Michele Gazich is a musician, an artistic producer and a composer. The personal and really innovative style he uses whenever he plays his main instrument, the VIOLIN, makes its sound immediately recognizable. Gazich has collaborated with a lot of Italian artists and has also been appreciated outside our country since the 1990s, on the occasion of tours both in Europe and in the U.S.A. , where he played not only with orchestral groups, but also with some singer-songwriters, from Michelle Shocked to Mary Gauthier, from Eric Andersen to Mark Olson. Moreover, Gazich has composed some pieces of music for the theatre besides being a university lecturer interested in studying in-depth themes relative to music and poetry. Assisted by the band La Nave dei Folli, Gazich has released 3 albums between 2008 and 2010: “ Dieci canzoni di Michele Gazich”, “ Dieci esercizi per volare” and “ Il giorno che la rosa fiorì” . “L' IMPERDONABILE” (UNFORGIVABLE) , released on 14.11.2011, is his first solo album , as Gazich superimposed his own voice, the viola and the piano both played by himself. I met Michele Gazich for the first time on a lively November afternoon, at my house, with the whole family surrounding the newborn Beatrice. The following interview sums up all our talks. 
GENZINI: Can you speak about your education? 
GAZICH : Music has always been part of my life. Since I was a child, I have always shown interest in music: in fact my father taught me how to write notes earlier than I learnt how to write words. At about 4 I started playing the piano, but a few years later grandma gave me a violin which soon became my main instrument. Then, I enrolled at the Conservatoire; at first I attended the Brescia Conservatoire, the town where I was born, and then the Turin one where I got my degree in 1994. Afterwards, I collaborated with some orchestras and privately studied Composition in depth. I have always loved songs, in all their forms; I have always been fascinated by the idea of proposing poetry, through music, to a wider audience. Therefore, from the early 1990s, I collaborated with some American singer-songwriters, like Michelle Shocked, Mark Olson, Eric Andersen and Victoria Williams, who taught me a lot about songwriting and of the ways of proposing songs live. I still bear in mind all of these experiences, together with the ones which, at the same time, were going on with Italian and European artists.
GENZINI: What music were you fond of when you were young? What about now? 
GAZICH: As a young boy, I played and listened to classical music only , especially baroque music for violin and namely CORELLI; moreover, I have always deeply loved, among others, Bach and Mozart, the composers I usually consider with constant attention and mysterious fidelity. For example, I have always been trying, for 30 years, to make perfect the execution of a piece of music which is seemingly simple but actually really difficult , because of its quiet but inexorable exploration of heart depths: the Sarabanda in Corelli's VII Sonata for violin and basso continuo. Bach is even nowadays a continuous listening and daily incitement for me. For example, I composed the title piece of my album “L'Imperdonabile” starting from the harmonious structure supporting the wonderful and melancholy air for contralto “Erbame dich, mein Gott” , from Bach's Passion according to Saint Matthew.
GENZINI: Your last record is very intense: what message do you intend to convey? 
GAZICH: Love. A word which everybody uses, but which is unforgivable when the word becomes life. “We can speak human languages or the angels' one, but we are nothing if we do not have love”, as saint Paul said. Assuming the risk of becoming unforgivable for the rest of the world, my invitation is to love. Love for me is not only a feeling addressed to the others, but it has also been a working method. I recorded L'IMPERDONABILE during a difficult period in my life, when I could have left it owing to a serious illness. So, I tried to put in my work even more love than usual and I checked every single detail. I played all instruments on my own (piano, violin and viola), through superimposed recordings and I sang my own songs (in the previous three albums I had entrusted my compositions to other voices). The attention to detail has probably been a bit too obsessive: for example, I spent a whole day with the piano tuner, before actually starting recording. My main instrument, the violin, has been used in dramatically different ways: contextualized in arrangements of classical origin; plucked to evoke a Brassens-like guitar; even differently tuned (G, D, G, C) so as to remind of the sound of the so-called Launeddas, the typical bagpipe of Sardinian popular music. A violin is, at the same time, the instrument of the highest intellectual speculation and the instrument of gipsies. I have always tried to give voice both to the folk and philosophical soul of my instrument. I used the viola almost exclusively on the low register, on the strings with the lowest notes G and C, to convey violins a harmonious support in arrangements for strings. As a matter of fact, as it is typical of my arrangements, even this time I have not used the cello, in an apocryphal way (however, I may use it in the future). Finally, my voice has been used in a non stentorian, but almost whispered way unlike nowadays when too many singers shout. I thought it was a way to exploit every single word; I love defining it as “reciting-singing”, or “recitarcantando” as they used to say at Monteverdi's times.
