Ariel Abramovich and I are off to Havana on Monday to take part in Leo Brouwer’s Festival Les Voix Humaines. We’re one of two lute song recitals (the other being Andreas Scholl and Edin Karamazov). Our concert is at the recently restored Teatro Marti (one of the most beautiful theatres in Latin America) next Wednesday. The programme is mainly Dowland and Campion, but will also include versions of songs by Tony Banks and Sting from our Amores Pasados album. I’m intrigued to see that on Saturday the Cuban group Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine will be celebrating both the 80th birthday of Arvo Pärt and 40 years of the Hilliard Ensemble with a programme that I think will include Morales’ Parce Mihi Domine with a trumpet soloist.
The festival is a glorious gathering of musicians and artists, dedicated to peace and the care of the environment. Most of the contributors are Cuban, but there are also notable acts from Europe and South America, the music ranging from griots to baroque opera, flamenco to fusion. Unfortunately I’m going miss the legendary Cuban folksinger Silvio Rodríguez, as well as the acappella competition and Vocal Sampling (listen to this at about 5.20 when the guitar duo starts – it’s a certain sort of acappella at its most exhilarating and the audience just can’t contain themselves either).
It’s hurricane season, but the forecast is for the current hot and thundery weather to move away, leaving bright sunshine and 32 degrees for most of the week. I hope to write a bog post or two while I’m there. Whenever I mention that I’m going to Cuba almost everyone has said ‘just in time…’.