Precisely by virtue of his unique sound, the result of a strongly inspired artistic and personal journey that blurs the boundaries between jazz and electronics, Quartarone has now “become an instrument”.
Thus was born, right here in Melbourne, the Quartarone Guitar Reveries, an extremely versatile and sophisticated music software, with an almost infinite sonic palette, but with the very recognisable sound of the Sicilian guitarist.
The project was born from an initiative by Dmitri Golovko, an Australian pianist and award-winning composer of music and sound for films, advertisements and video games.
“I only knew Claudio through his music,” Golovko said.
“I’m a fan of his and one day I thought of contacting him for a collaboration.
“Then I had the idea of creating a virtual tool together.
“He sent me thousands of notes played on the guitar, with different techniques, and I programmed an instrument that can be played by everyone, with a keyboard connected to a computer.”
Dmitri Golovko. (Photo supplied)
Quartarone described the feeling of another person borrowing his sound as “incredible”.
“It’s my tone, my touch,” he said.
“It’s as if it were my voice, but in the hands and minds of other people.
“If someone asks me to lend my sound, it means that I have my own sound to offer... this makes me very proud!”
For Quartarone, his distinctive sound is the culmination of his musical research and journey.
“Music is a matter of craftsmanship: you can study with the best school or the best teacher in the world, but it’s only by challenging yourself that you become a true artist,” the guitarist said.
“In 2020, there are plenty of schools; the problem is the lack of uniqueness.
“There is no longer a Thelonious Monk, who is unique and whom you recognise after a single note.
“You can be a genius technically, but if you haven’t discovered anything new, you’re just a clone.
“An exception for me is Francesco Cafiso, a former child prodigy, also from Sicily.
“At the age of 10, he sounded like Charlie Parker, but in recent years he’s found his own personal style.”
Born and raised in Catania, Quartarone began playing classical guitar at the age of eight, under the careful and strict guidance of his uncle.
“I remember very well the first time I heard him play; it was like a punch in the stomach,” Quartarone said.
“I begged my parents to have lessons and eventually they gave in.
“From that moment, I’ve always studied the guitar in a serious and professional manner.
“As a child, I had to prepare for many competitions.”
During his teens, the musician discovered jazz, which to him is not just a genre, but a way of life.
“It allows you to get to know music in a hands-on way and you develop a certain responsiveness, because you have to be able to catch things on the fly.
“When you improvise, you don’t have time to think. You must be present.”
With over 10 albums under his belt, Quartarone is at the forefront of what he calls the new “musical battle”.
“Now you no longer battle with harmony or melody, but with the quality of sound, listening with headphones,” he concluded.