Interview with Giuseppe Buscemi (October 2018)
Dear Giuseppe, welcome to the blog Neuguitars, how did start your interest for the guitar born?
Hi Andrea! It’s a pleasure to be hosted on your blog. Everything started in the most spontaneous way: one evening in August, when I was only nine years old, my father came home after listening to a concert, bringing a present for me. He had just bought me a classical guitar! So I immediately took my first lessons, learning the chords and playing some songs. Later I met Baldo Calamusa, the master with whom I started to study classical music, who then prepared me for admission to the conservatory, in which I studied with different masters, including Piero Viti and Stefano Mileto, before meeting the my current guide, Giovanni Puddu.
What studies did you do and what is your musical background?
I made the typically classical studies, carried out mainly at the conservatory and at the International Piano Academy of Imola in the chamber music class of Nazzareno Carusi.
In addition to the solo repertoire, I have always had a propensity for the chamber music: I believe that chamber music, as well as being a valid test, is the best way to interact with other musicians, obtaining an enrichment that otherwise would be precluded. I play in various chamber ensembles, the most particular of which is that with pianist Gianni Bicchierini.
With what guitars do you play and with whom did you play?
Since 2013 I play with a guitar with the top made in spruce built by the Italian luthier Guido Di Lernia. In the past I played with a Contreras guitar.
How did you start the idea of such a special album like “Come, Heavy Sleep” and why did you choose dot.Guitar as a label to produce it?
I believe that, especially nowadays, a record is a business card, a useful document to introduce yourself to someone else. For this reason I decided to choose this specific program, because I believe that the 20th century is the century in which the guitar can have something more to say compared to other periods, certainly less fortunate for guitar literature. I chose DotGuitar for the publication of the album because I think it’s a label that can give good visibility to young people who for the first time look at the world of record production.
For this your first record you have chosen a decidedly contemporary repertoire … Frank Martin, Benjamin Britten … but can we still define Quatre Pieces Breves and the Nocturnal as contemporary music? After more than fifty years it would not be appropriate to think of them as classics?
I believe they can not be defined contemporaries precisely because of the meaning that the word “contemporary” has in the musical field: rather I would catalog these pieces within modern literature.
If you listen to a different interpretation of a song that you have already played and which you want to perform, keep in mind this listening or do you prefer to proceed in total independence?
It depends on what the listening itself inspires me: I try to always remain faithful to what my point of view is, but listening is often a good enrichment for the interpretive perspectives of a piece.
What meaning has improvisation in your musical research? Can we go back to talking about improvisation in a repertoire so codified as the classical one or do we have to go out and turn to other repertoires, jazz, contemporary, etc?
Improvisation in classical music, according to my point of view, has a different meaning from that of the language of jazz or other musical genres, in which improvisation involves the impromptu creation of the main material of the musical body, or melody. Wanting to relate to the concept of “improvisation” in the classical repertoire, I believe that a “sudden” interpreter on aspects that do not modify the structure, the rhythm or even the notes of the piece, but which are in fact equally important: the speed with which it does an accelerating, the way in which it enlarges a feeling, the way in which it manages the different dynamics among them, the touch it gives to every single note, the breath that it gives to each sentence. It is a series of elements that have a clear definition in our mind, even before we put them into practice, but which each time acquire a new essence, because from time to time we are free to realize them as we see fit. And being a choice to operate on the moment, in my opinion it is “improvisation”.
What is the role of error in your musical vision?
It has no roles, because I think it is only a momentary inaccuracy, but of little importance in the case in which it is a technical-typographical error: a wrong note is only a distraction, both for the listener and for the interpreter, but fortunately it does not affect the value and the yield of the entire work, which instead is based on aspects that are much more important, such as the interpretive research made on the piece itself.
And what do you think is the function of a moment of crisis? I ask you because of the times in which we live …
Surely we are not going through an easy time, especially as regards the artistic-cultural field: due to the economic cuts of recent times, the artistic scene has greatly reduced, and consequently for an artist it becomes increasingly difficult to find concerts . I am, however, of the idea that we must not lose hope, trying with every strength to stay afloat. As for all moments, it is something transitory, which sooner or later will pass (or at least I hope)!
Shall you recommend us five essential discs for you important, to always have with you .. the classic five discs to take on an island …..
What I did not say about the way in which my musical interest was born concerns the genres that inspired and fascinated me from an early age and throughout my adolescence: these are musical genres like rock and metal, particularly favoring the solo scene of some electric guitar virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Michael Romeo, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert. I would have hundreds of records that I would like to bring with me (of course, even classical music), but if I had to choose five, I think I would not give up what originally made me passionate about the guitar. I would therefore choose:
Made in Japan – Deep Purple
Rising Force – Yngwie Johann Malmsteen
The Divine Wings of Tragedy – Simphony X
Scenes from a memory – Dream Theater
Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
I guess this is an out-of-the-box response, but I’m sure that in Favignana (which is the island where I would go, in spite of Hawaii and the Caribbean) would certainly appreciate! 🙂
What are your next projects? What are you working on?
The next project is a record for guitar and piano: it is an unusual formation, but for which it was written very interesting music, especially in the ‘900, musical period on which will focus all the disc program, which will also see the presence of a piece by Carlo Galante, written for the occasion for me and Gianni Bicchierini, my great friend and pianist with whom I will record this record.