MASSIMILIANO CONA INTERVIEW
I have been working in the world of music for more than 25 years, alternating various activities such as teaching acoustic and electric guitar at the Lizard Music Academy in Messina, Catania and Caltagirone. I have collaborated with R.T.I. Mediaset Group composing music for films and advertising, and incidental music, and with Yamaha Italy as a demonstrator of acoustic guitars for more than ten years. I published a method for Hard Rock, Heavy Metal guitar, distributed by BMG Ricordi; an educational DVD: The Rock Solo Guitar, produced by Playgame Music; and finally, only just released on 14 February 2020, my first solo acoustic guitar CD, Better Late Than Never, published by Fingerpicking.net.
How would you normally create music and connect with your audience?
I was born to be an electric guitarist, passionate about Heavy Metal and living in the era of guitar heroes of the 80s such as Eddy Van Hallen, Steve Vai, Satriani and Malmsteen. Today everything has changed and while my heart always lies with Rock, I define myself more as a musician than a guitarist. Due to the many jobs that I am pursuing in the music field, I no longer have the time to play with the bands. For this reason, I intensified my study of the acoustic guitar, the only instrument that I continue to play on stage around Europe, without a band and continuing to play my music. The technique that I have developed over the years, thanks also to my prior study of the electric guitar and the piano, has allowed me to see the acoustic guitar from another point of view: inserting harmony, melody and rhythm into a single piece. I have always been fascinated by the world of percussion played on the body of the guitar, without however being bound by these constraints. In my arrangements and my songs, I often use harmony, melody and rhythm, for example in Hold Back The River, Take Me by the Hand and With Or Without You, taken from my latest CD, where the melody always remains in the foreground. I don't like songs where there are three loops that act as the intro, verse and refrain, and where the melodic part is totally missing. Often, to understand if what I do works or not, I post videos of my compositions and arrangements of famous songs on various social networks. Thank goodness I always get positive feedback that points me in the right direction.
Technology and social networks allow a wide audience to be reached with whom the artist can interact. How has your experience been collaborating with the #YamahaLiveFromHome initiative?
I could not have missed this wonderful initiative organised by Yamaha called LiveFromHome, especially at a historic moment like the one we are experiencing, full of limitations, with many people locked in the house experiencing surreal moments that we are only used to seeing in science fiction films. Through this initiative, I gave my modest contribution by cheering all the people present at Live for about 40 minutes, receiving positive feedback all thanks to Yamaha.
What's the role of music in your life?
See answer 1.
Thanks to the Internet, today we have an unlimited choice of videos, music and educational material. Sometimes we face the so called 'paradox of choice', making it difficult to focus and select want we want to study, listen to and play. What would you recommend to music lovers to improve their knowledge?
Today, Internet speeds are very high. Let's take a look at YouTube for example. Here there is a huge database of music to listen to and thousands of tutorials to follow but, as often happens, few people manage all this information and it is not to say that it is correct. Everything you can see and hear on this platform creates untold confusion. You can order all the videos by creating hundreds of playlists but the final result does not change: too much data, too many videos, total chaos and confusion. In reality, you don't have the time to digest them all. Often the kids who start on a 'do-it-yourself' educational path online, encounter difficulties. How do they react? They often quit the online lesson and immediately set out on another path that has nothing to do with the previous one. Finally, you risk wasting a lot of time, months go by, years pass, without achieving hardly anything. To all the guys who want to start studying seriously, I recommend looking for a good school, a good teacher and following this teacher only, taking all the information from the Web.
If you have any future projects or record releases you want to share with us, please add the links below. "Spotify link"; "Other link"