Violin wizard Luca Ciarla will bring his “Mediterramia” tour to Lebanon this weekend, with a pair of concerts that feature just him, his fiddle and a loop machine. Timed to correspond to “Fete de la Musique,” Ciarla will perform on Mar Mikhael’s Vendome Stairs Friday at 8pm. Organized by the Italian Cultural Center and the Lebanese Cultural Festivals Association, the gig promises a mixture of Mediterranean sounds, Italian folk tunes and Ciarla’s original compositions.
The following day, June 22, the maestro will move on to a concert in Tripoli’s Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles before heading to Switzerland, Italy and Cyprus.
Born in Termoli on the Adriatic Coast, Ciarla has been passionate about music since childhood. He began studying violin and piano at the age of eight, and explored jazz improvisation. He later moved to the U.S., where he studied jazz with David Baker, earned an MA at Indiana University and later completed a PhD in musical arts at the University of Arizona.
The musician and his violin have been travelling the world ever since, winning numerous competitions and collaborating with other notable artists. Ciarla’s performances stand out for his technique. “With a microphone and a loop machine,” he explains to The Daily Star, “I record on the spot and play over myself, creating an orchestral texture, sometimes whistling, singing or including other little instruments.”
Ciarla demonstrates an extraordinary mastery of his violin by playing it in various ways, like a guitar, a cello or a percussion instrument.
His solo performances progressively evolve into dazzling orchestral sound, reflected in the title of his next album, “solOrkestra.”
As the title “Mediterramia” suggests, the Mediterranean is a major source of inspiration in his performances and composition.
The performer described his attachment to the Mediterranean and the basis of his belief that, for all the cultural differences between its northern and southern shores, there is a “Mediterranean music.”
“I have always been fascinated by the cultures of the Mediterranean,” Ciarla says. “Mediterranean music echoes a desire to meet across these cultures.” The musical instruments of the Mediterranean, he explains, have constantly moved from one country to another, each time acquiring new features and evolving according to each new context.
“The violin itself is an instrument that belongs to various cultures,” he says. “Despite uncertain origins, the violin we know in Italy is the product of this meeting of cultures. From North Africa and the Arab world, it has evolved over the centuries and it further transformed in Italy.
“The violin is a Mediterranean instrument,” he concludes, “and the music deriving from it is Mediterranean.”
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