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#2127876 - 08/04/13 09:20 AM Una Corda - the soft pedal
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1769
Loc: KZ
Tucked away in the back streets of old Havana and a world apart from the tourist trade is the National Workshop of Instrument Repair warehouse. When the Russians became Cubas close ally in the 1960s and 70s they used the workshop as a training centre for what is now the current generation of Cuban piano tuners and technicians

Two classes of blind and partially sighted tuners graduated from here-the first in 1970, and another class two years later.
However, with the fall of the Soviet Union, this training programme ceased, and the workshop fell steadily into disrepair

Due to the US trade embargo, piano technicians on the island cannot buy the tools and materials they need, and as the older generation of Cuban tuners retires, the skills that go with the tools are also disappearing

Pianists in Cuba face challenges that people in Europe can't imagine. The island's tropical climate is particularly hard on things made from wood.
Now an Irish group is helping to restore thousands of pianos that have fallen into disrepair

Since 2006 Irish piano tuners have been going to Havana to help train local technicians.
Under the title "Una Corda - The Irish Cuban Piano project" and working in conjunction with the Havana Arts Authority and the Cuban Ministry of Culture they have now been given the responsibility of restoring and re-equipping the National Workshop there

Over the last number of years tourists travelling to Cuba have made a real contribution to the project by becoming one of Una Corda's mules. Volunteers simply carry a package of piano parts or tools with them in their luggage when they go. So far over three hundred kilos of parts have been carried in luggage all with the approval of the Cuban authorities
http://vimeo.com/25626343

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#2127977 - 08/04/13 02:41 PM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: Maximillyan]
panche23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 54
Loc: Arizona/Calif
From watching the website you posted (vimeo.com) looks like only vintage
pianos. Guess not much in new pianos being imported to Cuba.

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#2128167 - 08/04/13 09:34 PM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: panche23]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1769
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: panche23
Guess not much in new pianos being imported to Cuba.

I think new pianos in Cuba very no much

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#2128219 - 08/04/13 11:07 PM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: Maximillyan]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1771
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
HI Max,

So, as much as I think this could be a worthwhile thing to do, are you actually asking Americans who visit Cuba to violate the trade embargo by bringing back packages to US soil?
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (an article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2128374 - 08/05/13 08:22 AM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: Maximillyan]
malkin Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
My reading is that the organization asks travelers to take packages into Cuba, not bring them back. I don't know (or care) enough about the trade restrictions to know if such a non-commercial delivery of goods is covered.

Since the organization is based in Ireland, my guess is that they are more involved with Europeans traveling to Cuba anyway.
_________________________
Everything in moderation, including moderation. --Oscar Wilde

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#2128437 - 08/05/13 11:19 AM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: laguna_greg]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1769
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
HI Max,

So, as much as I think this could be a worthwhile thing to do, are you actually asking Americans who visit Cuba to violate the trade embargo by bringing back packages to US soil?

laguna_greg, I think that this needs to be done, namely to break PIANO embargo. I think that people of good will (America and Europe) should not sit idly by while Cuban technicians can not work without the piano parts(packages). I could be wrong, because I live very far in Kazakhstan,former USSR. I have the same problem as the Cuban technicians of piano. As much as possible and I try to repair the old Soviet piano

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMaximillyan?feature=watch

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#2128439 - 08/05/13 11:26 AM Re: Una Corda - the soft pedal [Re: malkin]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1769
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: malkin


Since the organization is based in Ireland, my guess is that they are more involved with Europeans traveling to Cuba anyway.

David Creedon Photography he created this clip
https://vimeo.com/user7583365

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