Cover Art © Günter Mattei


Frank Emilio Flynn, Cuarteto Tradición Cubana, Olga González Cordo, Dúo Cachibache, Cuarteto Carenas, Clave y Guaguancó, La Cantoría Coralillo, Cuarteto Fénix, Dúo Enigma, Andrés Alén, Roxana Brínguez y Manuel Suárez Silva, Orquesta Sublime, Ernesto Lecuona, Trío Tesis, Dúo Síncopa, Tambores de Bejucal.

A production of Winter & Winter © 1999

Cuadernos de la Habana [Notebooks of Havana] is a miniature art gallery: the five CD-notebooks are diaries and sketch-pads covering slowly passing days and nights in Havana. The Italian writer and painter Mario Luis Malfatti collected souvenirs like any other tourist – bills, receipts, concert tickets, labels and beer mats – and stuck them down amongst his drawings, sketches and water-colours on the pages of old food ration books. Then he worked with the producers to create a soundtrack to match his explorations.

The project works like a beautiful, dreamy, heat-hazed accompaniment to a continental art film. Ingredients are drawn from unlikely sources: arrival at Central Station, street sounds, checking into a hotel, breakfast coffees, lunches, meetings, rehearsals, shows, visits to the homes of musician friends, reunions, low-key impromptu performances in homes, dropping into a children’s choir rehearsal with piano… The music and ambient sounds come and go, fading into the background as Malfatti gets lost in painting, and rising as he turns from his pad and listens. We follow his ears and eyes.