue him with various details for their trip in the morning.
Robin then had to head off to Manchester to get 10 sets of strings to see him through the next few weeks...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Music in Quiet Places

Whilst continuing my Scottish quest I was reminded of a series of concerts that Hill/Wiltschinsky were involved with some years ago. It was a scheme called 'Music in Quiet Places', which usually meant very old churches in rural areas, some of which were not regularly used, and all of which were very cold!
They were always well attended and it was great to see people enjoying the fabulous buildings. The locals had inside information and would arrive beautifully dressed, including winter coats, which they took off to go outside for drinks in the interval, so they could catch the pleasant summer evening.
After a few of these occasions the duo got wise to the fact that old churches have old heating systems, if any, and t-shirts and long johns became standard wear under dress suits. Cold hands ranks pretty high on the list of 'problems to overcome' for the guitarist, particularly when combined with pre-concert adrenaline. I'm pleased to say Robin has much more control over his adrenaline these days and it's many years since I ran around backstage looking for bowls of warm water.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Highlands and Islands

I'm currently working on a tour of the Highlands and Islands next year. Hill/Wiltschinsky have played many times throughout Scotland and I thought it was time to return.
The guitar, whether solo or duo, is ideal for this type of trip as they really don't need much other than a room to play in and a couple of chairs, (without arms otherwise you get an awful crunching sound as guitar bangs against chair, or the duo perch precariously on the edge of their seats which makes everyone nervous). They can therefore take live music to some of the small venues on distant Islands. The last time they were there Robin returned and composed a piece called 'Return to Islay' which is on the solo CD 'Virtuoso', so maybe that would be a good starting point!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ritual Fire Dance

It's great to have the sound of music back in the house even if it is only temporary.
As I write Manuel De Falla's Ritual Fire Dance is drifting from the next room, well half of it is. This is a duo arrangement that has always amazed and delighted me, and many audiences, over the years. How two guitars can achieve the excitement of the whole orchestra is incredible and quite an achievement.
I am only hearing half of it as Robin is running through the duo programme for a concert on Friday. I've found over the years that my mind has compensated for the second guitar by playing through Peter Wiltschinsky's part in my head. I think that now I know his part almost as well as I know Robins!
They tend to meet up once for a joint rehearsal before each concert and alternate between each others houses, (they live at least 80 miles apart).
So it's always a treat when Peter comes here and I get to hear the whole piece and give my poor mind a rest.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Home Again

Robin has now arrived home and is currently sleeping off jet lag and the effects of being up all night.
I hope he manages to rest, despite noisy children and dogs dropping huge hints that they would like a walk please, as he has a busy week ahead.
More on that as we go along..

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's a Small World

Robin found himself deep in conversation with another bass player called Murray, and found they had a mutual friend. This chap had played in Benny Goodman's band and therefore knew Chris Griffin, an excellent trumpet player that played with Goodman for some time.
Robin knew Chris, as he was the father of one of his old friends Paul Griffin, who had played some incredible trumpet on a Force 10 album of Robin's. Incidentally, Paul also played the last post at John F Kennedy's funeral. Are you keeping up with me?
Suffice to say that these two were so engrossed in their reminiscing that they very nearly missed the transport taking them to the airport. Luckily, Robin spotted the fact that they were the only ones left standing in the hall, and they made a mad dash arriving just in time.
He's now waiting in Miami Airport for his flight home.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Orchestras and Composers

I was reading a blog by Ilkka Talvi, Of Music and Men, in which she was talking about the lack of modern day composers, for orchestral pieces, which have the basic requirements of memorable melodies, engaging rhythm and pleasant harmony.
In a lot of ways this is true, too often contemporary pieces are heard that don't fulfil these elements, and leave the audience somewhat bemused.
It isn't as simple as that though. I feel orchestras have to take some responsibility as there is music out there that just isn't being heard.
I understand their problem, they need to perform pieces that will guarantee an audiences. However, some risks should be taken to move the whole process on. They could always schedule a well known piece alongside a new composer in the hopes that they will attract their usual audience.
As I've said before on this blog Robin has composed many pieces for guitar and orchestra, one of which has been performed with excellent reviews, (by the newspapers, audience and orchestra themselves), and yet it's difficult to get another performance. Crazy.
I'm sure he's not the only one that has this problem.
Having published this blog mid-afternoon I happened to be listening to BBC Radio 4 at tea time only to find they were discussing this very topic. That's excellent news and hopefully we will see the tide change....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2nd Concert and Nail Issues

The second concert on board Crystal Serenity went well despite some traumas for Robin. Half way through the third piece one of his nails broke. This is a major problem for guitarists.
He had to apologise, leave the stage, do a quick glue repair, and try and get on with the show.
That's not easy though, as once a nail has broken it really requires major reconstruction, which can take up to an hour to do. Obviously he couldn't do that with a packed theatre waiting. So a hasty repair was done and the remainder of the concert carried out in fear of the whole thing flying off. It didn't, and I'm sure the audience wouldn't be aware of the added pressure that this sort of situation puts a performer under. After all, it's their job to look calm and as if they are having a great time!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Jazz Friends

When relaxing in the evening Robin has been watching a jazz trio and really enjoying it. They had been to his first concert and were equally admiring.
Since then they have met up a few times for meals and to chat. Robin is particularly keen on the way the bass player plays. It transpires that he is called Thomas Hebb and is the nephew of Bobby Hebb who wrote 'Sunny', (you know the one, 'yesterday my life was full of rain....')
He's based in Boston and I think that Robin has his eye on him for the Claude Bolling concerto for Classic Guitar and Jazz Piano Trio. So if we ever get to arrange a tour of America with this piece then I know who Robin will be calling.
So faust, if you're reading, I'm still working on it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sea and Sunshine

