Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux

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Hear from Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, who performed at the Arizona Bach Festival.

TED SIMONS: THANK YOU SO MUCH ARE JOINING US.
JASON HARORA: APPRECIATE YOU HAVING ME.
TED SIMONS: YOU BET.
TED SIMONS: JASON VIO IS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE ELITE OF THE CLASSICAL GUITARISTS PERFORMING EVERY ARIZONA BACH FESTIVAL OVER THE WEEKEND.
TED SIMONS: WE RECENTLY SPOKE WITH THE GRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING GUITARIST ABOUT HIS WORK. JASON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON ARIZONA "HORIZON." WHEN YOU SEE YOURSELF PLAY WHAT DO YOU SEE? ARE YOU A CRITIC? DO YOU SIT BACK AND SAY THIS IS BLISS? WHAT HAPPENS?
JASON HARORA: IT IS PROBABLY IN BETWEEN WEIGHTED MORE TOWARD THE CRITIC SIDE OF THE THING. IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A HIGH LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE IF YOU ARE NOT CRITICAL OF WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR AND GET THE FEEDBACK FROM THE RIDES AND COMMERCIAL CD I THINK YOU ARE GETTING TOO USED TO THE PROCESS.
TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU PLAY YOUR CD AT HOME OR DRIVING IN THE CAR --
JASON HARORA: I DON'T MIND IF MY WIFE PUTS THEM ON. WHEN I WAS A KID, MY FIRST CD WAS WHEN I WAS 19 AND IN MY 20s I HATED HEARING MYSELF.
TED SIMONS: HOW COME?
JASON HARORA: I WOULD GO INTO THAT TEACHER MODE AND NIT-PICKING.
TED SIMONS: I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS AND THAT.
JASON HARORA: YEAH, BECAUSE EVERYTHING YOU PLAY IS CHANGING. WHEN YOU TOUR AND PLAY THE PIECES RECORD THEY CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND GROW.
TED SIMONS: A CLASSICAL PIECE ON THE GUITAR, CENTURIES OLD, CAN CHANGE?

JASON HARORA: YOU, YOUR INTERPRETATION CHANGES OVER TIME AND I THINK FOR ME PERSONALLY AND I KNOW A LOT OF CLASSICAL MUSICIANS THAT TOUR A LOT FEEL THE SAME WAY, THERE ARE THOSE THAT WANT TO PLAY IT EXACTLY THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME OUT. I AM MORE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THINGS WHERE I DON'T WANT TO GET TIRED. I WANT TO REALLY FEEL LIKE I AM IN A MOMENT. I ALMOST REACT TO THE WAY THE AUDIENCE FEELS.
TED SIMONS: I WAS GOING TO ASK THAT. AN AUDIENCE MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE PROBABLY; DOESN'T IT?
JASON HARORA: YEAH, SOMETIMES THEY LISTEN IN A WAY AND YOU ARE ALL COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER.
TED SIMONS: CLASSICAL GUITAR, OBVIOUSLY VIRTUE HERE. WORLD CLASS AND THE BEST. WHEN YOU STARTED DID YOU WANT TO START WITH THE CLASSICAL? MOST KIDS WANT TO START WITH THE ELECTRIC GUITAR AND BE EDDIE VAN HALEN.
JASON HARORA: HE IS A BIG DEAL TO ME AND STILL IS. I WANTED TO PLAY ELECTRIC GUITAR FOR SURE. BUT BY AN ACCIDENT KIND OF MY MOTHER BROUGHT ME A CLASSICAL GUITAR. A THREE QUARTER SIZE CLASSICAL GUITAR WHEN I WAS FIVE BECAUSE I WOULDN'T STOP LISTENING TO HER BEETLES RECORDS. MY DAD'S COLLECTION WAS MODERN JAZZ. WE DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS CLASSICAL GUITAR. IT WASN'T UNTIL THE BUFFALO COR QUARTET CAME AND MY MOTHER HEARD THEM PLAYING WHILE AT THE SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS.
TED SIMONS: DO YOU REMEMBER SEEING THEM? DID THE FIRST THING THAT STUCK WITH YOU IS I'M PLAYING GUITAR HERE?
JASON HARORA: SOME OF THE THINGS. THERE WAS THIS OLD RENAISSANCE TUNE. THIS IS AN EARLY ONE.
TED SIMONS: VERY ENGLISH SOUNDING.
JASON HARORA: VERY. AND A COUPLE YEARS LATER I PROGRESSED TO WHERE I LEARNED: [PLAYING GUITAR]
TED SIMONS: WAS IT A MEDIOCRE INCREASE?
JASON HARORA: EVERYBODY REGARDLESS OF TALENT OR INTEREST LEVEL HITS PLATEAUS. AS A KID IF I DID EXPERIENCE THAT IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FOR VERY LONG. I ENJOYED, FOR THE MOST PART, I PRACTICED ON MY OWN AND MY PARENTS REALLY DIDN'T HAVE TO, YOU KNOW, KIND OF PRESS ME TO PRACTICE. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I WAS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT FROM THE TIME I WAS -- I STARTED CLASSICAL LESSONS WHEN I WAS 7-8 AND BY THE TIME I WAS 10-11 I WAS INTO IT. IT BECAME AN IDENTITY FOR ME IN A WAY.
TED SIMONS: YOU KNEW WERE YOU GOOD?
JASON HARORA: MY TEACHER WAS ALWAYS TELLING ME THAT. BUT REALLY WHERE YOU KNOW IS WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING FOR INTERNATIONAL TOUR ARTISTS AND THEY GIVE A MASTER CLASS AND THAT IS WHEN WE GOT THE INKLING THEY WOULD TELL MY PARENTS AND MY TEACHER THAT IT WAS KIND OF LIKE A BASKETBALL RECRUIT. WHEN SCOUT COMES AROUND HE HAS A GREAT JUMP SHOT.

