'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

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy with Havana

No, Robin hasn't suddenly arrived in Havana, he's enjoying the delights of Istanbul.

It remains difficult to communicate with him at the moment so seemed a good time to tell you of another project I'm involved in.

I was recently asked to take a look at a new site, and to give my opinion.
Well, I like a challenge.
Especially when the site in question is called '' There can't be a musician in the world who hasn't been influenced by Cuban music in one way or another.

Just the name of the capital city, Havana, is enough to cause great excitement in this house.

It is after all the country of birth of the guitarist/composer/conductor Leo Brouwer.
You can read a recent post about him here.

And who hasn't heard of the Buena Vista Social Club?

Cuban music is so familiar to us all. Cuban rumba, son, guaracha, bolero and cha-cha to name but a few.

But it's not all about the music. Havana is arguably Latin America's best preserved colonial city. Then there's the cars, the tropical climate plus the fact that centuries of Spanish and African interaction have created a diverse culture.
Actually, even the Cubans are astonished at their own evolution.

So, I took the project on.
The aim of the site was to produce a "sophisticated consumer-orientated website to encourage web users in all things Cuban," and to, "generate interest in what makes Cuban culture so unique."

I must say, having spent a great deal of time on the site today, that it seems to have achieved its goal.

It did take me a little while to navigate my way around, possibly the down side of all the 'sophistication', as my poor old computer struggled at times. Plus it wasn't initially clear that when you click on the photographs at the bottom of the page you are rewarded with some wonderful videos.
Subtitles are provided in English, if required, and hearing Spanish as I watched just enhanced the whole experience.

It is certainly an excellent 'platform for modern Cuban artists to reach out globally'.
But it's not just musicians. All area of the arts are covered.

I would like to have seen a section devoted to the history of the arts in Cuba. Whilst I recognise that this would be a huge undertaking, I feel it would be worthwhile cause.

I have always been interested in Cuba so it was no surprise that I enjoyed the footage and information given on this site.
But I feel sure that anyone about to visit Havana, would gain a lot of inspiration, and insight, by taking a look before they travel.

So basically, yes, go visit 'Havana-cultura'
and discover not only the music, but all the arts of this amazing place.


Naoki said...

Challenge completed !

Anna said...

Thanks Naoki!

I must say that I did enjoy this particular challenge and hope one day to visit Havana myself to sample the delights first hand!