Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas is one of the finest performers of the Cuban Classical Guitar School. He is a sophisticated virtuoso on his instrument and an ambassador of Cuban culture. On Wednesday 20 May he teams up with Grammy award nominee (and former teacher) Eduardo Martin to present a series of thrilling guitar duets.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your music?
Maria Alvares Rios, Leo Brouwer, Eduardo Martín and Jose Antonio (Ñico) Rojas
Give the readers an idea of what you’ll be doing at The Forge and why it is a special performance for you.
I’ll be teaming up with Eduardo Martín, a great guitarist and composer from Cuba. We will be introducing some of his iconic music for two guitars to Londoners. This is an amazing privilege because Eduardo is one of today’s foremost composers for guitar and his style is very vibrant and alive. It recreates the Caribbean experience with sounds. It is a performance that should not be missed.
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
To base your life and career on basically messing around with sounds. It’s all very juvenile, isn’t it?
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
Is there even a bad thing about it?
What’s your favourite season and why?
Winter, because it levels my head and I can think clearly. It is so different from being in Cuba where it is scorching hot all year around.
What do you do on your day off?
Exercise, reading loads and going out, …..admin?
What and where is your secret gem in London?
Hampstead Heath late at night, I used to go there after practicing in the evenings. I would go on top of the hill and look over the city.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Playing around the world and collaborating with incredible people from all disciplines across the arts.
Why did you first get into music?
When I was 3 years old my mother realized that I was sensitive to music because I would start crying every Sunday at 4pm. She would be doing house chores while watching TV, and there was this programme called Tales of Mystery and Horrors with very spooky music. Every time the TV series started I would start crying with it. Soon afterwards she took me to a children’s choir and I started singing and playing percussion.
Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas performs at The Forge on Wednesday 20 May.