TED SIMONS: AND HE HAS A CHANCE TO MAKE IT A CAREER. WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU COULD MAKE THIS A CAREER?
JASON HARORA: I DIDN'T KNOW. NO ONE KNOWS. A LOT OF THINGS HAVE TO HAPPEN ALONG THE WAY. A LOT OF HARD WORK. BUT I ANYHOW I KNEW -- I KNEW I WANTED TO MAKE A GO AT IT. IT WAS MY FIRST FULL LENGTH RECITAL IN BUFFALO WHEN I WAS 12. I WAS VERY MUCH INTO SPORTS AND A HUGE SPORTS FAN. BUT AT THAT POINT, I THOUGHT I AM NOT GOING TO BE A SOCCER PLAYER. IT WAS LIKE EDGING SOCCER OUT. AND I MADE THE CHOICE.
TED SIMONS: IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU WERE ENJOYING YOURSELF. YOU WERE HAPPY WITH IT. YOU WERE GOOD AT IT. THEY ALWAYS SAY FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE DOING AND YOU WILL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE
JASON HARORA: ABSOLUTELY.
TED SIMONS: THE CLASSICAL GUITAR. IS THERE A RENAISSANCE GOING ON?
JASON HARORA: THERE SEEMS TO BE TALK IT IS HAVING A COMEBACK AND I WOULD SUGGEST IF THERE IS IT IS BECAUSE THERE IS A HUGE BAS OF STUDENTS AROUND THE WORLD. MUSIC SCHOOLS, COMPETITIONS, FESTIVALS AND MAINLY STUDENTS AND EFISH EFFICIENT WHO WERE NOT THERE BEFORE. AT CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC I HAVE A GOOD FORTUNE OF HEARING THE KIDS FROM CHINA, KOREA, AND EASTERN EUROPE. IT IS GREAT. SGR AS FAR AS REP IS CONCERNED -
TED SIMONS: YOU PLAYED BACH AND IT IS FANTASTIC. HOW DID YOU GET THAT OVER TO THIS?
JASON HARORA: BACH WROTE FOR A COUSIN OF THE GUITAR THE LOOT, BUT HE COULD NOT PLAY THIS INSTRUMENT. APPARENTLY HE HAD TWO OF THEM IN THIS HOUSE. HE IS BASICALLY WRITING KEYBOARD MUSIC AND IN A WAY THE LOOT HAD TO CARRY IT OUT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T PLAY THAT. I WILL BE PLAYING THREE OF THOSE WORKS IN THE CONCERT FOR THE ARIZONA BACH SPECIAL.
TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS BACH IS CONCERNED, SHOW US HOW -- WHEN YOU PLAY IT SOUNDS LIKE BACH. EVER NOTE TRANSFERS EVERY.
JASON HARORA: PRETTY MUCH. THE LUTE HAS A LOWER RANGE IN THE BASE SO IF YOU ARE PLAYING LIKE -- [PLAYING GUITAR]
JASON HARORA: YOU HAVE THREE DIFFERENT VOICES OR LINES HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME. NOT ALWAYS IN THE LOWER REGISTER ESPECIALLY. SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO TAKE THAT LOWER VOICE AND COMPRESS IT UPWARDS BECAUSE THE GUITAR HAVING SIX STRINGS AND NOT THE EXTRA OPEN BASE NOTES, WE HAVE TO BE CREATIVE IN HOW WE REPRESENT THOSE DIFFERENT VOICES.
TED SIMONS: IN THE -- INTERESTING.
JASON HARORA: WHEN YOU ARE TEACHING STUDENTS YOU MENTION THEY ARE COMING AND THEY ARE GOOD. WHEN YOU ARE TEACHING WHAT IS THE STUMBLING BLOCKS COMING TO CLASSIC GUITAR AND KIDS TRYING TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL

JASON HARORA: I USE THIS ANALOGY WHEN I CAN. IT IS LIKE GOLF. THERE IS AN INFINITE NUMBER OF SHOTS YOU HAVE TO MASTER AND EVERY SHOT IS DIFFERENT. FROM YOUR DRIVE TO YOUR SECOND SHOT TO YOUR APPROACH, CHIPPING, PUTTING. YOU NEVER SEE THE SAME SHOT TWICE IN A WAY. SO YOUR FUNDAMENTALS, OF COURSE, HAVE TO BE SO SOLID YOU CAN MAKE ADJUSTMENTS FOR EVERY PIECE YOU LEARN. IT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT KIND OF GUITAR TO PLAY FOR SURE. THEN IT IS WHAT SEPARATES THE TECHNICIANS FROM THE ARTISTS. THEY HAVE MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ON THE INSTRUMENT BUT HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT COMMUNICATE DO IS A LISTENER.
TED SIMONS: THANK YOU SO MUCH. I COULD TALK TO YOU FOREVER. I FIND IT FASCINATING. CAN YOU PLAY SOMETHING OUT FOR US?
JASON HARORA: SURE! [PLAYING THE GUITAR]
TED SIMONS: THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I AM TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Jason Vieaux: Classical Guitarist

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