8

Ralph Towner: The Accidental Guitarist

Mario Calvitti By

Sign in to view read count
AAJ: Some of your guitar compositions have entered the repertoire of some classical players, and have also been recorded. Have you heard their renditions, and what do you think of them?

RT: I'm delighted to hear that a few classical people have taken an interest in my writing and playing. I was extremely flattered to meet some of the great classical guitarists such as John Williams, Manuel Barrueco, Leo Brouwer and the Assad brothers who said they were fans of my music. I hope to make a few inroads in being included in some of the classical player's programs.

AAJ: How long have you been staying in Italy, and how did the move change your musical lifestyle?

RT: I've been living in Italy for 24 years, 10-11 in Palermo and then Rome. I think my musical life is still going because of my wonderful italian love, Mariella Losardo. I was 50 when we met, she already had a great career as a theater actress in Toni Servillo's group and was traveling a lot, doing like 8 months tours for years and years. She was a fan of my music and of Oregon's music, thanks to one of our friends, Tobia Vaccaro, a musician in Palermo, who was a huge fan of Oregon and was playing it for everybody. I met Mariella at a concert. I had been living alone for 10 years in Seattle after I had left New York. I met her and that was it. It took up to a year or so to get to the place where we moved in together. She's an italian actress and I was coming from the U.S. but my work was in Europe anyway... I have a European booking agency, a European record company, and all the concerts all over the world. So it was easy for me to relocate, I was so accustomed to Europe anyway, and it wasn't a cultural shock even to move to Palermo, because I wanted her to keep her career.

AAJ: What are your current active projects?

RT: Let me see... the MGT trio [with fellow guitarists Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan] is still active, but there are logistics problems. Slava lives in Australia and is very busy, as is Wolfgang, so coordinating that trio is very difficult as much as we love to play together. Slava is suggesting that we do another Australian tour, we have done three of those already. My wife loves Australia, so she's very excited. Slava has come to Europe for some concerts, there was a kind of honorary concert for me in Stuttgart, and both he and Wolfgang were available, so they agreed to play half the concert with me and I played the other half. That was nice, it was the last time we played together [in 2015, Ed.]

AAJ: Anything else coming in your future?

RT: There is a nice theatre piece that we did with Mariella, I play the music live. It's a piece called "Madeleine Suite," it's based on a short story of Marguerite Yourcenar. We first performed that years ago, and did a version for the Swiss radio, and also performed it in concerts. We're about to do a video tape of it. Oregon is releasing a new record, we just finally mixed it so that's coming out on CAMjazz, and hopefully we'll do some touring with that. I have a few other concerts basically spread around, but no big projects at this point.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aaron Parks: Rising To The Challenge Interview Aaron Parks: Rising To The Challenge
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Generation Next: Four Voices From Seattle Interview Generation Next: Four Voices From Seattle
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 19, 2017
Read Miles Mosley Gets Down! Interview Miles Mosley Gets Down!
by Andrea Murgia
Published: June 16, 2017
Read Eri Yamamoto: The Poet’s Touch Interview Eri Yamamoto: The Poet’s Touch
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Tom Green: A Man And His Trombone" Interview Tom Green: A Man And His Trombone
by Nick Davies
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Dominic Duval: Follow Your Melody" Interview Dominic Duval: Follow Your Melody
by Maxim Micheliov
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Thomas Marriott: Balance in Life and Music" Interview Thomas Marriott: Balance in Life and Music
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Jim Ridl: Opening Doors in the Big Apple" Interview Jim Ridl: Opening Doors in the Big Apple
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.