A great professional experience proved to be for the renowned Duo Martín the participation, last year, in two important international guitar events, which made their offerings online -due to the sanitary contingency generated by the pandemic of COVID-19.
The Cuban group -made up of maestros Galy Martín and Eduardo Martín-, attended the Antonio Lauro International Guitar Festival in Colombia and the Guitarras del Mundo Festival in Argentina. In both of them they had a remarkable presence and their offerings were warmly welcomed, both by the organizers and the public.
These guitar festivals constitute an important showcase for guitar and concert music, since from the cultural point of view they welcome the most dissimilar styles, aesthetic tendencies of the instrument, music and art.
Previously, the Dúo Martín had participated in the Guitarras del Mundo Festival in its twenty-fifth annual edition in person and maestro Eduardo Martín attended these events from the first years of the call; however, this new modality changed many of the dynamics and brought new challenges for them.
For these two encounters, the ensemble offered a repertoire made up of works from the catalog of maestro Eduardo Martín, who is recognized as one of the most imaginative composers for classical guitar. The events allowed to see in the online scene the creator assuming his own works, an important opportunity for students, performers, musicologists and guitar lovers, who have in these videos an unavoidable reference in the performance of these pieces.
The program included in the Antonio Lauro Guitar Festival was made up by the Suite Habana, which consists of four movements: 'Lugares comunes', 'Amaneceres', 'Laberinto' y 'Sol y sombras'; also the popular rumba Hasta Alicia baila, Acrílicos en la sonrisa y Sones y Flores, this last one devised by maestro Martín in collaboration with Walfrido Domínguez.
On the other hand, three works were performed in the Guitarras del Mundo Festival: Eclipse en la Zona 1, Hasta Alicia baila y Sones y flores.
To know more details about the experience that the Dúo Martín had in these festivals, how was the process of recording the materials, the selection of the repertoire and the possibilities that the online events offer, we exclusively talked to the guitarist Galy Martín, a member of the Dúo Martín.
Common points and differences
The young Cuban guitarist does not hesitate to describe the participation of the Dúo Martín in both guitar festivals as a significant experience and comments on the common points of both encounters:
"In these spaces we defend, above all, the Latin American guitar, the repertoire of young composers, of Latin American creators, although we also deal with works from different periods and styles. As a premise, they have to divulge the work of young and consecrated guitarists and composers of the Latin American region."
When referring to the curatorial differences of these encounters, Galy Martín expresses: "the Antonio Lauro Guitar Festival has a more traditional structure because they are shared between two artistic figures, half an hour for each guitarist; unlike the Guitarras del Mundo Festival that its concerts are more thought out from the style of the gala, because different guitarists perform and each one plays only one or two pieces."
An interesting and striking repertoire
As it is known the Dúo Martín has as fundamental aim the first-hand projection and diffusion of the music composed by Cuban composer and guitarist Eduardo Martín, that is why his repertoire nourishes from the compositions for duo of guitars and two guitars in diverse instrumental combinations up to concert works, where the Dúo plays the role of soloist together with chamber or symphonic orchestra.
"We are working particularly -explains Galy Martín-, his compositions from the 90's or beginning of 2000, times in which he composed fundamentally for duo, since in the 80's he wrote a lot of music for solo guitar, but the duos were mostly written in this stage."
From the Guitarras del Mundo Festival he states that they carried out the premiere in Argentina of the piece Eclipse en la zona 1, composed in 2006, and to it they added two more to it, which had made up the repertoire presented in the previous edition.
"They are two of the best known and most requested works, because all the duos play them. One of them is called Hasta Alicia baila and is a guaguancó that calls a lot of attention to people because we use the guitar as a percussion instrument, playing the key of the guaguancó on one of the two guitars, while the other one plays the melody and so we alternate the two guitars. This is something that interests the public very much and, for that reason, we include it in almost all the programs."
Strengths generated by the online encounters
The world situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed this type of online calls to be enhanced and has resulted - for these experienced guitar musicians - in a universe of new possibilities.
"For us it's something very new because we classical musicians weren't used to recording so many videos to upload to social media. Sometimes what we did was to record the same live performances of our concerts, and then upload them to the Internet for promotion purposes."
He adds that this new circumstance forced them to address this type of recording at home and they learned to edit the audio and video of their own materials, so he does not hesitate to describe this experience as: "a school for us and we hope to continue improving in that sense."
"Recording and editing our own videos make it possible for us, at other times, to continue recording repertoire that we are interested in disseminating, but that is not very well known. We plan to continue doing it and this situation has shown us that we are capable of doing it in a systematic way."
Also, as a very beneficial situation contemplates the possibility of uploading to various online platforms the music they defend: "it reaches more people because they are millions of people connected all day watching videos and this is great, but on the other hand, we do not cease to miss and recognize the value of live concerts to which the public attends, and we feel their warm applause that surrounds and fills us spiritually.
Complexity of a process and professional rigor
The professional work of audio and video editing for the Dúo Martín has been an obstacle that with perseverance and intelligence they have been able to overcome:
"It is a very complex process because although it seems that one works less, it is quite the opposite, one has to work more, because in addition to rehearsing, trying to play as perfectly as possible as if we were live, we must do it as carefully as possible so that there are no mistakes because it is something that will stay on the Internet.
The artist explains that the recording is a modality that takes a lot of time because of the different takes that it requires and in which they must take into account specialties such as illumination, sound and staging.
"In the cases of concerts we have to record a lot of music and it has to be recorded in several days, and it always has to be the same scenery, you cannot move anything from place and therefore we make marks on the floor for the lights and cameras."
All this, confirms the performer, has increased the working hours and hopes that in the future this modality will persist along with the live concerts that they prefer because they allow an exchange with the public.
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