Whilst we are coping with typical November weather in the UK, cold, wet and windy, Robin is basking in sunshine, dining al fresco, and using up the suntan lotion I packed for him.
However, he has another concert tomorrow, so will be in high practice mode today. Apart from the occasional promenade around the deck he will shut away in his cabin practicing.
Crystal Serenity docks in Bermuda in the morning but I know from years of travelling with him that he won't venture ashore until after his concert. That requires a lot of will power as I'm sure it's a beautiful place.
The thoughts of a packed theatre will help focus his mind on his performance and as it's docked there for two days he'll have plenty of time to go ashore and buy gifts for his family!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is a rather strange stretch of ocean, also known as Devil's Triangle, that covers an area of 1/2 million square miles between Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Miami. It forms the shape of, well, a triangle.
Over many years there have been events that have made the area famous, from disappearing ships and planes, claims of paranormal activity, to the general laws of physics not operating, (navigational equipment etc.)
So it was with some concern that I checked my e mails this morning only to find one from Robin that was mainly gibberish with enough detail to inform me that he had entered the 'zone'.
I comforted myself with the knowledge that this was probably just Robin's warped sense of humour. However, I did reply and told him to keep a very low profile, especially if he comes across any strange, grey, swirling mists....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Concert on Serenity

Yesterday Robin did the first of two concerts on board Crystal Serenity. It went very well and the audience all enjoyed themselves, especially as the sea had calmed down and they all felt a bit better.
He only had to play for 30 minutes but what an eventful half hour that was.
I've often wondered how many notes he plays during a performance but it would be quite an undertaking to sit and count them all. I think I'll give it a miss.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Download Hill/Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo

My fairy Godfather has been at it again. Now you can also download Hill/Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo by clicking here,, or in the links section.
There are currently four tracks available at the moment, but more will follow. So sit back and enjoy the music!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Children, Classical Music and Shiny Shoes

I was reminded the other day that when my eldest son was in infant school they used to play classical music whilst the class got on with their work. The theory is that it helps them concentrate and I'm sure there is a lot of evidence to back that up.
I asked him if he felt it had helped, and he said that for him it was very good, it made him more relaxed as it was like being at home!
Apart from helping them concentrate, it will also expose children to types of music they may not be hearing anywhere else, and get those neurones twitching in the brain.
We shouldn't underestimate the ability children have to enjoy all styles of music.
Robin has frequently played in schools and although he chooses his programme carefully, mainly playing shorter pieces, the general content is exactly what he would do for an ordinary concert. The children always love it and are a very enthusiastic audience. Although the questions they ask are a little obscure, like, 'Why are your shoes shinier than his?' at a Hill/Wiltschinsky concert!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Life at Sea

I have had a couple of e mails from Robin who is feeling a little delicate at the moment. Having left Lisbon in driving rain, they then encountered some rather rough weather. As I've said before, he has been on many wild oceans and always felt fine, so I can only imagine it is rather unpleasant.
There's time for the situation to improve before his first concert on Saturday, I'm currently waiting for an update.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Crystal Serenity

Robin is now on board Crystal Serenity, a fabulous 5* cruise liner. The day started early, however I had the luxury of waving off the taxi, and then crawling back into bed!
I've had calls from Heathrow, (don't know why he wasn't flown direct), than again from Lisbon.
The last time we spoke he had set sail in driving rain heading towards rough sea. Still, I don't feel too sorry for him, as he's sailing for Bermuda where I'm sure the weather will be a little less hostile.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Download Tracks

Everyone should have a fairy Godfather and mine arrived today with a surprise for us.
We are now all set up for you to download tracks by simply clicking here, or on the links section.
At the moment we have four tracks available, but more will follow soon.
My fairy Godfather saved me a huge headache as I am still somewhat of a technophobe, but I'm working on it!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Modern Technology

Now we have the new computer we have to learn how to use it. Robin spent a very informative evening with a friend that assures us that within a short space of time Robin will be able to 'phone me from mid Atlantic, or wherever he is, and even do video conferences! (so I'll have to remember to brush my hair after all when he's away.)
It won't be set up in time for this trip but should be for the following one which is very soon after.
That will make life so much easier for us all as we will be able to keep in touch. The only thing is that it's one more thing we have to remember to pack...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Film and TV

It's always annoying when watching a film or t.v. programme and in the background are some actors pretending to play various instruments. However, it's not always the case. Occasionally directors and producers go to the trouble of getting the real thing in - musicians.
Sometimes even they are only expected to mime, but at least they can do it realistically with their fingers in vaguely the right places. Other times a 'band' is hastily assembled and play for real in the background of some scene or other. Good job musicians are a flexible lot, that have generally cut their musical teeth by playing various styles and venues in the early stages of their careers, so generally get along very well.
Robin has done many of these over the years, the most recent being an episode of 'A Touch of Frost', where he played 'Lady is a Tramp' on electric guitar in a quartet. Frustratingly I've never actually seen it.
One memorable occasion some years ago was when he was booked to play in a feature film set in the 1950's. I came home from work calling out, 'So how did it go?', only to be met by silence. I eventually tracked Robin down, he was hiding under a duvet. The director had insisted that his fairly long hair be cut in a 1950's short back and sides style and he was dreading my return.
Actually, it looked good and he has kept his hair short ever since. It was all for nothing though as the whole scene was never used, but that's the fickle nature of film and t.v....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Busy, busy

Robin has had a few pupils today and when we looked at the diary to make their next lessons we found that he wasn't available until 22nd December!
He has two foreign trips coming up, and then some duo concerts, so before we know it it will be Christmas...
That is a rather frightening thought. So it looks like recording the new CD won't happen until early next year when things calm down a little.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Package from the US

A parcel arrived today from a very nice couple that Robin met on one of his recent QM2 trips. They had included a lovely photo of them standing with a very smiley Robin, (post gig relief I think), and a moving letter about how much they had enjoyed his music and chatting to him afterwards.
Whilst they live in New York they also have a home in Mexico City and included some brochures highlighting the events that are on there. It certainly seems to be a very exciting place and as they described it,'a vibrant mega city'. As this is one of the few places that Robin hasn't been to, I think I had better get onto it.
They also gave us some dates of future trips they are going on in the hopes that Robin will be on board - we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Classical Music blogs debate...

