CASTELFIDARDO (AN) – Non technicians do think accordion is like a fully developed “finished product”. But this is far from being true, because here in this area specialists have never stopped searching for new chances to bring the evolution process of this musical instrument ahead.
If you visit any of the 28 manufacturing companies in Castelfidardo, a small town in the Marches region, you will immediately realize how lively this business is. In other words, technological development never stops, even when manufacturing traditional musical instruments like accordions.
Buyers often require new solutions, which sometimes come from weird requests but sometimes they come from real needs. So, manufacturers of reed-based instruments are always on the forefront of technological research.
That’s why the Bugari company, managed by Roberto Ottavianelli, has decided to start a new digital division. Bugari is a world leader in producing prestigious accordions, their success has been accomplished thanks to their love for innovation and their solid expertise in creating a large series of acoustic accordions, mainly dedicated to classic musicians.
Marco Cinaglia, Bugari’s product specialist, tells us about this new project. The first new EVO accordion models, resulting from the new digital project by Bugari have already been officially introduced at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany.
“If we want to keep accordion and its long and prestigious tradition alive, we must encourage young generations to take up accordion and the digital accodion is undoubtedly the most daring and appealing instrument to this goal”.
The beginning was yet so difficult…
“In 2004 Roland Europe launched the new FR-7 V-Accordion, the first digital accodion based on the physical modeling technology. At that time all specialists obviously pointed out its limits and flaws. When compared to the acoustic instrument, the V-Accordion seemed to hardly have any chance. That project had been welcomed with lots of interest and curiosity in the electronic world, but, nevertheless it was nearly ridiculed in the world of accordion purists”.
Roland management had serious doubts themselves…
“Yes, they had. The first advantages incorporated in that new digital instruments and the related considerations were not so clear and convincing for everybody! Of course, all specialists and engineers were aware of the flaws of the first digital instrument but only a few of them could grasp its great potential… the numerous chances for a further development of that first step into a new era excited our minds of engineers and musicians!
I had recently met Mr. Sergio Scappini, who had been engaged by Roland as their musical consultant, as suggested by my former accordion teacher, Mrs. Anna Maria Pirozzi.
Useless to say, we were both firmly convinced of the extraordinary power of this new technological project. Together we shared ideas, assessed different options and possibilities, we had to bear frustrations and disappointments… while exploring possible solutions to improve this new “machine”.
But soon after the new “X” version of Roland V-Accordion was released, things started to gradually change and, step by step, the ugly duckling turned into a swan!
This project was not so well appreciated by people in the classic accordion world, they were nearly hostile…
“This is true, as well. But what Roland worked out and developed was an epoch-making project: it was not only the starting point for the subsequent exciting hard work made by Roland in the accordion field but also and mainly an action which stimulated and encouraged many other accordion companies to approach the electronic evolution of this instrument.
We have always recorded and considered all comments and drawbacks highlighted by several accordionists. Although Scappini and I are fully aware that the electronic part of the new instrument could be improved, its weak point was indeed its mechanical part. This is the reason why started to plan a possible cooperation with a company manufacturing classical accordions since the very early stage. This idea was actually premature at that stage. However when Roland Corporation (Japan) decided to close Roland Europe (in Italy) we cherished the idea of a collaboration again.
So, then you met Roberto Ottavianelli and proposed him your new project, did you?
“We chose the Bugari trademark not only because this is one of the leading accordion manufacturer in our region, which successfully operates worldwide as well, but also because Roberto Ottavianelli is a friend and we think highly of him, especially because he is that kind of entrepreneur who is always interested in new chances and challenges. To definitely persuade him, I asked Fiorino Capriotti to join us in the project. Fiorino used to work for Roland Europe as mechanical engineer in the V-Accordion department and he would play an essential role in the mechanical design of the new instrument. I asked also Massimiliano Marrucci to join us; he used to work as the V-Accordion Project Manager in Roland Europe; he was in a good relation with Roland’s management and he was therefore the right person to intermediate with them and successfully cope with the complicated international bureaucracy”.
You all studied and worked in a garage one year long as good and willing “technological craftsmen” to create the first prototype of the new accordion…this instrument seems to have finally persuaded everybody…
“Bugari and Roland, two leading companies in their respective trades, have certainly been able to establish a good cooperative relation, which resulted in the production of the first new digital Accordion named “Haria” (it will be further illustrated later on in this text – editor’s note). Haria now satisfies both: those keen on electronics as well as those who firmly stick to the purist tradition!
What is Bugari Evo? Who worked on the backstage of this new product?
The leader of this team is Roberto Ottavianelli. The other members are: Sergio Scappini, Fiorino Capriotti, Andrea Capriotti, Massimiliano Marrucci and myself. So, here we are… we are a small group of people with common ideas, goals, passion, enthusiasm, optimism, strong will and above all we have a common dream!!!”
This article is available also in: Italian