'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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

From, Fish - Brain Food for Musicians, to Oscar Peterson, to Elgar

We had an interesting discussion last night.
Robin declared that prior to each concert on board the QM2, he had the desire/need to eat fish, salmon for breakfast, and whatever was available for lunch.
Now, it has long been known that fish is 'brain food', and this, Robin felt, was the root of his need.
One could think that it was maybe caused by a return to the basic hunter/gatherer instinct, he was after all mid-Atlantic, and therefore, presumably, surrounded by many thousands of our scaly friends.
But I think not.
His body was telling him that his brain needed a little extra on the days of his concerts.
During the talk, I went down the path of, 'well, you have a good, balanced diet, and the majority of the need must be in your fingers and their agility.'
Robin is adamant, and I'm sure he's right, that when performing, the hands are acting in a well rehearsed, mechanical way, with both motor and neural memory involved.
But what makes a performance special, is the mind. It's here that the interpretation takes place, the fingers are merely following orders.

To quote Glenn Gould:
"One plays the piano with one's mind not one's fingers."

Robin's theory seemed to serve him well, after all, he delivered two hugely successful guitar concerts.
Naturally, I now get the feeling, that I will be required to add exciting, lovingly prepared fish dishes, to the agenda, as a pre concert ritual.
I'd better go and acquaint myself with the local fishmonger.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, 'Oscar Peterson Misses His Own Tribute'. Simon Houpt reported on a sell out concert in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately the jazz legend wasn't well enough to make the journey.
However, a large photograph of him at the piano and smiling broadly, was placed on the stage.
His wife, Kelly, and daughter, Celine, were both in attendance, and were touched by the whole evening.
I'm sure they will return home and tell him how much the public appreciate his contribution to music.

Also, there has been a lot of talk in the UK about Elgar and his 150th anniversary, with many saying that celebrations of Elgar's works, may not necessarily be found abroad.
I was therefore pleased to see this report in the 'Chicago Tribune', 'Elgar At 150. Anybody Care?' by Alan G.Artner.
Artner feels that after 40 years of listening to Elgar's music, that people should care.
Well done.

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