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15 Questions to Luis Orias Diz

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m really fine and busy. I’m currently working and living in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

What’s on your schedule right now?
I’m finishing the recording and edition of Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, preparing some concerts with flute (Takemitsu, Piazzola and Gandini’s music), others with Electroacoustics and studying some new pieces for our next CD with Adam Khan (The Welsh-Argentine Guitar Duo).

What is your earliest musical memory?
When I was a child… My Grandmother playing some Tangos and Classical pieces on a piano of someone of my family…and my mother playing some Vivaldi LP.

Was there a deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?
I remember I was teaching sports in a school… and I thought suddenly: “What a hell am I doing here instead of playing my guitar?”

How satisfied are you with life as an artist?
I’m happy with my profile… I can’t say really that I’m happy with my whole artistic life: In my country, you really have to invest too much time to realize a project, and it is not exactly easy to find a budget. So, instead of declining an offer, we accept it… for free…

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good performance must have emotion, must have musical content: I don´t really care about precision: Martha Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Opera Singers, they all sometimes commit mistakes wile playing, but they are who they are because of the musical content of their performances. When I’m on stage, I try hard to be honest with the piece and with the public.

How do you balance your personal emotions and the intentions of the composer in your interpretations?
I need to be sure that my emotions are in line with the composers ideas. I can’t play a piece only thinking in my way to see a or understand a phrase: the most of the time on my study time, I try to “hear” what the composers means with his musical intentions

In which way, would you say, is your cultural background reflected in your performances?
Of course a musical background would become more evident in Argentinean folk songs, but my personal story in some words is more European: Buenos Aires is the most European South American City, and I did my studies at German Schools based in Buenos Aires. Later, I did the most important part of my musical studies in France… If you mix all of this in a bottle, you will obtain the real Orias Diz…
How would you describe and rate the scene for classical music of the country you are currently living in?
We are trying to survive… There is a lot of talent here, but the official Institutions don’t sponsor activities too much. Still, we try to find our own ways to find the balance between activities to survive and our artistic life.

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
No. I think there is a continuous public and interest in Classical Music. And I think that young people really enjoy Contemporary Music already.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for you personally?
It’s wonderful. I knew Eduardo Martin’s music through E-Mail and at a stage when only a couple of pieces where edited. He, living in La Habana, me in Buenos Aires… without the Internet, it could be impossible thinking of a project like “Acrilicos en la Sonrisa”. Youtube is very important too… You can find lots of video recordings that otherwise would be impossible to find in my country. Is it a kind of “socialization” of information? Yes, I think so.
What’s your view on the relationship between musical education and classical music?
It's necessary to think about better schools of music: I mean, not only nice buildings or famous performers, but musicians and teachers who really care about talented young performers: Nobody talks too much about that, but I’m scared about how similar the development of young sport Superstars and young musicians is… But nobody talks very much about health problems like Focal Distonia: There is a lot of young musicians suffering of a lot of pains in their hands, arms, suffering from headaches and muscular problems because of this kind of “run for success”… And I don’t really know very many teachers who really care about their students when they suddenly become ill… They send them to a doctor and… that's the end of the story… I don’t really agree with that. A musician is a human being and as a teacher, you have to provide a real guide of life to them and not only a list of master pieces to play and win International contests.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Kagel, Crumb, Berio, Lachenmann, Henze, Takemitsu, Reich, Monk, Björk, Feldman, Zappa, Murail, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and a special place to young new composers! Not too much Orchestras, more Chamber Music and performers with Multimedia Projects, mixed with dance...

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
I need to change my guitar at the moment! It's a difficult question right now!!!
Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Yes, I tried the “cajon peruano”. I recieved one as a gift, I took one lesson and three weeks later my “teacher” was dining with me...but she lives with me now and she plays it sometimes... bad try, but a new life!:))

Equis-X (Self-released) 2002
Acrilicos en la Sonrisa (PAI) 2005
Kammermusik (PAI) 2007
Interludio /w. Adam Khan (PAI) 2007

Luis Orias Diz

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