Stefano Barone, an Italian fingerstyle guitarist with a fondness for American music, is appearing at Universal Unitarian Congregation in Traverse City this month. Explore more about the guitarist who brings innovative tunes to Northern Michigan’s music scene before his April 16 Traverse City event with MyNorth Media’s entertainment writer Ross Boissoneau below.
How He Got His Start
Born in Naples, Italy, in 1978, Barone first took up piano at age 11 before turning to guitar. He played blues, pop and rock music, but upon moving to Rome in 2001 he decided to dedicate himself to solo acoustic guitar. Two years later he heard the album Aerial Boundaries by guitarist Michael Hedges, and that coupled with his interest in the music of American minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich set him on a path to a fresh take on solo acoustic guitar. Today he devotes himself to fingerstyle acoustic guitar, though he utilizes effects such as echo, delay and looping.
Acoustic guitar with electronic effects
Influences and Inspirations
Michael Hedges, Egberto Gismonti, Steve Tibbets, Ralph Towner
Barone himself cites numerous influences to his music, including King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Prince, and Alex DeGrassi. The music of such disparate artists veers from bleak and industrial to funk to acoustic to space music. Somehow Barone encapsulates it all into his own approach, which also melds the slowly building compositions of minimalism.
Where Reich crafted Music for 18 Musicians, Barone’s music is all just one musician, him, though often multi-tracked and/or looped among multiple versions of the artist. His grasp of modern technology extends to the cyberworld, where he’s gained fans worldwide via the web.
His song “Batman/Alexander Supertramp” has garnered over two million hits on YouTube. That tune and other original compositions have been featured on everything from documentaries to dance shows, animated shows, even being chosen as a testimonial song by the International Association “World Centers of Compassion for Children” founded by the Dalai Lama.
In concert, Barone often showcases his songs in a continuum, where each blends into the other. He’s performed worldwide, including as part of a guitar trio and in an ensemble led by Steve Reich.
“Tracks like ‘Batman,’ however, bridge many gaps between Hedges, Fripp & Eno (the light side), Tibbetts, and others. It’s an entrancing song, airy and light-infused, the sort of composition that could go on for an hour and lull the listener to blissful repose.” – AcousticMusic.com
“An Italian guitarist who has an incredible fingerstyle technique that conjures some amazing harmonic and melodic sounds we didn’t even know an acoustic guitar could do on its own.” – FretBase.com
Universal Unitarian Congregation in Traverse City
Date & Time
Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets to the Traverse City event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Available at Oryana, Brilliant Books, The Silver Swan or online at fingerstyle.org.
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