I'm joining in the debate started by Norman Lebrecht in the Evening Standard and on La Scena Musicale. He is discussing the growth in classical music blogs over recent months. He feels that bloggers are made up of 'pros', generally newspaper critics, 'ams', buffs, fans and wannabes, and the general mood is rather critical. Jessica Duchen does get a good and well deserved mention and you can read the whole account by visiting her site. However others don't fare so well.
My point is related to the 3rd group Lebrecht mentions, bloggers that are musicians and insiders, '..the last thing they do before bedtime, instead of a diary.'
I feel the tone is rather disparaging. Yes, for those in the industry there is a certain amount of blogging for self promotion and publicity but that is not the whole story. No matter how famous you are, and in what field that is in, you have to constantly remind the public of your presence to continue working in your chosen field. It is essential to use all available tools to allow the public access to information and material so they can choose how to spend their ever decreasing relaxation time. We are now competing with numerous t.v. channels, radio shows etc. which wasn't a problem that Mozart had.
The use of blogs also opens up a whole new world to groups of people that may not have found 'classical' music previously.
We recently posted a video on You Tube which has had comments like, 'awesome', and 'thank you so much for posting this.' These two men happen to be in the US and the chances are they wouldn't have had the opportunity to see this video without us using the technology. Maybe we can help generate a new generation of concert goers in the process.
So I shall continue my work, and in the case of this blog, it is not done by a musician himself, more by proxy..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Orchestral pieces

I've been listening to a few of the orchestral pieces that Robin has composed and it has renewed my energy to get them performed.
Concerto Primavera has already been premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ian Tracey. It is a concerto for guitar and marimba, an unusual combination but one that really worked on this occasion. Simone Rebello took the marimba part, and did an excellent job, especially as Robin is not known for making life easy for the soloists!
One of the reviews said, 'I don't think I have ever heard a first performance where all the participants were so obviously enjoying themselves.'
When Robin worked with the Liverpool Philharmonic again some time later, performing Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez', many of the players remembered his piece which was a great compliment.
So I had better get on with contacting a few orchestras and see if we can get Primavera or one of the many other pieces performed and hopefully recorded.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Modern Technology...

Having done a great deal of research and chatting to friends (thank you Andre!) to gather information, Robin finally went off to Manchester today and came home with a new computer. It's not just that though, as he has the Logic Pro 7 package. I'm assured this is essential for the new recording studio set up. I must say I am very impressed so far, especially when he told me that a lot of the bulky equipment we currently have will become redundant.
This is all connected to the new microphone, as you may have gathered Robin is preparing to record another CD.
I left him installing parts of the package and familiarising himself with the extensive manuals. Within an hour there were screams of laughter from both Robin and our eldest son. I had to investigate.
They had discovered that the inbuilt camera takes excellent pictures but then hours of fun can be had distorting the images!
I guess you may all have to wait a little longer than anticipated for the new CD after all...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, must be Leeds

Today Robin has been over in Leeds at the university. He sees each student individually, and they are impressed that each time he goes he alternates the side of the room that he sits on, in order to view them from a different angle. When playing the guitar it's all about economy of movement and by changing position he feels he can focus on different areas.
Whilst trying to explain this to one of his students he said, 'It's minimum effort, for maximum effect, you're a student so that should be easy enough!'
They were very amused, and got the point.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Night Off..

Robin took the evening off from practice to conduct a firework display in our garden. All the family enjoyed the event, even Great Granny who had joined us for the day.
Don't worry though, Robin wore thick gloves to protect those hands for the whole proceedings!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's not just about the Guitar

Robin is always stressing to his pupils the importance of going to as many concerts as possible. Not just guitar, but anything. Much can be gained from hearing other performers whether they are good, bad or mediocre. It's always interesting to see how other artists organise their programme and how they present themselves.
In the early days Hill/Wiltschinsky used to wear white tuxedos and bow ties as that is what classical musicians did. However, they wanted to get away from the 'stuffy classical' look, and now feel comfortable in shirts and jackets. Robin has always felt that it is important to look smart as people are paying to come and see you and don't want to spend 2 hours watching someone that looks like they have just been out cleaning the car. Also, it's professional to make an effort. How many of you would trust your doctors advice if they wore jeans and a t-shirt in the consultation. Image is important.
When Robin has been to a concert that he has enjoyed he comes away uplifted and motivated. If he hasn't enjoyed it then usually he composes a new piece within a few days. I'm not quite sure why that is but it seems to work for him.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Soler, Scarlatti, Rossini, Faure and More..

Today I sent off a package to Israel. It's always very nice to be contacted by someone that has enjoyed a CD so much that they want to extend their library further. This gentleman had come across a Hill/Wiltschinsky CD whilst in America and ordered 5 more.
'Soler Sonatas' is a fantastic CD of, well, Soler Sonatas. Graham Wade, the eminent author of many books about Segovia has always been a big fan of this one.
'Classic Beatles 2' has 16 tracks of well known Lennon & McCartney songs which are beautifully arranged with a few surprises.
'Barber of Seville' contains pieces by Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Rossini, Faure, Manuel de Falla and many more, so there really is something for everyone.
'Best 1' is a compilation of many of Hill/Wiltschinsky favourites.
'Virtuoso' is Robin's first solo CD and I'm sure more will follow before too long...
I hope my man in Israel is pleased with his purchases and has many happy hours of listening ahead.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Testing, Testing..

