'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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jose Feliciano and the Ventriloquist

Crystal Symphony has spent a couple of days out at sea, so communication has been limited.
The last time Robin was on dry land, he ventured into Puntarenus, Costa Rica.
He proceeded with caution after the bus driver told him a few facts about the area.
Costa Rica has 36 types of poisonous snakes, they have anti venom for 35 of them, so advised not getting bitten by a sea snake....

Not to be deterred Robin continued into town where he found an interesting shop.
His ability to spot guitars at more than 100 paces is legendary.
From a great distance he saw a very old shop, with some dusty guitars hanging in the window.
His heart leapt.
Could there be a priceless guitar hiding in the back of this place? Maybe even one of Barrios's very own...
But he was to be disappointed.
The shop was full of guitars, all very old and tired, and all without strings. (For the non guitarists amongst you, guitars should never be left stringless.)
I breathed a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, back out at sea, life on board Crystal Symphony continues.
Robin has been enjoying the company of a friend he made some time ago, and occasionally their trips coincide. His name is Mark Merchant and he is a comedian and ventriloquist.
He's a very funny man, I know because I've watched his DVD, 'Naked in a Full Length Mirror'.
They have also enjoyed attending each others very different performances.
Not only that, but they have managed a couple of games of paddle tennis, and eaten out together a few times.
He, like Robin, has travelled extensively and worked with many interesting people.
On one occasion Mark spent a few weeks opening for Jose Feliciano in Los Angeles.
Jose Feliciano is a guitarist, born in Purto Rico, who has managed a successful career despite being blind from birth.

After the first week, Mark and Jose still hadn't met.
But as Mark walked past Jose's dressing room, his voice called out, "Is that you Mark?"
He went inside.
Jose continued, "Hey, good to meet you man, you are a great ventriloquist - I haven't seen your lips move once."

Anyway, Crystal Symphony will be arriving in Acapulco later today. I'm not sure if Robin will go ashore this time as his second, and final, concert is tonight. But it's only a couple of weeks since he was there anyway.
Mind you, I seem to recall that he liked it very much, so maybe he will allow himself a short excursion.
We'll see.

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