lunedì 24 febbraio 2014

Interview with Giulia Ballarè - first part

Hello Giulia, welcome to Blog Chitarra e Dintorni. When did you start playing guitar and why? As in many Italian families, we have always listened to a lot of music and of all kinds, from Italian operas by Verdi and Rossini to italian pop music ... Also my parents have always participated in pour parish’s musical life: my mother sang and my father played the guitar. Having one guitar at home, therefore, I grew up very close to her and at one point it was my father who taught me my first chords until, exhausted his knowledge, he decided to send me to lesson to better study this instrument!

What kind of studies did you make and what is your musical background? At age 11, I was admitted to the Conservatory "Guido Cantelli" of Novara, the city where I live. A path along 12 years (traditional undergraduate and graduate interpretation): the early years of the traditional with Maestro Francesco Biraghi and then nine years under the guidance of Maestro Guido Fichtner. I was lucky to get an Erasmus scholarship during the last year of the three years of interpretation and I went to study in Spain, in Murcia. There I met Carlos Piñana, owner of one of the few teaching posts for Flamenco in the Spanish Conservators, unusual and rare because flamenco, although widespread, is considered a street’s art. By this contact with this kind of Spanish music my passion for the guitar is definitely increased, and I was able to to enhance and refine my technique!

What guitars did you play?
My first guitar ever was my mother’s one , with whom she played in parish’s oratory. Once admitted to the Conservatory Maestro Biraghi advised me an Alhambra S - 3C, certainly better than the plywood guitar that I had and I still play it in my home sitting on the balcony in summer ..
After I have completed the examination of the 5th year in the Conservatory, Maestro Fichtner, like all teachers , made a serious talk with my family! In fact arrived at a certain point of the studies is necessary to begin to invest much more money in a better instrument : the growing technical abilities and difficulties of the music dealt with and must be supported by an " lutherie instrument ", this was the magic word that found their way into my vocabulary (and even in daddy’s wallet!) . So I ordered a guitar by Renato Barone, following the advice of Guido Fichtner who already had one ... a beautiful guitar, which I still use now to teach , but obviously very fragile because in 2005 - the same year in which this one had been built – it suffered an accident at the top, because of the humidity , incident immediately solved by the master luthier .
During the Biennium my knowledge were ever increasing , and also my needs ! I realized that was not enough studying and studying for hours : the Barone guitar had nothing else to offer to me … I realized I had to try something else , I tried many, many guitars until a bit of luck helped me in my research: I found on internet that a collector in Ferrara was selling a 1999 Thomas Humphrey, which he bought ten years before , reading a post in the italian guitar magazine Seicorde .
It was curious to get this guitar. Ferrara was to be only the first stage of my research .. but it turned out to be the last one: in fact, when I was just a 12 years old kid and I still played the Alhambra , I read that Seicorde magazine , I saw the review of this strange guitar : the inclined plane , the rounded bottom , a beautiful rosette , but especially ... the hight price of 24,000,000 lire ! It was only a dream, and who would have guessed that, 10 years after, I would have been faced with just this instrument!
Today, it is now three years of playing the Humphrey and who knows how long I will play it..

... continues tomorrow...

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