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Playing every day is fundamental

violinistaThe mandatory closure of theaters and recreational venues as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency, has led artists in all corners of the planet to find other stages where they can share their art, not only as encouragement to rise above the sadness that prevails these days, but also to keep their work alive.

In this way, Multi-award winning Cuban violinist William Roblejo has used so-called “challenges” that abound today on social media as a pretext for young musicians to take advantage of isolation and devote more time to study.

“Playing every day is fundamental,” says Roblejo, who has participated in Emilio Vega’s “Izar Banderas” and “Solo el Amor Nos Salva” (Only Love Saves Us), with Alain Pérez, songs composed in the heat of the new coronavirus pandemic.

On his Facebook page, the director of his own trio has called on several instrumentalists to establish “an exchange, an interaction” to keep musicians connected. The proposal is for each one is to upload a home video, “playing a solo of a reference piece in the jazz world, thus highlighting another form of study during times such as these.

The musician began the invitation by playing a fragment of “Barbizon Blues” by Didier Lockwood, in which, once again, he shows his talent, both playing a score and improvising, which has allowed him to develop a personal style within the Cuban music scene. He succeeds in placing the violin beyond the conventional context of concert music, taking it to popular and contemporary music.

Although the event was initially conceived for violinists, violists, cellists and double-bass players have gradually joined in, while each video is viewed and shared hundreds of times. Surprised by the evident power of the call, Roblejo enjoys how musicians all over Cuba and in other countries respond to his “challenge.

“Everyone is very good, talented. There are students, colleagues, friends,” he noted, “This is a way to get feedback.”

Perhaps the source of the young composer’s initiative lies in his pedagogical background, which is impossible to separate from his musical work, as well as the well-known differences between academic and popular music. Roblejo has headed the Strings Department at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory for more than ten years. “Everything one does in order to inspire and add to the knowledge of students could be said to be part of the teaching. Whenever I can, I try to give them the necessary tools for their learning. This moment we are living will pass, and when it is over, we must try to be better people and better musicians.”

(Source: Granma)

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