by Francesco Bruno
The guitarist and songwriter Andrea Tarquini is among the organizers of two of the most awaited events of the Acoustic Guitar Village: "Corde & Voci d'Autore" and "New Sounds of Acoustic Music", both devoted to guitarists-songwriters. We interviewed him to have some previews.
The show “Corde & Voci d’Autore” is in memory of Stefano Rosso. You are particularly attached to this songwriter, are not you?
Corde & Voci d’Autore was created to promote precisely the figure of the guitarist-songwriter, so we need to choose a great artist to dedicate this show, and in the past years we chose Stefano Rosso. In this edition we chose to go futher, removing from the logo “in memory of Stefano Rosso”, to open the show to different styles and to dedicate it also to all the other Stefano Rosso in Italy.
In particular, why did you dedicate the show to his memory?
Well, I am not the most objective person to answer… I used to play with Stefano Rosso, and I used to be a friend of his. Since I am a guitarist-songwriter too, after his death I made a disc with his songs, and I reached the final stage of the Tenco Award 2013. But, as I have said, this dedication wanted was meant to show the artistic tradition that we were looking at. It was meant to show our collocation, and after three editions I think it is pretty clear.
Who are the artists performing in this edition?
The event is divided into two parts: on Friday 27 September there is the award “Corde & Voci d’Autore 2019”, taking place within the New Sounds of Acoustic Music. The competitors are six songwriters-guitarists: Marco De Annuntiis, Marta De Lluvia, Valerio Billeri, Miriam Foresti, Gianmaria Simon, and Cristiana Verardo. The jury is formed by music writers, promoters, producers of instruments, etc… The winner is getting an acoustic guitar Taylor. The runner-up will have the opportunity to record his piece at the Transeuropa Recording Studio of Turin, for free. On Sunday 29 there is the show Corde & Voci d’Autore. The artists we chose are all connected with the Italian dialects tradition: this is the theme we chose, and I must say that the artists are wonderful. On the live stage 2, at 1 pm, Lino Straulino is opening the show, with the trio “Vallandorme”. Straulino has made incredible records, and many of them are in the Friuli languages and dialects. Then, there is Giuditta Scorcelletti, an unbelievable songwriter, proposing the Tuscanian world. The third and last artist is Davide Van De Sfroos, who does not need any introduction.
The contest “New Sounds of Acoustic Music” allows young musicians to perform in an important event such as Cremona Musica. How did you choose the artists?
It was not easy to select the artists since the candidates were more than 30. We had to leave home some very interesting artists. I think that there were at least three more artists that merited to be here at Cremona, but contests force you to make some choices. We have listened many times all the proposals, with the organization of the Acoustic Guitar Village. Next year we would like to organize some auditions across Italy. Anyway, these selections demonstrate that in Italy there are many new artists, but mayor labels do not see them, as they are considered “old”, musically speaking, and expensive to promote. Fortunately, abroad the situation is much different. Here, at “Corde & Voci d’Autore”, we think there is no old and new music, but good and not-so-good things.
It is difficult to define a genre as songwriting as there are so many artists and changes. What do you think is the element that connects them all?
Literally, songwriters are those that sing their own songs. Practically, it is something much deeper. Despite changes, in Italy, we consider songwriters those that write and sing songs that are made with some narrative elements, similar to poetry and literature, with music that, despite being open to innovation and influences, use a series of archetypes from folk, jazz, and blues. Anyway, I often hear people defining “songwriters” musicians that do not share this narrative, that can be booth raffinate and folk.
The guitar, particularly in its acoustic version, has a significant role in outlining the figure of the songwriter. What do you think makes this instrument so suitable for songwriters?
The acoustic guitar boom obviously comes from the American folk in all its derivations, but when that music went to Europe and Italy in the late 1950s, it produced a sort of Italian variation of that tradition by giving it an interpretation often of the highest artistic level. Furthermore, the acoustic guitar is in itself a perfect synthesis between the classical guitar and other traditional European instruments such as the Greek bouzouki... in short, it is an instrument that is both contemporary but effective in interpreting even the oldest worlds. It is an instrument with which, thanks to the many possible techniques (plectrum, fingers, etc.) of songwriters-guitarists, technically expert music narrators.