mercoledì 26 settembre 2012

Interview with Geoffrey Morris, first part

Italian Translation

The first question is always the classic one: how does it start your love and interest for guitar and what instruments do you play or have you played?

Like so many guitarists of my generation I was first attracted to the guitar through Rock music. In fact I played rock or jazz up until my 18th birthday and only then did I have the chance to study classical guitar. I think I didn’t learn to read music until i was 16 years old. I did study piano as a young child but I hated it. These days I play baroque guitar, 19th century guitar, modern classical guitar and very occassionally, the electric guitar.
What was your musical training, with which teachers have you studied and what impression they left in your music?

I was very lucky to study at the Victorian College of the Arts with Jochen Schubert who was a classical guitarist who emigrated from Germany to Australia in the late 1960’s. He gave me a real passion for exploring the instruments repertoire in a very broad way and he had a much better attitude to new music than most classical guitarists. Once I finished my degree I went to Europe and took lessons in new music from Stefano Cardi in Rome and Magnus Andersson in Stockholm. They were very different musicians and it was quite a culture shock for a 21 year old. I think in many ways I have learnt the most though through being an avid listener of recorded music of all genres and by being a constant researcher of texts written on the guitar from the renaissance on.

How did stat your interest about the contemporary repertoire, and what are the stylistic currents in which you recognize yourself most?

As a student Leo Brouwer’s studies were a great eye and ear opener. From there I went to the recodings of Julian Bream particularly the Royal Winter Music by Hans Werner Henze. After a few years I managed to start working with the Elision Ensemble and this brought me in contact with the music of Franco Donatoni and of the English modernists such as Brian Ferneyhough. I’m not sure in what ‘current’ I recognise myself although I certainly feel very far removed from the new romantics or at least those composers who seem to so well exploit the growing gulf between new music and the audience by writing psuedo- pop music.

Berio in his essay "A remembrance to the future," wrote: ".. A pianist who is a specialist about classical and romantic repertoire, and plays Beethoven and Chopin without knowing the music of the twentieth century, it is also off as a pianist who is specialist about contemporary music and plays with hands and mind that have never been crossed in depth by Beethoven and Chopin. " You play both traditional classical and contemporary repertoire ... do you recognize yourlsef in these words?

Early on in my playing career I only played new music. I think it is really bad for performers and now my interests are so broad that it can at times lead to a kind of paralysis through too many choices. I no longer want to play recitals which are only new music at least not at the present. The idea of study, research and following a consistent musical journey is in many ways more improtant to me than performance. I think the idea of playing a broad repertoire represents a desire on the part of the artist to experience the full history and breadth of their repertoire.

Let’s talk about marketing. How much do you think it’s important for a modern musician? I mean: how much is crucial to be good promoters of themselves and their works in music today?

Well I’m terrible with this. The website I have was part of a prize I was awarded but I’m sure that self-promotion is probably crucial at least to those who are trying to perform all the time. There will be musicians who are better at promotion than playing! But I guess that we have to hope that quality wins out in the end.

to be continued

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