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Well yes, MUSIC!

(A musical autobiography)

Since I was a boy I had the passion for the guitar, played always rigorously "by ear", and, without pretending to become a professional guitar player, I have tried to draw the maximum in terms of healthy fun. Even if I must confess today that I often feel my guitar has become a wall ornament (where is my extra time?), whenever I am able, I try to keep myself up to date about the news of the world of the 6 strings.

My myths? When I was a boy, Eric Clapton was number #1. Later I discovered the puzzling speed and scheming rhythmic-harmonic alchemies of John McLaughlin. His playing opened wide the doors of modern jazz to me (a poster of Miles Davis for years stood out in my room). In the mid 1970s I casually found the recordings of the great John Renbourn and the Pentangle, and from there my interest in fingerpicking began. Above all, the English styles of the 1960s and 1970s (Davey Graham, that I happened to meet in London in 1980, and Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, John Martyn, Martin Simpson...).

Also around 1976, through a trailer of a movie starring the late Fred Astaire, Charlotte Rampling, Philippe Noiret, Peter Ustinov and Agostina Belli ("Un taxi mauve", in USA "The Purple Taxi") and the commercial of a brand of chocolate, I discovered the magic of that immense patrimony of popular traditions that is the Irish music: both the songs (Drowsy Maggie and Mna na H Eireann), they were by the Chieftains, the most important group of Irish Music. Since then I have collected all (I believe) the disks of this unbelievable band of musicians, that even today continues to make stupendous recordings at their increasing age! (Paddy Moloney & Co. I believe they are by now about 60 years old). Putting guitar and Irish music together I discovered guitarists like Pierre Bensusan, Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Dick Gaughan and fingerpicking and open tunings. Also, I discovered groups like De Danann, Planxty, Clannad...

Computer music ...I can imagine your faces ... But in my opinion you must not be prejudiced on this strange association between music and computers, between creativeness and machines: you have to consider that every musical product today transits, some way or other, through a computer before being listened on the radio, or on a CD. Today there are many possible approaches to computer music: sequencers, audio editors, plug-ins, score editors, VST instruments etc.: you could literally get lost! For this reason, I will take into consideration exclusively the programs of assisted composition, or arrangers, in the page of computer music: the amazing Band-in-a-Box and The Jammer (the only software of which I am somewhat of an expert).

My guitars? A Yamaha G-180A (classical, acquired in 1974); a Tamaki 90-12S, a 12strings jumbo folk guitar, (to which I have removed six strings) 1979 circa; a Washburn J6 electric jazz acquired in 1991 (also enough oversize); and (1998) a MIDI Fender Stratocaster, with a Roland GK2A esaphonic pickup, to be connected with the computer (PC) through a Roland GR-30 Guitar Synthesizer.

The following pages will be devoted to the guitar (tools, tablatures and transcripts, software for guitar), to the Celtic music and the computer music.