The guitarist Lucio Balduini He launched To go, an album with compositions by Luis Alberto Spinetta that, without risk of error, is one of the most interesting jobs of 2021. “I took Spinetta’s music as a way of delving into my roots, by the way, the first and fundamental one; his music is a very powerful influence for me “, said the artist during an interview with Clarion.
To go brings together nine compositions from different periods, between 1973 and 2008, which Balduini performs on acoustic guitar.
“My first intention was to change absolutely nothing, neither the harmonies, nor the melodies; the challenge that most motivated me on this album was to be able to express the harmony and also the melody playing alone on the guitar ”, added this musician who has three previous albums, Little light (2007), The divine wind (2012) and The bright forest (2017), which won the Gardel Award for Best Jazz Album.
Lucio Balduini is from General Roca, Río Negro. At 17 he came to Buenos Aires.
-How was the gestation of Para ir?
It was a project that took a long time because I didn’t see it as an album, but at one point I found a lot of arrangements; Besides, I didn’t want to add them to some album, a song here, a song there.
I took the impulse before the pandemic and I realized that I had an extensive repertoire, but always in that guitar-only format and not only that, but with the acoustic guitar because it happened to me that when I did them with the electric guitar it happened to me that many times the themes were diluted, they lost something that I wanted to listen, something more stripped, more austere.
Regarding the choice of themes, Balduini defined the repertoire as capricious. “It is my own desire, songs that I wanted to hear on the guitar, there were others that I wanted to listen to, I couldn’t capture them as I wanted. It took me a long time to find the songsEven the ones that I was choosing, I would abandon them for a time to take them up again with another energy and also think about them “.
And he continues: “The only thing I did with the songs was to change the tonality in some of them so that they sound more stripped down in a lower register, that happened to me with Lovely blue lady. In others, I changed the tonality to be able to find the harmony and the melody and that it can work on the guitar, as for example in For or in Little angel”Said the guitarist.
-When do you say a long time, how much do you mean?
-I started playing for example True thirst Y To go, in 2008, quite a long time ago; as usual music takes me time. There is demand, on the one hand, but I also defend a lot in that creative space, the intuitive, I would say mysterious and, moreover, always I work a lot on patience, although in essence I do not feel like a patient person.
Music has shaped me in this sense, I don’t snatch a song for the desire to touch her or take her to the group. Wait for the song to express itself. I like to touch them, listen to them, discover them. The creative idea is always a little ahead of you and it takes a while to achieve.
Lucio Balduini usually plays with Pipi Piazzolla, the leader of Escalandrum.
From composer to performer
-In recent years you have always stood out for original music proposals, here you are an interpreter, how do you feel in this role?
-I had to develop it, because although it was not forbidden, it was not present either. I wondered what the interpreter is, the artist who interprets and artists like Liliana Herrero immediately come to mind, who takes over the compositions. There is a trade, but the interpreter, without exceptions, is obliged to assume in a meticulous way the investigation of the compositions that he makes.
-How did Spinetta’s music turn out for you?
-In the case of Spinetta it is easier; him, is the original source, but I looked for how he played the live versions; In the eighties, he played a lot by himself, which is the time of Kamikaze and there are many pirate concerts and we can hear the versions with variations.
I noticed differences in the way of playing, in the tempos; for example, Ekathé, in a concert in Obras, he has a coda that is not in the original and that I used on the album. It was a great exercise, getting well into the songs and that’s where I was able to appropriate them.
-Since you emphasize the acoustic guitar, what was it like to record with it?
-The album was shown little by little and it became clear to me from the beginning that it should be with acoustic guitar and without solos; I worked on the planes, the melodies, the accompaniment and the dynamics. And a lot in the studio, with Ernesto Snajer, where I wanted it to sound diaphanous, austere and it was difficult to achieve it. I remember what Snajer told me when I arrived: “Don’t look for the perfect version.”
Lucio Balduini says that he did not modify any of Spinetta’s compositions in “Para ir”.
