Porteño internet chess amigo and fellow guitarist, Horacio Villa sent me a link with the recommendation that I watch a couple of videos of the charango player Oscar Miranda. There is some very elegant playing here by a big man on a small instrument – particularly in the final minute of the first video. At one point the cliché “his hands are moving too fast to see” is literally true.
Also of interest to me is the posture of Horacio Castillo in the very first video of this sizeable collection. I have found myself intuitively using this posture – which contravenes classical orthodoxy – over the last few years. However, I do not pass it on as standard to pupils for the simple reason that I’d already been playing for more than 30 years before falling into it and I remain unconvinced that it would offer enough stability to allow a beginner truly to relax the shoulders, arms and hands. Is this simply an untenable case of do as I say, not as I do?
Right at the bottom of the page you can hear a cheerful audio file of the puzzingly entitled milonga, Y no entendieron nada (And they didn’t understand anything) by Eduardo “Toto” Mendez (interestingly put together, trilingual website). If you’ve ever wondered what a Uruguayan accent sounds like, there is a short video of him enthusing about the first ever Festival de Cuerdas de América. I’d never come across Eduardo Mendez before and a little research on YouTube threw up this short, comical video of a recording session with some pals. I tried embedding the video twice and while it had all the appearances of success, pressing Play elicited the message “Sorry, this video is no longer available.”