Accordionist with polish pathos and intense phrasing Natalino Marchetti is a particularly enterprising musician who discovered a passion for jazz after the studies of classical music. In this pleasant chat he tells about himself from a human and artistic point of view.
When has the love for music blossomed?
The love for music blossomed early, precisely at the age of eight. I was just a child, but already felt the urge to play with sounds, to create and move me. Exactly how I feel today. The skills have changed and matured, but the approach to music, in essence, remained the same.
How did you discover your passion for the accordion?
The first day of music lesson, I played the piano. I will never stop to thank my mother, who “forced” me to play the accordion, because it reminded her of the instrument that my grandfather played: the diatonic accordion. The choice was really appropriate for my character, my personality and my physical way to experience the music.
What kind of path have you undertaken to study this instrument?
The way was very bumpy and winding. When I began studying the accordion was still a lot of confusion on what attitude to adopt towards the instrument. Nobody knew if the degree was worth in effect or not. So, after several years of private lessons, my first teacher advised me strongly to piano, because in his point of view I would not have had the future in music as a professional musician. Then I attended the academic years devoted to the study of classical music, piano, counterpoint, harmony, choral conducting, teaching and subsequent titles. Meanwhile, I never stopped playing and studying the accordion as an autodidact. I poured out this instrument all that I was learning on the keyboard technique, interpretation, chamber music and everything concerning the most serious and rigorous academic training.
What, specifically, all the technical features of the accordion?
Actually, I do not like to talk much about the technical specifications of my instrument. Firstly, because I think it is a speech purely from accordion environment in the strict sense, almost simplistic, secondly I feel I have a deep understanding of my instrument, but inextricably linked to the musical discourse. I can assert, however, without fear of contradiction, that the great resource of the accordion is the combined action of the bellows with the manuals. The first is the source of colours, nuances, accents, rhythm and expression, while the second allows technical solutions and digital to the limits of human possibilities. No instrument, except the accordion, can do so much.
The accordion, in the collective, is a popular instrument inextricably linked to folk music. You, however, have gained varied experiences as jazz accordionist. Why did you decide to try with this kind of music?
Learning music really, knowing in a practical and immediate all matter and playing music freely what I felt: these were the main reasons. Thanks to mental associations free and impromptu, only improvised music can give me all the freedom and the expressive power that I need.
From your point of view, why the accordion has always been underestimated in jazz?
I think that this is a cultural notion of assimilation of musical idioms. If you hear the sound and phrasing of a saxophone, my auditory memory and emotional brings me back to the thousands of recordings heard and internalized even unintentionally. It is highly likely that most of these plays both jazz imprint. The same, in my opinion, it could be said for many other instruments in jazz, famously, they found a happy realization. The accordion has spread to a socio-cultural environment where this kind of music is virtually unknown. That is why the collective imagination, hardly, this instrument is identified with jazz. Other reasons, more of a technical and musical, could be the difficult management of voicing in the left hand (lower standard), proper harmonization, which uses Drop2 on the right hand, effective yield rhythmic patterns in different medium, and fast so on and the realization of an adequate walking bass together with other technical issues.
Besides being a great accordion player, you are a smart composer. How much importance is the composition in your artistic life?
It is simply a fundamental and priority. What would, in today’s world, simply perform the music of others? For me, nobody. Write composition is necessary to express its own vital witness.
What are the main sources of inspiration that nourish your composition vein?
Art and life are two sides of the same coin. For people like me who live in close contact with the music, or you do it the same music, the main source of inspiration is life itself with its amazing “small daily miracles”.
Who is the composer that you prefer?
On the earth lived extraordinary personalities and incredible genes. Each, in its own way, has contributed to the evolution of the human species. Only through my particular way of living life and the events I can say Beethoven. If paradoxically we lost all the musical experience, in my opinion, the Symphony No.9 op. 125 would be enough to recover 70%.
Are you planning new recording projects for the near future?
There is a very ambitious project, still under construction, with a big name in international jazz, but I prefer not to anticipate anything. The reason is simple: it’s called superstition!
This article is available also in: Italian