I haven’t been to Haslemere for a long time. This was apparent when I realised tonight how many shops have changed or just plain gone. My last couple of Talking Newspaper sessions have been the Haslemere edition so I’ve heard about things like the post office closing and the bank going but when you walk down once familiar streets and realise how different it is now, it feels somewhat odd.
We were in Haslemere to attend a concert featuring, in part, by Mirinda’s virtuoso guitar teacher, David.
David is amazingly brilliant. I’ve only heard him via a short clip on Mirinda’s phone. Seeing and hearing him live was a complete treat.
As the title of this post states, all the music was from Latin America. There were pieces from Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, and more. But it wasn’t just David and his guitar.
In the first half he was joined by Sarah on her oboe and cor Anglais. This has to be the first time I’ve ever heard the oboe as a stand alone instrument and, I have to say, it is such a beautiful sound. Combined with David’s guitar, they made some haunting music.
My favourite piece in the first half was Pacoca by Celso Machado, a Brazilian piece. Though, to be perfectly honest, it was all pretty amazing. David’s 12 string guitar work is extraordinarily effortless. It’s a shame he hasn’t recorded anything.
The second half featured a wonderful Columbian entertainer, Ricardo Curbelo. Ricardo principally plays a harp but not like any harp I’ve heard. None of that angels on clouds stuff you usually hear. Ricardo plucks and strums and picks and bangs out some incredible songs from all over South America. He also sings and makes jokes.
He also records his stuff so we bought a CD in order to hear more of him. Here’s a short piece of him playing:
He also plays a small four stringed guitar called a quatro. He told us that he tried to play both the harp and the quatro at the same time but it never quite worked. He also told us how to dance to another of the pieces. It seems it can only be danced with a broken leg. A bit tricky, though Mirinda suggested I could possibly do it.
All round it was a wonderful evening of South American music with an interval full of South American wine and jolly chat.
One weird thing happened that I feel requires recording. When we were walking towards the museum (where the concert was held) a woman was standing outside the Georgian having a smoke. Nothing unusual in that these days except that she was filming something through the window. It was as if she didn’t want to miss whatever she was involved in but was so desperate for a cigarette that she had to film it…with no sound. A bit odd.
In the meanwhilst, earlier in the day, I had a second attempt at making my own sauerkraut. I’ve tried a different approach which, I’m really hoping, will not end up resulting in a stinking, foul, disgusting splodge…like last time.
Meanwhile, in Essex, the Purple Elephant had a very successful first outing. Congratulations and well done, Monali!