The new microphone has arrived. Obviously the 'phone calls made at Southampton airport were slightly more than 'research'.
Robin promptly disappeared into the studio where he remained for most of the day.
Mid-evening I was summonsed for a game of 'spot the microphone'. As I had just returned from giving drinks and biscuits to 48 excited cub scouts my ear drums were not at their best. However, I played along. This is how it goes. Robin had recorded the same piece through three different microphones and I have to identify the new one and express an opinion as to whether it captures the sound.
I did rather well as I managed to pick out the new one. But as yet we are not convinced. I think tomorrow will be a case of trying out various combinations and positions to get the best possible sound.
At least we have it on approval, so we have time to think about it. The guitar is a notoriously difficult instrument to record so we'll persevere until we get it right.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Music to the Masses

I've been thinking about the concerts that Robin has recently been doing on board ship. Cruise liners these days are very big business. There are huge numbers of people all wanting to be entertained. This occurs at many levels, from background music while you eat and drink, to lectures from Oxford professors.
For Robin, this is an opportunity for large numbers of guests to hear him play. Last week the first concert was attended by a 900 strong audience, as was the second one. Even my maths can work out that 1800 people watched his concerts in just one week. I realise that many of them would have been to both performances, hence two separate programmes, but that can only mean they enjoyed the first one.
This brings me to the point. Many of those people are probably not regular classical music concert goers. So it must be a good thing to give them the opportunity to see and hear quality music and hopefully give them the courage to venture out to see other concerts when they are at home.
There's plenty of debate at the moment on classical music being in decline, but judging from these figures there's a lot that can be done to encourage people out. We just have to look at it from another perspective sometimes.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Robin has enjoyed his first full day at home and has spent it catching up with paperwork, manuscript that is, along with taking the boys out and dogs in the park.
Just as he was unwinding we had a call, and another foreign trip was booked, so now he has two to fit in before Christmas. He does also have a few concerts booked here in the UK so I think I'll have to get used to watching his video on You Tube to remind myself what he looks like!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cuckoo Clocks and Microphones

Robin is now in Southampton airport with quite a few hours to spare before his flight up to Manchester.
This worries me.
When Robin had 4 hours stop over in Frankfurt a while ago he came home with a cuckoo clock. He kept getting drawn back into the shop until finally he made a purchase. You either love them or hate them, fortunately I love them. However, it can be rather off putting when trying to catch the news headlines at 10 o'clock.
Robin 'phoned me a short time ago and said he was bored with hanging around so was making some enquiries about a new microphone.
This could prove to be a very costly phase of boredom, although it should earn its keep far more than the cuckoo does.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Albeniz, Sor, Bustamente ...Hill

Today Robin performed the second and final concert of this trip. It was an excellent programme with some of my favourites, Asturias (Albeniz) and Danza Brasilera (Morel) to name just two.
He also played 'Canzone', one of his own pieces, which is beautiful and always well received, then rounded off with a lively 'Jota' to send the audience on their way with a spring in their step.
He is looking forward to setting foot on dry land tomorrow and coming home to see the family.
One thing he is currently working on is a track list for a new CD. So if anyone has any requests or suggestions, then now is the time to say.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fog and more fog

The QM2 is surrounded by fog and has been since yesterday. The foghorn sounds every 2 minutes and is very loud, as you would expect.
Robin is feeling rather isolated as he is not receiving my e mails. There's some technical problem on board, so he gets all the messages at once, usually first thing in the morning. The rest of the day he keeps checking and then in desperation for news of family etc. he calls on the satellite 'phone. Hopefully normal service will resume shortly.
Tomorrow is the second concert, so Robin will be in high practice mode now.
All week I've been trying to keep up with his changing time zone, only to realise that tonight it's my turn. If I go back an hour, then I think we have just about caught up with each other. All I have to do is remember to change all the clocks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tarrega, Reis, Sabicas and more..

Robin did the first of two concerts yesterday on the QM2. The theatre was full and by all accounts it went very well.
He started with Malaguena which is a traditional piece that he arranged. It certainly wakes everyone up and is not an easy piece to start a performance with. I suppose it's a bit like selling a house, most people make their minds up in the first few moments, so you want to win the audience over as soon as you can.
This was followed by some Tarrega, Lute Pieces, a traditional piece, Reis, Iradier and then Sabicas.
The audience must have liked it, as the signing session afterwards was very busy, and the assistant helping told Robin that some guests had been in requesting his CD on weeks when he wasn't even on board!
That has got to be good.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Claude Bolling

The house seemed incredibly quiet despite children and their friends. I realised it was the lack of music. When Robin is home the house is flooded with sound. He's either practicing or listening to music, both at great volume.
So when taking a coffee break I put on one of his Cd's. I chose 'Robin Hill's Eklectica.' Amongst other things this features Claude Bolling's Concerto for Classic Guitar and Jazz Piano Trio. It seemed to fit the mood of the moment.
I haven't listened to it for some time and was delighted to be reunited. It's a fantastic piece in seven movements. I've seen Eklectica perform it on a number of occasions and it is always very well received. It amazes me that the piece isn't more popular.
Having said that, the other day we did get an e mail from a guitarist asking if we knew how to contact Monsieur Bolling.
Hopefully that indicates that others feel the same as I do.
I think I should make it my mission in life to publicise this piece.
So if you haven't heard it, you can buy it by clicking on the 'Robin Hill-solo CDs' link!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stormy Weather...

Whilst I walked dogs and children in the park, Robin pounded the decks on board the QM2, he likes to take his usual walks whenever he can.
He has just told me that all the passengers have been informed that tomorrow will be the roughest day of the trip, (just to put them at their ease..).
I reminded Robin that not that long ago he was sailing the most feared stretch of water, where two great Oceans meet, Cape Horn. The piano was chained down, the dancers couldn't dance as it was too dangerous, so they 'phoned Robin in his room and asked him to do an extra spot.
True professional that he is, he agreed and hot footed it onto the stage, in a rather lurching manner.
He said it was a strange experience, he not only had to worry about his playing but also whether he would be thrown off his chair.
He got through it though and was no greener than any of the audience that had ventured out.
The weather remained bad for a few days and they were unable to dock at the Falkland Islands. Maybe another time.
Having reminded him of all this and the fact that he is a hardened old sea dog these days, I'm awaiting his reply..

