Equipped with a formidable technique and a commendable mastery of the instrument, Andrea Di Giacomo is an enfant prodige of the Italian accordion. Thanks to his invaluable talent, already noticed and appreciated even outside the italic borders, the youngest accordionist in Abruzzo will come irrefutably at the mercy of the great exponents of this instrument. Di Giacomo retraces the salient moments of his artistic life through this pleasant conversation.
You’ve been formed musically, studying accordion since the age of eight, with one of the best Italian exponents of this instrument: Renzo Ruggieri. How did you live your learning path with such an author and jazz player as he did?
In the early years of my study, both because of my young age and my initial ignorance of the world of music in general and of the accordion in particular, I must admit that I did not actually realize to study with such an important teacher as him. It all happened a little by accident. At that time, he was the only accordion teacher in my country, and for a few years he gave keyboard lessons to my brother. Only then did I really realize her skill and professionalism. And right from that moment I started seriously to undertake the accordion studio (at the beginning it was just a hobby), trying to get her most valuable advice as much as possible. Every passing year I feel more and more fortunate to have had it as a teacher. After all, what I am at an artistic level I only have to do with him.
In the arena of your early, but intense career, you have been awarded international awards by winning prestigious competitions, awards and festivals including: “Trofeo Italiano Città di Ascoli Piceno”, “Concorso di Atri “, “Strumenti & Musica Festival” (Spoleto), “Etnie Musicali” (Teramo), “V-Accordion” organized by Roland, “Premio Internazionale Castelfidardo”, “Coupe Mondiale CIA” (Turku-Finland) Accordion Art Festival (Pineto and Roseto degli Abruzzi). Of all these countless successes, what is the one you are most tied to?
Surely all the competitions I’ve been involved with have helped me to grow from an artistic point of view and to make me more and more accustomed to the accordion and in general to the music. However, to two in particular I am more involved: the “Concorso di Atri”, which was the first one I participated in, can be said to have started everything from there, while from the artistic point of view the “Premio Internazionale Castelfidardo”, because it represented a turning point in the music. From that moment on I felt that I was very mature. In a sense, it’s as if I had passed from being a child to being an adult.
In 2013, at the age of 17, you participated in the renowned TV show “I Fatti Vostri” (RAI 2), broadcast in which you performed with the orchestra directed by M° Demo Morselli. How did you handle the thrill of playing on the small screen, especially considering your age, in front of millions of viewers?
I remember that day well. I was agitated, especially because it was a matter of having to do a couple of shows and a little interview, all strictly live. So no mistake was allowed. Certainly, it was a different experience than usual, which also allowed me to understand everything behind the cameras, starting from the organization at the base of a television broadcast that may even begin months before, to get to the dover respect the various technical times imposed by the program very carefully.
You have been invited for a concert at the Conservatory of Joensuu, Finland. What are the most precious memories of this important professional and human experience?
For this experience I have to thank M° Renzo Ruggieri, because it is thanks to him and to his Finnish student that it was possible to organize everything. It was my first concert performance held abroad, as well as being one of the first in general. I was also pleased to learn how to manage the conservatory in Finland and, generally, in Northern Europe, to compare it with the Italian one, especially now that I am attending it first-hand. The reminder I was most impressed with is that they have a very good opinion and a deep respect for music, unlike ours that we tend to slightly lower it. Suffice it to think that in Italy, again, tends to classify the various instruments as important.
In May 2016, you released your first solo album titled “Accordion Colours”. Can you explain in detail the predominant features of this album?
“Accordion Colours” is a collection of the most significant pieces that have accompanied me in these years. It contains what I represent most, from the very first pieces studied, to the ones with the “Virtuosity Duo” and the “Renzo Ruggieri Orchestra”. I wanted to make this CD especially to mark the end of an important period of my artistic life, that is, the one related to the competitions. My hope is that now the artist’s real career begins.
You have a natural attitude towards exploring various genres. Is there one, in particular, that most of the other styles mirror your music vision?
The modern tango is absolutely the style I feel most when I sound. I’m an insecure person, who agitates a lot during performances, but tango, I do not know why, calms me and lets me get out of what’s around me. I think it’s a full genus, a mixture of refinement and aggression. It is also one of the few styles that can combine the classic world with the modern one.
Since 2015, I have embarked on a conservatory course by enrolling in a course of Composition, just because it is a world that fascinates me a lot. One of my biggest dreams is to be able to show me my music. I believe that when an artist succeeds in achieving this goal, I think she has reached the pinnacle of her success, because she can communicate herself in the fullest possible way.
Who is the musician (not necessarily an accordionist) that most of all influenced you in the course of your musical growth?
I believe that any person who studies an instrument, especially at a young age, is influenced first by his teacher, even because he is the one who makes you grow on the musical level, so even if you do not want to, he conveys his style. However, a musician who has always fascinated me is Richard Galliano. I have a deep appreciation for it, because nowadays, thanks to its success, you can hear about accordion in different contexts and not just in the context of smooth and / or popular music.
Every young artist, as it is right, always celebrates a dream. With what world-class musicians would you like to share the stage in an imminent future?
Maybe I’m still too young to answer this question, because I can not imagine myself at the side of great artists to share with them the same stage. After all, I still have a lot to learn and so much to do. It would be very interesting to know the major contemporary members of different music genres, more to understand what led them to make certain choices that later turned out to be successful in their success.
In addition to your happy and fruitful concert activity, are you planning to make a new CD, perhaps exclusively from your original compositions?
Lately, maybe because of my age, I’m getting closer to the world of electronic music and I am very fascinated by the idea of mixing the accordion sounds with electronic sounds. I think, I can make a really interesting marriage. Maybe, my next record project might have this basic idea, I would go to develop for sure with my original compositions: that’s just one of my goals.
This article is available also in: Italian