Victor Villena tango workshop

In my last posting I shared my photo session with my friend Petrea’s tango band in Edinburgh. The bandoneon player from her band, Roberto, organised a weekend of workshops to learn from the expert bandoneon player Victor Villena  (ex Gotan project and currently playing with Quintetto EL DESPUES).  He was teaching about tango idiosyncrasies and techniques and how to play tango together as an orchestra. I was kindly invited to enjoy the rehearsal and take a few record shots of the get-together.

Photographically the lighting in the room was difficult for 2 reasons. It was low level, and it had a mixture of daylight from an overhead skylight and tungsten from a number of wall mounted sidelights. I have often had problems with that kind of mixed lighting giving an odd colour cast that can be impossible to fix.  I’m afraid that I took the last refuge of a scoundrel and solved the colour cast in most of the pictures by using black and white conversion. Getting a decent shutter speed was a challenge too; my fast 50mm f1.4 gave me a speed of only 1/125th at f1.4 using ISO 1000. Anyway, light problems aside, the music was fabulous and I’m in serious danger of falling in love with tango music.

Double Bass: James Stewart – Edinburgh

The strings:

Piano: Marc Fallon – Greenock

Teacher: Victor Villena – Paris, and

Bandoneon: Marianne Vinther Olesen – Denmark

And there they are in the gentile surroundings of the “Counting House” in Edinburgh. I wish you could have heard them.

Cello: Maria Rodriguez Reina – Spanish – London

Violin: Suzanne Senior –  Edinburgh

Bandoneon: Juanjo Passo – Sweden based

The organiser of this amazing event:

Bandoneon: Roberto Rabinovich – Edinburgh

Bandoneon: Victor Villena – Paris

When I was chatting with Victor and apologising for not knowing much about tango music, I explained that my only contact with it was my copy of the Gotan Project’s album. This is a real favourite of mine and I play it a lot. Imagine my shock when he told me that he was the bandoneon player on that album!

Flute: Sharon Dowsett – Edinburgh

Violin: Cathy Johnson

Violin: Petrea Cooney Edinburgh although very Irish, and I’m happy to say my friend.

Bandoneon: Marianne Vinther Olesen – Copenhagen (Denmark)

Thanks to everyone for entertaining me so beautifully while I got to do my favourite thing!


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