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Footstools Galore

I have just spoken to Robin who is now relaxing, well practicing actually, on his luxury liner with a view of the Statue of Liberty from his porthole. I'm not a bit envious.
Having discussed the need for two footstools yesterday, Robin managed to trip over one of his and break it!
After talking to some of the crew he discovered there was a shop in Brooklyn which may be able to help. As he had a few hours before setting sail, he caught the shuttle boat and found the 'Guitar Center'. I was very relieved to hear it was mainly steel strung and acoustic guitars as Robin does have a habit of buying classical ones at the very top end of the range. Worryingly, he also established that the nearest place for those was in Manhattan, far too close for comfort.
The Guitar Center was a huge place and the assistant took him to a display of footstools, Robin chose one, the assistant picked it up, and the whole display collapsed! Fortunately they both thought it rather amusing.
He's back on board now and we'll talk one more time before he's out of range for the mobile so it will be e-mail only.

Monday, October 23, 2006

JFK Airport ..Soon

We were all up before sunrise and battling with the early morning traffic. Robin is now 6 hours into his flight. In years gone by, pre-children, I always travelled with him. Usually at that time it was Hill/Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo tours. It always used to make me laugh how each member of the duo coped with long haul flights. Robin would fidget, keep getting up for a walk and generally drum his fingers on the armrest. Peter Wiltschinsky was very different. He would sit down, put his lap belt on, and not move a muscle until we reached are destination, no matter how long the flight was. It was almost as if he went into standby mode!
Now Robin has devised a new strategy. He closes his eyes and runs through the entire concert in his mind imagining every note. As he always plays from memory he feels this is an excellent mental exercise.
So next time you are on a plane, check out the man sitting next to you. If he remains very still for 45 minutes with his eyes closes, then gets up, walks around, drums his fingers for a while before repeating the whole process, then you could well be sitting next to Robin.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pre Travel Denial

Today we are preparing for Robins next trip. Or should I say I am.
Robin is in the denial phase of any tour away from home. Whilst I iron shirts and count out socks ready for packing, he has decided to compose a new piece.
It's not that he doesn't like going. After all, he's happiest when out there performing, but the build up to going is always hard. Children start playing up, dogs sit by the front door hoping they can tag along, and I start thinking about how to amuse two children on half term whilst he's away!
Only Ramsbottom the cat seems indifferent, but more on him another day.
Meanwhile the composition is coming along very nicely and I'm sure that by the end of an 8 hour flight he'll have it all worked out, and I look forward to hearing it on his return.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I have been doing a mental check list of things that need to be done before Robin goes off in the early hours of Monday morning. Apart from the usual packing requirements for a week away, we do have to consider the reason he is there. Concert clothes, footstools, (one for stage, one for backstage), and strings are just the beginning. Strings are the things that seem to surprise most people. Generally, those that dabble in playing the guitar will have the same set on for many months at a time. Not so in our house. Each concert requires a new set, sometimes only the bottom three, but sometimes the whole lot.
Consequently spare sets always have to be carried. On one memorable occasion a string broke, luckily we were on holiday in Portugal and not there for a concert. However, Robin without a guitar = nightmare, so we flagged down a passing coach which happened to be full of musicians, (this is true, honestly), and although they didn't have the required string they did give us directions to the nearest music shop in which to purchase one.
Since then I have always double checked the string status before any journey..

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Classical/Rock Crossover

I have been following the debate on Jessica Duchen's Classical music blog about the crossover between classical and rock/pop music. This was sparked by the latest Sting CD featuring the music of John Dowland, and Paul McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum. I am looking forward to hearing both of these.
Robin has managed the crossover playing mainly classical, but in the past has played with Jethro Tull and Deep Purple - a long way from Rossini or De Falla!
Whilst this is a difficult, and rare transition, it is not unheard of and can work either way.
Chick Corea is an outstanding jazz musician who plays Mozart extremely well, Benny Goodman the jazz clarinet player also played Mozart.
Both Rick Wakeman and Elton John originally trained at the Royal Academy of Music before venturing into the world of rock.
One of our friends, Julian Gregory, is a long term violinist with the BBC Philharmonic who in his spare time relaxes by playing bass guitar in a progressive rock band!
Finally, the jazz guitarist John McLaughlin's Apocolypse albumn was produced by George Martin and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.
So it can be done and much can be gained by either discipline observing the other.
I shall be listening to Sting and McCartney very soon with great interest.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Force 10

Robin has had quite a few lessons this evening, and now they have finished, he is settling down to running through the two solo programmes he will need next week. Yes, another trip is looming. It's good to be busy though, in fact we had to turn a one week long trip down because of a previous booking. A good situation to be in!
Robin does keep getting distracted by these old reel to reel tapes. I'm not surprised, it's quite a strange experience hearing yourself play, and even sing, on some of the early tapes. It is sad that some great recordings never got released and some great pieces never got as far as being recorded in a studio.
I have my eye on a few of the songs played by Force 10, a highly creative band of quite some years ago now, and hope to do something with them at some point. They have stood the test of time very well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Manchester Calling

It's not always glamorous at the top, travelling to far flung places and staying in luxurious surroundings. Tonight Robin set off in torrential rain to play at a corporate event in Manchester. The satellite navigation decided not to work and the traffic was so bad it took him 20 minutes to get less than a mile from home. After a few frantic 'phone calls all went quiet until a relieved Robin called to say he'd made it in time and was about to go on.
He's not home yet, but I spoke to him in the interval and it was going well. At least he'll be home tonight...hopefully.

