'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, January 27, 2009

A Frog, A Jaguar, A Concert and Rodrigo

Time to update you on some of Robin's activities over the past few weeks.
At the beginning of January he set off for Miami where he joined Crystal Serenity.
It was over a week before his first concert so there was plenty of time to adjust, and to enjoy the sunshine in Grand Cayman, before any serious practise started.
But daily practise is required whether it's a concert day or not.
As I've said before, Robin sometimes feels a little inhibited rehearsing in his room for fear of disturbing his neighbours with endless scales and arpeggios.
So if possible he finds a quiet place somewhere and takes himself off.

On one such occasion he was joined in the lift by an American couple.
As is often the case in lifts, either everyone stares straight ahead into a void of silence, or, someone starts a conversation.
The couple chose the later and asked Robin if there was a guitar in the case or was it a machine gun?
His reply, "It's a guitar but played like a machine gun, however today I'm just supplying elevator music."
He spends a lot of time with comedians...

I did receive some very enthusiastic emails from Cartagena, Colombia, as Robin had purchased a beautiful frog:

He was delighted with it and put his new friend on display in his room.
It was with some dismay that a few days later he found a small piece of wood on the floor.
Not a frogs leg but definitely its foot.
Luckily, as I have said before, no guitarist travels without superglue for those emergency nail repairs, so within minutes he had repaired the footless frog.
The next day a very sheepish and anxious housekeeper appeared uttering the words, "I'm very sorry Mr. Robin but I broke your frog."
Not a sentence he ever thought he would hear.
She was greatly relieved to see that no long lasting damage had been done.

After bird spotting through the Panama canal, and a day on the Pacific before arriving in Costa Rica, still no concert had been performed.
But, it was scheduled for that evening.
So there was only time for a quick trip into Caldera, in which Robin returned with a tray:

I must say that I was relieved that the concert had finally arrived.
The tension mounts gradually when away for so many days just waiting for concert day.
It went very well and the American couple discovered, that when required, Robin can in fact play the guitar like a machine gun....

After a couple of days at sea, a quick visit to Puerto Chiapas, Mexico, and some dolphin and sea turtle spotting off the coast of Acapulco, Serenity arrived in Cabo San Lucas.
Robin likes it there. You may remember this post involving an iguana and a sombrero.
This time there was no sign of the iguana but there was a rather splendid wooden jaguar head:

Or maybe you prefer this view:

Shopping aside there was work to be done.
After the success of the first concert Robin was asked to perform a second one.
As you know he is currently rehearsing Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez' for a performance later this year.
He had also been spending time with Naki Ataman, a pianist Robin has met a number of times.
You can read about a previous meeting with Naki in this post, 'Dangerous Time in Los Angeles...'

A musical collaboration emerged when Robin asked Naki to join him onstage to perform an arrangement of Rodrigo's Adagio for piano and guitar.
The introduction:

"Normally I perform this piece with an orchestra but tonight I have replace them with the incredible Naki Ataman. Up until today we have only ever played tennis together."
It went beautifully and both audience and musicians were very pleased.

Eventually Serenity arrived in LA and Robin was required to dispose of some clothes in order to pack a jaguar head, frog, tray etc.
I am now left wondering where exactly we are going to put them....

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