0d502ac463f5471799e1c75b768cff87 Contemporary Guitars Blog: Interview with Maurizio Pisati, second part

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interview with Maurizio Pisati, second part

In a lot of your music is often captures the presence now more evident, now more transformed, concealed or distorted of the guitar, whether it is present with a classic, electricity or electronically processed sound. How important is the presence of the guitar in your music?

The guitar is my instrument. As a composer I get pleasure in finding ideas for every instrument but the guitar is the place of the finest automatisms of my fingers, and with them “she” is kind and friendly, so that while I compose I had to get a certain "distance" to avoid writing pieces "for Guitar" (no illusions, the pieces by Chopin are not "for Pianist") and obtain new music’s scores. In the preface to my “Sette Studi” (© Ricordi199) with conscious assumption I have referred to them as "a new Guitar, an idea of the instrument attentive to its inner sounds and musical depth perception. In my Guitar music, when the sound that traditionally tasks, imposes itself on "others" sounds to a different level of noise, itself, the ordinary becomes different, it stands sharp on "alternatives” sounds. The fact is that sounds do not exist by themselves beyond their treatment: ordinary / extraordinary distinction are ours, a stopped sound is not a height played differently. The much-discussed low audibility of the guitar is not explored here as a matter of loudness, but about quality of the sound elements and their combinations, about levels of audibility made readable through the differences. The first performance of Seven studies took place July 29, 1990 in Darmstadt by Elena Càsoli invited to the XXXV edition of Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, and this music has always been dedicated to her."

Elena Càsoli, Jurgen Ruck, Magnus Andersson, Geoffrey Morris, Massimo Lonardi, Emanuele Forni. You have worked with several classical guitarists, how it was working with each of them? What are for you their characteristics and differences?

Eh! This is a nice list, and I would like to add also Stefan Östersjö, Pablo Gomez, Caroline Delume, Arturo Tallini, Sante Tursi, Virginia Arancio, Izhak Elias. I always talk gladly about "my" Interpreters. I would not call any of them "Classical Guitarist" (but the definition in terms of their training, is correct): these are artists who are actively involved in our times, which on stage they risk of an autonomous vision of music. i think that are necessari some personal and chronological distinctions: the artistic relationship with Elena Càsoli dates back to the Conservatory’s years. I was informed: she was the cleverest and I phoned her, we were both still students, asking her to play my first composition prized in a contest. Then she saw the birth of the SetteStudi, she was the first performer and the Studies are dedicated to her, she made possible for other guitarists to verify that what they saw written was readable and executable, she has shared with me the vision of a new world on the instrument. The visions continue, alongside the rest of life. I place closer to her other longstanding performers, Magnus Andersson for whom I composed to "Senti?" for Guitar and String Orchestra, Jürgen Ruck who wanted the "Caprichos de burros y simios" on paintings of Goya, Massimo Lonardi, an accomplice in a “lute’s raid”, until Geoffrey Morris, the first performer of Theatre of Dawn, an opera theater in which the guitar has the central and soloist role. Latest knowledge, in the last decade, are Pablo Gomez, Caroline Delume, Stefan Östersjö and Arturo Tallini performer of "Guitar Clock I" for three or infinite guitars, Sante Tursi, known on-line and then "alive" after I saw, posted on the web a strong execution of Studies in Lima, until the younger generation: Emanuele Forni which have "tasted" all, classic, the new interpretations of Dowland in "Catullus" or pieces for Guitar and Electric AudioVideo, up to Virginia Arancio, with her fresh and decided interpretations, or Izhak Elias, also a performer of Studies and co-principal of OER, for a Dutch university.

Berlioz said that composing for classical guitar because it was difficult to do so must first be guitarists, this phrase was often used as a justification for the limited repertoire of classical guitar with other instruments like piano and violin. At the same time has been increasingly "undermined" by the growing interest in the guitar (whether classical, acoustic, electric, MIDI) collects in contemporary music. As a composer and guitarist, how much do you think that it is still true in the phrase of Berlioz?

The answer is twofold: repertoire and compositional approach. For the known paucity of the repertoire we sometimes have to thank the guitarists themselves for this, such as in the first 900 they have simply lost a slice of history by sharing the joys of invention for " los nubarrones de la impotencia creativa". There are also historical and organological reasons, that is not here the place to argue about but that should not be underestimated and that “flow” in our time, where the guitar has a new original repertoire, also reflecting the best balance between instruments and room’s acoustics and the interests of composers to "the" Guitars. The compositional approach, as I said before, it was for me the opposite. Berlioz would have been able to compose for any instrument, but it's true that can be tough to manage interval relationships and various techniques on an instrument with a so specific provision of the register and, above all, the endless possibilities of issue when you just begin to think about the two hands as actually "2" and not as a single mechanism finely coordinated. But this is a question of "craft" and ideas, any more as it would be composing for any other instrument not directly played: the composer must know the tools and I think he should have the quality that I like to call "absolute imagination”, at least as good as absolute pitch, certainly more essential.

to be continued

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