Interview with Marco Caiazza
When did you start playing the guitar and why? What studies did you make and what is your musical background?
I started playing the guitar at nine years old, thanks to my father, a person with an incredible artistic sensibility. His teachings on sound, phrasing and songwriting are still valid to me today, and above all he taught me to appreciate art in all its forms and inspired to increase my curiosity, my knowledge and the search for beautiful.
Later I graduated with Lode at the Conservatory of S. Pietro a Majella in Naples with Francesco de Sanctis. My training, however, was largely due to the encounter with great musicians from whom I tried to “steal” everything I could and my passion for the piano (which I still study) and composition. I also received the second level Secondary Level Diploma at the Conservatory of Music G. Martucci of Salerno with Antonio Grande.
After graduation I perfected with Sergio Cantella, Aniello Desiderio, Lucio Matarazzo and Frédéric Zigante.
With what guitars do you play and have you played?
From 2013 I’m playing a beautiful guitar in the cedar made by Roberto De Miranda, with whom I recorded the record “Medallón Antiguo”.
With the same instrument I’m recording my new CD.
Before I have always played guitars of another very good lute maker, Alessandro Marseglia, a tireless researcher, of a unique precision. I recently tried a new instrumentl that fascinated me so much and I think it will soon be in my hands!
I also play with a guitar built by my father who, beyond emotional value, is a beautiful instrument with which I also performed concerts for Guitar and Orchestra.
How did start the idea to create your last cd “Medallon Antiguo” dedicated to the music of Agustin Barrios? How did you choose of music for this composer?
Barrios is a figure who has always fascinated me, I have performed his compositions since my first concerts, I have always feel him “in my strings”. I was keen on making a monograph on an author who is probably considered the greatest guitarist-composer of all time, a bit like Chopin for the Piano and Paganini for Violin.
Why did you choose DotGuitar for the production of the record?
I have proposed this record project to various labels, but when Lucio Matarazzo (dotGuitar director) learned of this engraving, he contacted me by offering me good contractual conditions, also dotGuitar is a label that boasts many internationally renowned artists, imposing itself as a unique reality in world distribution.
What is improvisation in your music search? Can we go back talking about improvisation in a repertoire so codified as the classic one or shall we turn to other repertoires, jazz, contemporary, etc?
If you intend to completely shuffle the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic improvisation, then I would say that it is better to turn to other repertoires.
As a composer, I would not like to see my compositions completely disgusted … I would only accept it if Stefano Bollani did it!
What is the role of error in your music vision?
I always tell my students to think only about music, sound, phrasing, and dynamics. If you focus only on being precise you run the risk of playing without direction, without pathos. It’s the same when it’s recorded, if you think about cleaning it is likely to produce sterile executions: sometimes a phrase with some “defect” has a lot more to say about an aseptically “clean” one.
And then accepting any mistakes you live more serenely!
Sometimes I feel that in our time the music’s history runs without a particular interest in its chronological course, in our music library the first and the later, the past and the future become interchangeable elements, could this be the risk to an interpreter and a composer of a uniform vision? Of a musical “globalization”?
I would say no. Indeed I think this is a fundamental aspect especially for those who want to create new music. Understanding in depth the different ages and the various styles enriches us with knowledge that “open” our horizons. There is no better way to study composition, than to read the scores of great musicians of all ages.
Which composer (or music period) do you think is easier to appreciate for a non-musician? Do you think they can even appreciate technically more difficult pieces or do you need to resort to something more … immediate and catchy?
I think good music can be appreciated by anyone who has the sensitivity and, why not, the cultural capability to understand it, regardless of whether it is a musician or not.
That being said, I believe that the energy that emits Stefano Bollani in his concerts is something incredible. Here, I think that for a non-musician, an artist like Bollani may be the trait d’union between the two worlds.
Shall you recommend us five discs for you indispensable, to have always with you .. the classic five discs for the desert island ..
It’s really hard to point out just five discs, because often, listening to a disc is related to particular emotional states that characterize moments of our lives. In any case I list the first five discs I have uploaded in my iPod playlist and I listen when I’m traveling: Tierra di Vicente Amigo, Carioca by Stefano Bollani, Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert, Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by Glenn Gould (the 1981 version!) and Vai mo ‘ by Pino Daniele.
Who would you like to play with and who would you like to play? What music do you usually listen to?
I would like to play in a trio with my daughters Gabriella and Giorgia one day!
I usually listen to a lot of piano music, from classical to jazz: Pollini, Bollani, Gould, Petrucciani, Jarrett and others.
What are your next projects? What are you working on?
I have just been publishing these two revisions, in two volumes, of the Integral Studies and Preludes by Agustín Barrios edited by Casa Editrice Ut Orpheus for the Lucio Matarazzo Collection. A job that has attracted me so much and that it seemed to me the natural follow-up to my research and studies of recent years on the great Paraguayan guitarist-composer.
I’m also completing the recordings of the tracks that will be included on my next album: “Agustín Barrios, Complete Studies and Preludes”, always published by dotGuitar and whose release is scheduled for September. For 2018 I plan to record a record with my compositions and a monograph with my transcripts of works by Johann Sebastian Bach.