GENZINI: What are your future plans? 
GAZICH: I'm touring extensively with L'IMPERDONABILE , which has been given a warm welcome, both by the audience and the critics in different fields, as it happens with my music: there have been reviews in classical, folk and rock music magazines. One of my greatest joys has been the presence of a mixed audience at my concerts: people of different age ranges, different musical tastes and cultural backgrounds, from the theologian to the barman. L'IMPERDONABILE includes a piece devoted to one of the greatest Jewish poets of the XX century, Paul Celan. It has already been appreciated and will represent Italy in Auschwitz during the events connected with the “Train of Memory” at the end of March. L'IMPERDONABILE tour will finally culminate in the recording of a DVD in the Romanesque-style cathedral in Brescia, my hometown, on May 19th . I have taken part in more than 45 albums in my life so far, but I feel I still have lots of things to say, also together with other artists. On February 14th I will introduce in Köln (Germany) Inge Andersen's album, a Dutch singer-writer whose artistic production I took care of for a German label. I am also working, in a studio, on a project I particularly cherish , together with Italian singer-writer Massimo Priviero.  GENZINI: What instruments do you use?
GAZICH: My main instrument is a violin made by the famous violinmaker Giuseppe Lecchi, built in Genova in 1935. It has a powerful but round sound and I have been playing it since 1985; I built up my own sonority on this instrument. It has always been anywhere with me these years; in 2006 it was seriously damaged immediately before a concert. I remember I asked my violinmaker the decisive question: “Will it play as before?”; he answered: “ Michele, nothing is like before in life”. Therefore, my violin may not play like before, but I have the impression it plays even better. The “hurt” in the front part gives more personality to its appearance, which already had a significant impact, with dotted Guarneri-like F holes, softened in the amber colour of varnish. My spare violin is a mysterious instrument which belonged to my uncle: it has a much lighter colour , its sound is acute and piercing, suitable to folk repertoire and to double-stringed playings. It was made by a Mr. Girardi in Vicenza, maybe in the 1930s and has been later re-assembled by violinmaker Augusto Bonfiglio from Brescia in 1970. I play a much more recently built viola. It was made by Jay Haide in Berkley, California, in 2001. As I am mainly a violinplayer, I chose a not very big viola. Anyway, the sound is important, especially in the low-note register. As main bow, I have been using for more than 20 years a bow made by Swiss Vanka and I hope it will still accompany me for a long time, thanks to the accurate and constant maintenance by bowmaker Giancarlo Pedretti. Moreover, from 2001, I have been perfecting, together with violinmaker Roberto Fontanot, an amplification system for my stringed instruments, which I use in large spaces. The task has been taking a long time, but the truth, the sound power, the riches of harmonics and the absence of feedback are exceptional. You should interview Roberto who, better than me, will explain how he achieved the result from a technical point of view. The amplification of stringed instruments is a delicate matter, often dealt with superficially: it would really deserve an ad hoc in-depth analysis.
GENZINI: What are the 5 records you like best?
GAZICH: Johann Sebastian Bach, his Passion according to Saint Matthew directed by Karl Richter (DVD, recorded in 1971), Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy (1989), Van Morrison's No guru, no method, no teacher (1986), Georges Brassens's Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sête (1966) and Gesualdo da Venosa's I Madrigali , edition by Quintetto Vocale Italiano directed by Angelo Ephnikian (1969).