Luca Ciarla kicks off Horizon’s concert series

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Classical music and technology intertwined into a brilliant multimedia performance in a concert starring world-renowned violinist Luca Ciarla. Playing solo with the aid of his loop machine, Ciarla entertained audience members of the Horizon concert series while video-animator Keziat projected her images on a screen behind the musician.

The performance was delivered in a way only a musical veteran of two decades can. Ciarla used a wide range of finger plucking, percussion bow techniques and a few small wind instruments to create the sound of a full band accompanying him.

His unique musical style is better explained in the context of evolution.

“Luca, as your going to hear him now, is a whole period of study and assimilation, merging and then modern creation,” said Todd Sullivan, director of the School of Music and manager of the Horizon’s series.

Ciarla is a classically trained musician who earned his master’s degree at Indiana University and completed a doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Arizona. He has been involved in many musical projects and has preformed in major jazz and world music festivals. The Italian violinist played a style of music very closely related to Eastern-European gypsy folk.

“Well, because [gypsy] is one of the most beautiful traditions for violin, [it’s] one of the most beautiful folk traditions from around the world,” Ciarla said.

The video portion of the performance was simple and complementary. It displayed many characters and themes of man and nature, but the simplicity of the majority of the work made the images seem like an afterthought on Ciarla’s expert violin playing. The most choreographed animation depicted the relationship between media and society, and was the centerpiece of the whole visual element.

“I’m alone with the violin on stage, so it can be a heavy thing. I like to make it lighter with a cartoon behind me, and I love cartoons, so it was an easy match for me,” Ciarla said.

Ciarla’s performance is the first of many being hosted by the NAU School of Music’s Horizon’s series. The series hosts international caliber artists with the goal of introducing different musical styles to the NAU and Flagstaff community.

“The idea of Horizon’s is, well, part of what I think University life is about, which really is to expose people to things that they sometimes never imagined or wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” Sullivan said.




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