Illustration: Liz Capote.
Illustration: Liz Capote.

Sessions: José María Vitier García-Marruz

3 minutes / José María Vitier García-Marruz

04.02.2019 / Articles

I firmly hold that the piano is the essential instrument of Cuban musical culture. The piano was raised from the origin of our idea of Homeland, as an ideal vehicle, communicating and creative of those dawns. The first dances, habaneras and boleros found in him the most complete expressive medium, the most autochthonous interpretation and the most active and creative processing of the diverse influences that shape us culturally.

The piano is at the base of multiple expressions of "Cuban in music". Saumell and Cervantes piano, Antonio Ma. Romeu piano, Maria Cervantes piano, Bola piano, Lecuona piano, Bebo piano, Guzmán piano, Emiliano's Chucho piano. Not only in popular music, even in the sphere of the "classical" piano, Cuba has had and has a surprising level. In my case, this tradition has been and is a formidable incentive. I learn incessantly, as a pianist and composer, from my predecessors and my contemporaries, and I live permanently in debt of gratitude to them.

I can not say that I "chose" this instrument. The reality is that one does not choose many things in this life. If it did not sound a bit bombastic, I would prefer to say that the piano chose me. But in any case that is something that I will have to demonstrate with my work. The guitar (and especially "the guitar of my brother Sergio", which is from many points of view, unique in our music) played a decisive role in my training and in my idea of music.

In my early youth, the guitar of the deep trova that I heard and saw in Santiago de Cuba, it can be said that he decided my destiny as a composer. I think my way of playing the piano owes a lot to the guitar, but instinctively the piano exercised a greater fascination for me. My relationship with him was not always easy. It is a very demanding and very possessive instrument, but I think that over time that relationship has been refined. I think I have learned to listen to him and when he is silent, to understand his silence. The silence contained in a piano is impressive. And I have wished that all that silence is transformed into music, without ceasing to be that silence. It is a deep friendship relationship. And it's forever.

The piano gives me a feeling of complicity and companionship: an invitation to dialogue that perhaps implies, in the end, an exchange of loneliness.

José María Vitier García-Marruz

    More posts

    Leave a comment

    More in Articles

    Help support our magazine

    • Donate •

    Become a Patreon