Monday, October 16, 2006

BBC Radio 4

Today I was listening to an article on Radio 4 about live music being played in Doctors waiting rooms.
The general feeling was that it reduces stress in patients, doctors and staff. This can only be a good thing.
At the moment it is a pilot scheme in Bristol, but the results have been promising, so hopefully we will see it roll out across the country.
I know that there are benefits as Robin has been involved with a similar scheme at St.James Hospital in Leeds.
Every year or so he goes over and plays for a couple of hours, partly in the reception area where visitors and staff can stop and listen, and also on some of the long stay wards where there are some very sick people.
The response he has had from patients and staff has always been hugely positive.
At times of pressure and emotional trauma surely listening to live music played well can only help distract from your worries.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Old Masters

A friend called around today with an old reel to reel tape machine in excellent condition.
After a bit of fiddling about Robin got it going.
He has literally hundreds of old reel to reel tapes so it was an exciting time selecting one at random and putting it on. (Musicians are not known for actually labelling anything, so this was a complete unknown!)
The first thing he played was a piano piece Robin had written and recorded when he was about 18. It sounded great and he murmured something about how he could hear it as a concerto. So I imagine in the not too distant future he will be locking himself away in the studio, the sounds of a full orchestra will be drifting around the house, and he will only emerge when he feels he has done this old friend justice.
Who knows what else we will find in the Hill archives.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cds and How to Get Them

We had an e mail today from a couple in Connecticut desperately trying to track down a Hill/Wiltschinsky CD. They had been given a copy of Latin Guitars Volume 1 and obviously enjoyed it as they wanted to get hold of a copy of volume 2.
That isn't actually as easy as it sounds, as over the years the duo have recorded for many labels, Decca, Teldec, ASV, Hyperion etc. and have more than 45 recordings in circulation.
We are currently looking into downloading, so watch this space.
In the mean time, try they have a selection of duo, and Robin's solo CD 'Virtuoso'.
If there is something specific you want and have had trouble getting it then do contact me here and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mozart's Dog

Robin has two dogs. Both Labradors, one yellow called Milly, the other chocolate called Coco, (as in Chanel not the drink). Coco has become known as Bimps which may seem strange but I will explain why.
Mozart had an English Terrier named Miss Bimperl, shortened to Bimps which when translated means 'Spot'. Mozart obviously had a sense of humour naming his canine companion with a typically English Spot the dog.
Coco is completely chocolate in colour with no hint of a spot anywhere. She is however completely eccentric and 'dotty', hence the nickname of Bimps.
Just a little snippet of information for you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Applause and Psychology

I have just been reading through the blog Adaptistration by Drew McManus. I frequently visit this site as it encourages interesting debate.
Two entries got my attention, one regarding audiences clapping between movements and the other was the need to utilise the skills of psychologists in promoting music.
As I have discussed previously on this site, Robin has very strong views about audiences showing their appreciation, whether it be at the end of a performance or in the middle of a piece. He is just delighted that they are there and obviously enjoying themselves and the added input will usually enhance his and the audiences enjoyment. He has even experienced the orchestra themselves joining in the applause after a particularly difficult part of one of his own concertos!
As far as using the skills of a psychologist to promote music, well that's easy for me. I am a psychologist.
I was never quite sure if I became a psychologist to cope with living with a musician, but it has been most helpful!
Initially I was in private practice but now I manage Robin as a soloist and also with his duo Hill/Wiltschinsky. I can assure you that the skills I have been trained in are proving very useful.

Update on Students

Robin enjoyed meeting his new students and seeing what level they are at. One pupil chose to play Gavotte in E major - J.S.Bach and then Capricho Arabe - Tarrega. Robin was amazed to see that the student was using the exact fingering that Robin had devised over years of studying the piece. After some discussion they discovered that the student had previously had lessons from an old pupil of Robins! It's good to know that they are still using the advice they were given some time ago!
Robin also decided that modern technology could help him demonstrate a poor left hand technique to another student. Robin had his new camera with him so took a short piece of video and played it back to the unsuspecting pupil. It worked, he could see immediately the mistakes he was making. A useful tool which I'm sure Robin will use again.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Leeds University

Today Robin has gone over to Leeds university to start this semesters lessons. Robin was approached last year to take over from Graham Wade providing one to one lessons on the performance course. He really enjoyed having more advanced students, although ability was variable. It will be interesting to see how this years students will get on. He's a hard task master so they had better start practicing their right and left hand exercises.
He has to fit in a certain number of lessons per pupil over each semester. This could prove tricky as he has many overseas trips coming up. Still, it will give them all time to get to grips with the pieces.
They are very lucky students as there is nothing like being able to talk things over with someone who is actually out there doing it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Superior Man

I have just been reading Jessica Duchen's Classical music blog and she is talking about the torment of proof reading the final copy of her book. This must be hard as it is the last chance to make any alterations.
In 1999 Robin wrote 'The Guitar Gymnasium' which is published by Mel Bay. Whilst the book is aimed at guitarists, in that there are many studies and exercises, throughout the text he has added many quotes and thoughts that he has found helpful over the years as a performer. These can be applied not only to musicians but I feel many people could gain some comfort from them in all walks of life.
One of my favourites is, 'The superior man is distressed by his want of ability.' Confucius 551-479 BC.
The artist Vincent Van Gogh has proved his place in history, even if it wasn't in his own life time. This is what he wrote in a letter to his brother Theo:
'It constantly remains a source of disappointment to me that my drawings are not yet what I want them to be, the difficulties are indeed numerous and great, and cannot be overcome at once. To make progress is a kind of miner's work; it doesn't advance as quickly as one would like, and others also expect, but as one stands before such a task, the basic necessities are patience and faithfulness. In fact, I do not think much about the difficulties, because if one thought of then too much one would get stunned or disturbed.' Vincent Van Gogh.
I hope that Jessica can gain some comfort from these quotes, she is after all, not alone in her torment.

Suitcase unscathed

The troublesome case has now been returned to us in one piece and none the worse for its travels.
It's a huge relief as we can now charge various electrical equipment and get on with preparing for the next concert.
I've now seen some photographs of the theatre on board QM2 and it looks great. Hard to imagine a venue of that size on the high seas!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Suitcase, what suitcase?

Two days later and still no sign of the wayward case. It is now getting very annoying as the chargers for mobile phone, ipod and camera are inside it along with music, footstools and nail kit.
Not to mention that all concert clothes do need to be washed before his next performance on Saturday...
Despite the fact that Robin was returning from New York on a direct flight to Manchester the case has spent a night in Amsterdam. We have been assured that it is finally back in the UK and should get it today.
We'll see.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Homeward Bound

After a long wait in JFK airport and then an overnight flight Robin arrived back in Manchester.
Unfortunately his luggage didn't and we hope to be reunited with it tomorrow. In all the years of travelling it is only the second time this has happened, which I suppose isn't that bad, just highly inconvenient at the time. It would have been another story altogether if had been his guitar!
It was a successful trip, not only the concerts, but Robin met some interesting people and may even have made a few contacts for future work. That can only be a good thing.
For now though he's going to relax for the evening. That's after he's finished his practice of course!

