Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- The musical world of Lorenzo Squillari- bansuri master & flute maker.

~ I have been very fortunate to have had opportunity to listen to some great music when I was growing up in the 60's. Some of which had a strong influence from India. I woke up every day to some great music. I got opportunities to listen to maestros like Charlie Mariano, Charles Lloyd, Coltrane, John Handy, and in high school at this same time period I discovered Pandit Ravi Shankar. I had the pleasure of hearing him live while at Berklee in Boston three times! And then as well, I got an opportunity to learn from Charlie Mariano and got plenty of opportunities to watch him perform. Charlie as many of you know is my main inspiration. Charlie helped me get into Indian music and the music of India deeper and also sold me his spare Nadaswaram when I was 18 years old, then teaching me how to play it. I am of a firm belief that I owe a lot to listening to this great music of India. It has expanded my ears and creative base so much, that my thinking around many musics became more mature and effective.

~ In a recent conversation with my friend Roberto Romeo on Saturday, we were talking about a great musician and flute maker named Lorenzo Squillari. Lorenzo Squillari used to make visits to Roberto's NYC shop on 46th street and sell his beautiful flutes, as well as many other exotic flutes made of stone. I own many of his flutes, and play them on many of my gigs. They are an asset to my musical vision.

He is from Italy and is a master flute maker and musician! One summer I had the pleasure of meeting Lorenzo in person, as Roberto introduced him to me. ( Thank you Roberto! ) His musicianship and creative being was amazing! Not only could he play raga based musics of India but also jazz on the bansuris. I never forgot this remarkable man from Italy with a boundless imagination and inspirational creative spirit. On Saturday Roberto, Hyun Joo and I checked out his videos on you tube and were knocked out! Lorenzo has his own approach to musical expression- and it travels through many musics. Lorenzo's playing struck me through its variety, its flexibility, its colour and above all its liveliness.This striking effect can be heard on his videos listed below.

Let this Rico Blog help this gifted innovator- flute maker gain a a wider prominence to the readers of this blog. Spread the word my friends!

In closing,whatever your passion, keep at it, and keep listening. Keep reaching out to people with a spirit of love, friendship and compassion. As Sonny Rollins said
" Music Is A Open Sky."

See ya'll next week - TIM PRICE

Check these out!!!

Lorenzo Squillari - Italy



Hariprasad Chaurasia vicenza Maj 07 with Lorenzo Squillari

Lorenzo Squillari - Roma 27/02/10 - Workshop Bansuri.wmv

Idea Jalsa Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

In closing, no matter what music you play, remember this ;

" Music is a universal language. The sound of the melody touches everyones heart and mind. Those people who have never heard this music take a few minutes to feel it, then they enjoy it in their own way."
~Ali Akbar Khan


The Bansuri flute may be seen in many sacred pictures of Lord Krishna and Saraswati, goddess of music.The Bansuri is a transverse flute made of a single length of bamboo and has six or seven open finger holes.There are no keys to produce sharps and flats, therefore all accidentals and microtones, as well as meend (glissandi) and other ornaments, so important to Indian classical music, are produced by a unique fingering technique. The Bansuri with its pastoral association and the chosen instrument of Lord Krishna, is one of the oldest musical instruments of India: it is mentioned in the Vedas and is depicted in the Buddhist art of 2,000 years ago. One Sanskrit verse credits the Bansuri as the source of swarajnana - the knowledge of music. Although the Bansuri is among the most ancient musical instruments of India, its status as a concert instrument for north Indian classical music is a relatively recent phenomenon. This favorite instrument was brought into the fold of Hindustani classical music by the legendary maestro the late Pandit Pannalal Ghosh .

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