Interview with Cinzia Milani (November 2017)
Hello Cinzia, let’s talk about this new cd dedicated to guitarist Ida Presti, how did start the idea of making this cd “A Tribute to Ida Presti Music for Solo Guitar”?
Hi Andrea! Ida has always been an example for me, being not only a great guitarist but also a woman; if we think about his time, we can certainly say she was a pioneer. For a long time I wanted to give her a tribute and this year seemed to me the best time for the 50th anniversary of her disappearance.
Why did you choose Brilliant Classic as the record company for this amazing record?
For years, Brilliant Classics has a privileged place in classical guitar, and now listeners know they can find a large repertoire in their catalog. Unfortunately, major labels recordings make different editorial choices and are still struggling to understand, in my opinion, the historical importance of some guitar projects.
In the booklet accompanying the cd you write that you have found many unpublished compositions dedicated to the Presti, how did you manage to recover these works, that were missing?
The CD is the result of an enthralling historical research that has led me to know also the descendants of composers who were contemporaries of Ida Presti; as in the plot of a fascinating novel, whenever I found something unpublished, a new road opened up to other discoveries and unexpected meetings and news, like an infinite circle.
I recently started to love the contemporaries of Segovia, I discovered the existence of a large number of excellent guitarists who, for various reasons, if had failed to excel at the level reached by Segovia, they also made several recordings, often 78 , of which recent re-releases are being released thanks to small independent record labels, what do you think might have been the role and figure of Ida Presti?
Ida Presti was a unique guitarist, as all the great artists have outlined a personal style that has given birth to a particular educational school. I think that talented people and innate musicality, although somehow set up and follow a discipline, eventually develop their own unique technique as well as a unique and unrepeatable music experience. And it is necessary to be like her to be a great interpreter: to be able to pass the technical part with personal solutions and be free to express themselves with the awareness of reaching the soul of the listeners in the deep and shaping emotions with the tips of the fingers on the strings.
What is the role of error in your music vision?
Without a mistake there would be no search in every direction. And in any case dealing with ourselves and our limits leads us to overcome them, or to try to overcome them, and to be able to express our true essence more and more.
And what do you think is the function a crisis moment?
It’s a chance to figure out whether you’re on the right track or not and the time “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.“
Three years ago, in your previous interview, you said that “I do not like to talk about what I’m going to do, ideas are always plenty and it’s great not to anticipate new things.” I ask you the same, what are your next projects? What are you working on?
In my head there is always a hunchback of ideas and projects to be realized, not just musicals, not just concerts. I’ll only talk about the two big upcoming news: the first concerns me in guitar duo version with Massimo Delle Cese, #Duo: repertoire faced and proposed to the public with the smile and with the longing to make music and enjoy those who listen to us.
The second is really a preview, I’m already working on the next cd, but I can not fully reveal the title yet; give you a clue: there will be another woman-to-woman tribute!
Look .. a few years ago I read a nice book by Bill Milkowski entitled “Rockers, Jazzbos and Visionaries”. Carlos Santana at one point replied that: “Some people have talent, some people have a vision. And vision is more important than talent, obviously.” After all these years passed playing, looking for new ideas widening the precedents … what is your vision?
Surely nowadays more than ever “vision is important” but without talent you can only do great numbers and not quality. The “danger” of today is the huge sound and video material that is on the net that spans at all levels, even the worst! And knowing and especially choosing is not so easy for everyone; this leads to no longer having the clear ideas of what to pursue. We are in a time when unfortunately it seems to be more important to be; and so at this time it is crucial that “the container also has a content”.
I try to always be in the present, with a well-aimed look to the past and a foot in the future; we are the fruit of history and we are responsible for what will be.
As an interpreter, I bow to the story, making it revive and making its current, and this is an example. And so I try to tell my music journey by creating another story, collaborating with several composers, some of whom have written songs for me, understanding their contemporary and sometimes futuristic language as well as experimenting with my compositive ideas.