Curious explorer of sounds with intensely narrative playing, Carmine Ioanna is one of the most interesting and eclectic accordionists of his generation. With this interview he tells his more meaningful human and artistic experiences.
I started playing the accordion at the age of three years. My grandfather played and my sister was studying piano. I do not have a clear memory of the first time, but as told by my mother, my toys were musical instruments.
What was the role of your family during your artistic career?
It was fundamental. In addition to addressing, my family has always been an important reference point for me, as it still is for music and especially for life. My parents are wonderful people, so simple. My mother always optimistic and smiling, my father always ready to share a glass of wine strictly Irpinia. The same I can say for my sister, who gave me two beautiful grandchildren to whom I devoted my first record “Carmini Saretta.”
When did you decide to take seriously a study on the accordion?
The first time I attended a lecture, I was six years old, with a teacher in my country. But over the years I never had the feeling that he could be training for a job or my future, because I’ve always enjoyed doing. Perhaps, the only time I’ve actually done some sacrifices are linked to the achievement of the diploma of accordion at the Conservatory “Licino Refice” in Frosinone.
Why did you choose to devote your life right at this instrument?
I did not choose me. It was the accordion that chose me. I do not remember my life without the accordion and I could not imagine it in the future.
What, in detail, all the technical characteristics of the accordion?
It is an instrument to reeds, with air (bellows). There are basically two types of accordion: buttons or piano. The one on the button to the right presents a keyboard equal to that of the piano, although with fewer keys, while the one on the buttons has a buttonhole on the right with a keyboard with five rows, arranged in third minor. Both may have left the low standards (composed chords ) or the free bass (with single notes and then with more octaves). For several years, mainly the sound to buttons, but they are also linked to the button accordion, with whom I studied and graduated in the conservatory.
Throughout your career you’ve swept the result of human and artistic satisfaction. What was the greatest thrill that you’ve tried so far?
Hard to pick one, because they are so many. Surely, I remember with great emotion the call of Luca Aquino, who asked me to participate in his album called aQustico. Or I could mention the first meeting with Antonello Salis. So, there are many moments to remember and I hope to remember so many others in the future.
From your changing and fascinating playing exudes a strong cultural heritage, which belongs to the Campania, your homeland, which blends nicely with the jazz. Where does this peculiar and challenging stylistic syncretism?
I am often asked this question and it makes me really very pleased that this aspect transpire. When music is sincere you can read and listen to the life and the infinite shades of who is playing, obviously influenced by the emotions and feelings of the moment. This is what I propose to do always be sincere. That’s why I’m very happy when I asked this question. I carry on my origin, contaminated with anything that happens to me in life and with all the music that I love to hear, such as classical, jazz, blues, rock, klezmer music, electronics and much more.
You’re also a profound composer. What are your main sources of inspiration in terms of composition?
Surely the beauty and love. The beauty that I find in so many people around the world and the love of the most intimate affections and loved ones.
You are also active as a teacher of accordion. As approaches to teaching and what are your teaching methods?
In fact, for the moment, I have suspended the activities of teacher, because for me it is too difficult to combine the teaching with concert activity. However, I believe that a good teacher should be a good human example for their students, before being so musically, especially if you interface with young pupils.
Have You in the Serbian new recording projects for the future?
Yes, I have. 2016 will be a rich year. Will be out on my second hard for Bonsai Music with pianist Sade Mangiaracina. Then it will be published the second CD with Luca Aquino and Jordan Orchestra, which we just recorded in Jordan, then an album that will be called Hip-Hop Accordion with the South Korean rapper Loptimist and finally a new record creation, in a duo with the talented saxophonist Luca Roseto. As for the concerts, however, in addition to my “only” I will continue to carry around and the various tours of the disks out, I’ll be busy in theatres in Anime Migranti, a recital which speaks of labor migration to the Italian abroad, with an eye to current course. It is a show written and performed by actress Claudia D’Amico, as well as my partner in life, in which I take care of the soundtrack.
This article is available also in: Italian