-When will you present it?
Sometime in 2022; Furthermore, I am enthusiastic about the idea of the troubadour who goes alone with his guitar and I want to go through that experience.
Balduini is from General Roca, Río Negro, he started playing formally at twelve, but since I was 8 I already played with the instrument.
“My father played the guitar, in college days, as a hobby. I started at the conservatory where I did music appreciation and at twelve I began to study formally. I went to the conservatory and to private classes that I got tired and I left the conservatory ”.
Guitarist vI went to Buenos Aires at the age of 17With a scholarship from the EMBA, he did two years until he was 19, he took classes with Pino Marrone and Diego Otaña. Before, in Roca he had had Andrés Fuhr as a teacher.
His beginnings within the jazz scene were playing in trio with double bass player Hernán Merlo and Juan Carlos Carletti, on drums.
“Merlo was very generous; I remember that we would go with Carletti to his house to rehearse every Saturday until one day he felt that the music was good and we went out to play. We recorded a live album, in Tobago, “added Balduini.
Lucio Balduini plans to present “Para ir” in 2022 and record another album.
Another musician who had a strong influence on the guitarist was the cornetist Enrique Norris, “he helped me a lot, since my arrival from General Roca he invited me to his concerts at Thelonious and at his house I met other musicians, such as Jerónimo Carmona.”
By that time he had already begun to compose; in 2004 he traveled to Barcelona, where he stayed for a year and a half and finished shaping what would be his first album Little light; He had previously made two recordings that he never released, one in trio, with Carletti and Carmona and the other with Norris, Merlo and Carletti.
“Today, I listen to them and I like them; I very clearly perceive my influences, such as Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Albert Ayler, Enrique Norris and Hernán Merlo. At that time I wasn’t sure about releasing them, I think I needed a stronger push that finally came through Buri Records and that’s how I recorded. Little light (2007), with Ariel Naón and Pedro Ahets Echeverry, on drums ”, he said.
The return from Barcelona was difficult because it was difficult for him to reintegrate. “I started by making the album and then I got back in touch with the musicians. For a long time I played in various projects, such as Guillermo Klein, Nico Sorín, with Mariana Baraj, Mariano Sívori, Juan Cruz de Urquiza but little by little I made the decision to give my music more space“.
“Y Divine wind (2012) is a bit the expression of that; After the experience of playing with tremendous artists, I focused on this proposal that I feel is initiatory, with more development in the compositions and in a quartet with Pipi Piazzolla, Mariano Sívori and Jesús Fernández, in Rhodes “.
“From this album, I got the impulse to make my own music and I turned fully to compose; that is, I feel that the energy of the group allowed me to move forward,” added Balduini.
The musician said that the material from his next album, The bright forest (2017) was done at concerts.
“We almost put aside the rehearsals and the themes were emerging in a very natural way; simultaneously, I started playing in the trio of Pipi Piazzolla; In other words, with Pipi we played a lot, in fact we shared songs between his trio and my quartet. Clearly, The bright forest is a continuation of Divine wind with Esteban Sehinkman on keyboards ”.
-How did you feel when you won a Gardel Award for The bright forest?
It was a beautiful experience, because not only what that recognition implies in the face of the little space that jazz has. To me left me in the air for a few weeks for all the affection I receivedFrom childhood friends who wrote to me, people who didn’t know me and who greeted me. It was magical for the demonstration of affection and people who discovered me.
-¿The bright forest has a continuation?
I already have a whole album, something that had never happened to me and that happened due to the pandemic. Before going to the first rehearsal, everything is done; We did some dates, now in a trio with Sívori and Piazzolla, we rehearsed and we will continue to play it a little longer and then record it.
It is not a continuation of The forest… Now there is another synthesis in the compositions, which have to do with the fact that now we are a trio and we have other possibilities, especially from the guitar and the group. It will be an intense year, due to the presentation of To go and then record with the trio.
Reference from clarin