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Introducing Gabriele Cortinovis

* What was the first thing that made you interested in music?

Music has always represented a fundamental factor in my personal training since I was little. The search for new albums and artists meant broadening my horizons as a person and as an artist. Learning how to play was a natural consequence of my interests.

* Who inspired you to make music? Any famous musician or idol that you admire?

I started with English rock and my first reference artists were Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and I soon discovered Jazz with artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Always in search of something new, I discovered through a friend some songs by Paco de Lucía and since then I have always devoted myself more intensely to Flamenco that fascinated me so much.

* Where does your passion for flamenco come from?

As one of my teachers said: Flamenco “has land”. It is a music that has its history and its geography, its sounds so peculiar and unique. Its harmonies and rhythms are not only the expression of a culture, but they are almost unique within the western music scene. For a guitarist it is a visceral challenge.

* Who did you study with?

I started studying flamenco in Lisbon and Paris with private teachers, and after a few years I traveled to Jerez de la Frontera and Seville where I was able to study with great names in flamenco such as Manuel Valencia, Augustin De la Fuente, Antonio Rey, Niño de Pura , Eduardo Rebollar, Pedro Sierra, Rafael Riqueni and many more.

I studied at the Christina Heeren Flamenco Foundation in Seville, and did the Master in flamenco guitar interpretation at the Esmuc in Barcelona with Rafael Cañizares.

* What is your favorite flamenco guitar piece?

I don’t usually have favorite pieces, nevertheless “Orate” by Diego del Morao and “Tauromagia” by Manolo Sanlúcar are among the records that have fascinated me the most.

* Where to see the best flamenco in Barcelona and (Spain)?

Here in Barcelona there are many quality tablaos but also a more “underground” world, highly developed.

* How would you describe the music you usually do?

I work especially with traditional flamenco and Argentine tango. Lately I am dedicating myself a lot to popular music, thanks to another band that I have in Italy and I also do some “experimental research”.

* How is your creative process?

I work a lot analyzing topics that I like to understand and be able to reproduce the elements that are most interesting to me to feed and structure what comes from inspiration.

* How has been your experience as a guitar teacher at Shine?

Since I started working at Shine I have grown a lot as an artist and as a person. Students give me an opportunity to see the many faces of music and how it moves each one. The environment in the School is also very pleasant and favorable to the exchange of knowledge between students and teachers.

* What do you think has been the greatest contribution you have made to the students you have worked with over the years?

It is very difficult to answer this question, it would be interesting to know the response of the students … I would say that my classes have the purpose of getting students closer to the music that they like the most through the guitar, and of course of working to be autonomous in understanding their favourite themes and be able to interpret them.

*Photography: Fabio Toschi

* How do you think the Internet has impacted the music industry?

It has made it possible for many to come into contact with new music and meet distant artists with relative ease.

On the other hand, music streaming platforms have made it more complex for an artist to earn their salary from recordings. It is a complex problem where costs and benefits must be considered. Something that I really do not share in the contemporary situation is the excessive attention of the public and of the musicians to the social networks that turn the love for music into a phenomenon of Voyeurism (for the public) and of exhibitionism (for the artist). Many times musical success no longer depends on the quality of the content but on the way in which one manages to teach it.

* If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

In general, I think the most urgent thing is to resolve the artist’s constant precarious situation. I think it is a priority to reconsider the salaries for artistic services (classes, concerts and bowling) and also that the value of an artist is measured in its real production and musical quality and not so much in the number of followers.

* What upcoming musical projects do you have in mind?

I’m in a new stage of composition with my Italian band “Rayuela” with which we create “new popular music” and I’m also gathering ideas for a more Jazz-Rock project without any rules, we’ll see …

* Any advice or tips for those who want to study the guitar and enter the world of music?

I would say that it is important to lose your fear of studying music, students who do not doubt their possibilities are those who tend to advance more and with more serenity. Do not think that it is something unattainable at any age. Knowing that time spent on music is quality time that you spend on yourself.

Take a lesson with Gabriele!