'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, March 11, 2008

Tuning Trouble, The Wrong Trousers, and MP3 Downloads.

Robin spent some time in Manta, Ecuador, on Sunday, and managed to buy a folding Panama hat, which could prove useful as he's going through the Panama Canal again today.

But yesterday he performed his second concert.
He's been having a few tuning problems on this trip.
It's something to do with the humidity and the extreme heat, especially when under the intense stage lights.
It's easy to lose objectivity when under the pressure of a live performance, so for the concert yesterday he attached a tuner to the neck of the guitar, which reacts to the vibrations, and gives visual cues to support his own judgement.
Adjustments can then quickly be made as he plays.

He was required to do so on a number of occasions, as the guitar strings struggled with the temperature, but fortunately Robin's rather good at minor, and sometimes major retuning.
He can make small adjustments as he's playing, without missing a note, and for more major alterations, he will carry these out as he introduces the next piece, so the natural flow of the concert isn't interrupted.

There was another factor which may have helped with his pre concert relaxation, and one that I've never known Robin do before.
Usually he plays constantly prior to a performance. Either running through the programme or limbering up with right and left hand exercises.
Yesterday he decided to take some time out and unwind.
Guess what he did.

He watched 'Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers'.

I was quite amused by this. It wasn't that he'd specifically downloaded a copy on his iPod, but son number one had.
It did the trick though, Robin was relaxed, and the audience loved the programme.

Here are some of the pieces he played (not necessarily in the right order):

Asturias - Isaac Albeniz

Canarios - Gaspar Sanz

Mozart Variations

Un Dia de Noviembre & Danza del Altiplano - Leo Brouwer

Tango en Skai - Roland Dyens

Romanza - Trad.

Jota - Trad.

Again, Asturias, Canarios and Romanza can be found on 'Virtuoso', and incidentally, both 'Virtuoso' and 'Eklectica' can now be bought directly as MP3 downloads from CD Baby.

This will include MP3's, JPG of the album art, and a text file of titles, album notes and links to this site.
For the technical amongst you, the MP3's are encoded at top-audiophile-quality, (200kVBR) which is higher than many stores.
Also the files will play on any MP3 player, be it iPod, cellphone, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows, Mac etc.

So now there's no excuse, you can listen to Robin's music anytime, anyplace and anywhere!


Anonymous said...

You can find a slightly garbled praise of Robin's June, 2007, QM2 recital at

BTW most of the Cunard fans are now posting at

Join us.

Anna said...

Many thanks for the message Paul, and the very nice comments!
I hope you don't mind but I've posted it here so people can see it.
I'll certainly check out the Cunard fans messages board and say hello!

"Thank you for posting your QM2 Reflections again here in God's country.

About this:
I only went to one thing – the second guitar recital – which was lovely. ...

Was the guitarist Robin Hill? I believe that he was on the QM2 in early June, 2007. His wife, Anna, maintains a delightful blog about his doings,, especially interesting because he has many shipboard gigs."


Paul (the one from New Jersey)