Friday, September 29, 2006

New York, nearly

The final concert on board was, again, very well attended and received. Robin had done an in-house t.v. interview prior to the show which he had enjoyed and had obviously had the desired effect.
He finds the time after the last concert, and before arriving at his destination, the hardest part. He feels he's done the job and wants to get home. However that's hard mid-Atlantic!
He did manage to find a few guests to play tennis and table tennis, so it wasn't all bad.
Whilst away on this trip our youngest son turned 4 years old. Robin finds it difficult to be away at the best of times, but to miss a birthday was very difficult.
A friend called in with a present on the day and had the brainwave to photograph both boys holding up a message and e mail it to him.
This we did and Robin was delighted!
Thank goodness for modern technology.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Reduced to Tears

I heard from Robin after the first concert on board the QM2. The theatre is huge, seating well over 1000 people, and was more or less full on this occasion. Nerve wracking for any performer. However, the true professional prevailed, and Robin delivered a fantastic concert. He sold out of Cd's and still has one concert to do.
Some of the audience were reduced to tears, which I am assuming was through pleasure and not pain!
To have the ability to move people in such a way is amazing and Cunard should be delighted that they have such a talent on board.
Throughout the ages people have turned to music as a source of comfort and reassurance. The world needs uplifting by fantastic music to remind us that it is not all bad.
Musicians around the world need to persevere and hopefully the general public will gradually realise that classical music is not to be feared but enjoyed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hornby Concert

The Hill/Wiltschinsky Duo enjoyed a fantastic concert in Hornby. It was very well attended which was a credit to the promotor, as Hornby Institute has only recently started putting on concerts, and is in a rather rural part of Lancashire.
The duo go from strength to strength, their musicality still amazes me, and I hear them all the time.
The programme is varied and exciting which the audience seem to love as we sold out of Cd's!
There wasn't much time to relax though as after 4 hours sleep Robin was off to the airport again, once more joining the QM2.
I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Busy Time

I can't believe how long it has been since my last entry. The main cause was a technical problem which has now been resolved.
Whilst I have been off air Robin has travelled the Atlantic again. He did two more concerts on the QM2 which were very well received and he is going off again on Sunday!
So far the guitar has survived being in the hold of the plane mainly because it is inside two cases. Nevertheless it is a constant concern for Robin and all musicians.
Robin is particularly busy this week as he has a duo concert with Peter Wiltschinsky on Saturday. This means he is in full rehearsal for the duo programme and also the two solo programmes he will be playing next week!
Life is never dull but always hectic..

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Nail Problems

For all guitarists nails are a constant source of trouble. Whilst I get by with a small manicure set, Robin has a bag full of various pieces of equipment that are needed for maintenance and emergency repairs.
Whilst performing the other day the nail on the third finger of his right hand flew off. He had to stop playing and luckily found the piece easily and managed to reattach the offending part with the aid of nail glue and silk. He got through the rest of the concert without any further trouble.
However, a few days later, a simple carrier bag got the better of the repair, and after unloading some shopping he realised the nail had gone.
Their was no hope this time of finding the missing piece. The family have long since learnt when to keep out of the way!
Some time later he emerged from the music room with his new, shaped nail, constructed out of layers of silk and glue. It sounded great and the trauma was over.
It's not surprising that DIY is not a strong point for most musicians.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tidy up...

Robin has been home a few days and enjoying playing with the children and taking the dogs out. Even the torrential rain hasn't dampened his enthusiasm!
It goes without saying that practice has continued at a normal level, general maintenance of his solo programme, and thinking about new pieces. However, I was shocked today when he started clearing out drawers in the music room. This is unheard of!
Anyone that is familiar with a musicians mind will realise that all their energy goes into the music and interpretation. The music room itself is complete chaos, to my eyes anyway, although Robin does appear to have a vague idea where various pieces of music are. Piles and piles of music and manuscript paper don't just contain themselves to the music room. We once had a freezer delivered, and when I got round to cleaning it up and plugging it in, guess what I found inside, yes, at least a foot high pile of music. When I challenged Robin about this all he said was, 'It's good to keep a fandango in the freezer.'!
Consequently, you can imagine my surprise to find him emptying drawers and sorting out. I haven't yet had an explanation for this strange behaviour, but fear the 'sorted out' music will appear, redistributed, around the house..

Friday, August 25, 2006

Home Again

Robin is home again and very pleased to be back with his family. However, the concerts went so well on the QM2 that they have re-booked him for just over a weeks time! Whilst we still have the fears about flying that everyone does at the moment, at least for this next trip we don't have to try and locate an extra flight case. The extreme case we got in the nick of time seemed to work well. The guitar arrived in one piece and did its job beautifully. Whilst it is not ideal I think that for the time being it is something all musicians will have to cope with.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

QM2 Recital 2

The second recital has also gone very well and Robin has had lots of positive feedback from members of the audience. It is always nice for him to hear that people have enjoyed the music as so much time goes into planning the programme and rehearsing the pieces.
Robin then had three days left on board without a concert to prepare for. So far he has spent the time walking around the decks, catching up on some films and of course plenty of practice!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

QM2 Recital 1

I've heard from Robin and the first recital went very well. The theatre on board ship is very nice and there was a good audience. He had a standing ovation and was congratulated by the cruise director, so everyone is happy. He is spending a lot of time in his room preparing for the second recital which is today. Hopefully he won't get cabin fever.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New York, New York

The new flight case arrived, a bout of illness passed, and finally Robin set off for New York. He left a day later than planned but managed to make it to the QM2 with an hour to spare!
He was able to enjoy a view of the Statue of Liberty from his cabin before setting sail but had to go and record an interview for the in-house t.v station to publicise his first concert which was the next day. Consequently he missed the sights as they left New York but not to worry as he's back again in a couple of weeks.
Our only way of communicated now is via e-mail, so details may be brief for the next week.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Difficult Days

