'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, August 12, 2007

The Goodbye Look

This morning Robin repaired a nail and tentatively tried it out.
A musical phrase was quietly played.
Then again.
Then again.
It was unfamiliar to me but I very quickly realised what was happening.
The phrase grew and became 10 or so bars.
Sure enough, after a few more minutes, I was called.

I could tell as soon as I saw Robin's face that a new piece of music was being born.
He played it to me and then went on at some lengths to explain what was going to happen next.

Here's the problem.
I have a good ear and was able to discuss the piece as far as it went. It was obvious that it could turn into a great piece of music. The main theme is swirling round in my mind and I'm unable to clear it.

But the whole piece is in Robin's mind. He has the look he gets only when his mind is completely taken over by something new which has to force its way out.
He explained what all the instruments would be doing, and appears quite clear in the direction the piece will take.

I however will have to wait.
Whilst the notes remain in Robin's head alone, I am unable to understand completely what he means.
Even when they are committed to paper I don't have the skill to follow a score and 'hear' the notes.
But when he plays them to me, well, that's a different matter.

I know from experience that I will be drafted in with increasing regularity as the piece progresses.
Expected to listen and comment on the process as it is created.

But this is good.
How many people are in the privileged position that I am?
So often musicians are asked how they go about composing.
Usually they are unable to say.
I know though, for Robin, anyway.
And it starts with a look - as simple as that.

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