Newsletter Autumn 2010

7. Maria Volonté

We are often asked where and how we actually find our artists, some of whom live in very distant countries and completely different cultures. The answer of course is that we find them in many ways.

Maria Volonté

Often a general decision for a specific country or music tradition is followed by intense research; this involves examining our own music collections, the impressions gained on journeys which are always undertaken with ears wide open and a preference for live music venues, also the archives of music specialists, who exist for all the world’s cultural groups.

Then a decision is made for the artists or groups we are moved by most. The next step is to make contact, work out a concept and organise recordings at local level.

But sometimes it can be pure chance, as in the case of our latest CD. A friend drew out attention to a video recording of a concert in Belgrade. One performer in that concert was the Argentine singer Maria Volonté, whom we hadn’t heard of until then, with trumpeter Ekrem (Gypsy Groovz Orchestra) as a guest.

We were mad about her voice, her stage presence, her personality. We immediately made contact with Maria and her management in Buenos Aires, and found out that so far she had already released 7 CDs and was very famous in North and South America.

She had also received numerous awards, including the prestigious Carlos Gardel Prize. Recently she was nominated for the Latin Grammy. Soon we also discovered that we had common interests, and an interest in collaborating.

One precondition for this of course, was a personal meeting. As Maria had concerts in Madrid and Barcelona in late summer, the obvious thing was to meet in Europe.

Maria gladly accepted in invitation from Christian to visit Crete – where there is meantime a small Network dependence with the corresponding infrastructure – and so we spent a good week there together. That was the start of a friendship.

We decided on a CD called Portrait, featuring highlights from her career to date complemented by several new recordings which were then made in San Francisco. These included a track in the Latin Blues style created one night on a terrace on the southern coast of Crete.

(More photos of Maria in Crete at www.christianscholze.de)

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