It is a difficult time at the moment. Robin was due to fly to New York next week to join the QM2. He was perfoming two concerts on board ship during the journey fron New York to Southampton.
The current situation with terror threats is making the whole thing very difficult.
Not only do we have to weigh up the safety issues on a transatlantic flight, but the current restrictions mean his guitar would have to go in the hold.
In all his years travelling the globe the guitar has always gone on board with him and fits easily into the overhead lockers.
The guitar is a very expensive instument but the main problem is that if it were damaged in any way he would be unable to just replace it. A guitar of this quality is just so rare.
We are holding are breaths at the moment to see how things develop but will have to make a decision in the next few days.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Japanese Wedding

Today Robin has played at the Japanese wedding and it has gone very well. A large number of guests had flown over especially for the day. He always feels it is an honour to take part in such a significant event in peoples lives especially when he plays whilst the bride walks down the aisle!
The father of the bride beamed at Robin saying, 'guitar, very good', so he took it that he'd enjoyed the playing, and the bride and groom were very pleased, so a job well done.

Unusual Venues

Today Robin has done rather a strange concert. A few years ago he was booked for three afternoons over the summer to play at a remembrance park so that people would come and listen to the music and take in the beautiful surroundings. It was so successful that he has done it every year now for about 5 years. There is now a large audience that attend each concert and enjoy a picnic whilst listening to some fabulous music!
It shows how versatile a musician today must be.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Barking Dog

I have just been looking at a few other sites and read an entry from Drew McManus regarding the distraction of a dog barking at a music festival. It reminded me of a tour Hill/Wiltschinsky did in the Philippines a few years ago. There was not only a barking dog outside but due to the nature of the venue it was able to come in and wander about the stage at will! Whilst this is obviously a distraction for musician and audience alike I feel that dealing with any form of audible or visual disturbance is a skill the musician must learn.
I have been to some concerts where the artist has asked people to stop moving around or only cough in between pieces. Whilst this usually gets a ripple of laughter, I do feel there is often a slightly uncomfortable feeling amongst the audience from that point.
This has sparked many conversations over the years with Robin, and his general view is that audiences have paid good money to come and be entertained, not shouted at. A reassuring smile to the parents of a wriggling child, or a joke along the lines of 'even the local wildlife seem to be enjoying the music', get a much warmer response from any audience.
The ability for musicians to deal with these intrusions is an art in itself, and one I feel they improve with over time, but that all artists should be aware of this responsibility.
Robin has managed to achieve this to such a level that at a duo concert, whilst in the middle of a piece, a newspaper photographer came right up to the stage saying, 'keep playing lads, it looks more natural.' The duo didn't miss a note...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Introducing Classical Music

One of the aims of these entries is to show people what goes on behind the scenes in the day to day life of a musician. However, I also want to stimulate discussion about music in general, and hope to introduce people to the area of classical music in which they might previously have felt intimidated.
The term classical music seems to alienate huge sections of the community as they think they don't understand it and the whole scene is too 'precious' and esoteric.
We need to remember that whilst we now regard Mozart as 'classical', he was in his day, particularly with regards to his operas, a composer of popular music.
In my experience the greatest challenge we have today is actually getting people to attend concerts. There are currently an unprecedented number of distractions which vie for their attentions. This applies particularly to the younger generation.
Once you do get an audience to attend it is essential to have given the programme a great deal of thought in order to provide the best possible experience for that particular audience.
The music, when played well, can cross all generation gaps and leave the public feeling uplifted and positive. The promoters of a recent concert in Hebden Bridge commented on the ability of Robin to reach out to all ages amongst the audience. The feedback a few days later from one member of the public was, 'the best concert I have ever been to,' and from her 12 year old daughter, who is learning the guitar, 'he taught me to play from the heart'.
So I hope that over time I can gradually introduce more and more people of all ages to classical music in general.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hours of practice

To become a musician at this level requires a huge amount of commitment. Many years of dedicated practice go into having the skills needed literally at your fingertips.
On a typical day Robin will do 5-6 hours of practice, that is every day of the year.. The only day I have known him to have a complete day off was our wedding day 15 years ago!
However the type of practice he does varies depending on whether he is preparing for a concert, learning and memorizing a new piece, composing or preparing for a new recording.
The only constant are various right and left hand exercises that he does every day, some of which can be found in his book 'The Guitar Gymnasium' published by Mel Bay.
People are often surprised by the amount of practice that Robin does, however, when I point out that they wouldn't expect an Olympic athlete to arrive at the games without having done any training, they realize that he is only exercising his hands and mind!

Memorizing Yocoh

Today Robin has finished memorizing the Sakura Variations by Yocoh. This is good news for him as he plans to play it at a Japanese wedding in a couple of weeks, and good news for me, as I can now listen to him playing the whole piece through instead of small sections over and over again!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Robin Hill - 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

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Years of Experience

Robin has been a performer for more than 30 years now and has over 40 CDs to his name, either as a solo player or with his duo partner Peter Wiltschinsky.
If you would like to read the official information and hear an audio clip you could visit:
He started out on the violin as a young boy but soon realized it wasn't the instrument for him and switched to guitar.
Robin's first love is classical music but he really enjoys playing his electric guitar and has quite a reputation in that field too as he has played with bands like Jethro Tull and Deep Purple!
This eclectic background and diverse interest in music only enhances his performing and composing today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Life of a musician- Robin Hill

Hello and welcome to a new and interesting site about the daily working life of an international musician.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when you see a musician on stage?
I am a very lucky person as I happen to be married to one of the world's greatest guitarists. Having travelled extensively worldwide with him, it became apparent to me that many audiences were fascinated by Robin's day to day life and commitment to his work. They often ask me questions related to his practice, compositions, life on the road, in fact about just about anything!
So after a great deal of thought I have decided to open his life up for discussion..