INTERVIEW TO CARAVELLI
from "Gente" magazine (Argentina), around 1970
Many, many thanks to Horacio Miguel Vazquez for providing me this interview!
Note: The following is a loose translation done by me. Any mistakes are my own responsability. You can check the original version in Spanish if you are unsure of any sentence.
300 HOURS 300 HITS
CARAVELLI, ONE OF THE MOST VALUED MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD, WAS IN BUENOS AIRES. HE HAS 39 YEARS OLD, TWO CHILDREN. HE IS CONSIDERED AS THE MOST PROLIFIC OF THE MODERN AUTHORS. HERE IT IS, A TALENT.
Claude Vasori has 39 years old. Despite his youth, he is consider one of the most important orchestral conductors in the world. He has composed the music for many films. He has released a huge amount of long-plays, all of them with incredible sales success.
His international prestige forces him to travel continously from one country to another in order to fulfill his endlesss commitments.
Recently he was in Buenos Aires; they were four days where he had to provide interviews, suffer the harassment of thousands of fans, going to receptions, taking part of television shows.
Claude Vasori manage the best he could to comply with everyone... even with his dream.
But this crazy activity is for him the usual one; and the explanation might appear from the simpler of things, for example, reading in his autographs the name: "Caravelli"; a name he chose for no reason at all.
He is staying at suite 744 at the Plaza Hotel. It's three in the afternooon. An light with the form of an oval pierces in through the wide window that opens up to San Martin Square to stop on the floor. That beam of light is enough to fill the whole room.
Caravelli is there, stand up, watching that little piece of city at his feet. "I didn't have the opportunity to visit your country. Just a bit of Buenos Aires.
My thoughts?: that is a "green" country, unlike other American countries, more burn out by the sun.
Yes, Argentine is a huge green country, and that is something that must not be lost.
The colorful of a place is the only thing that makes it different from another one. Everything has its colour".
"The music too?" "Specially. Yesterday I had the luck to meet Piazzolla: a true musician with his own colour.
That is why I wouldn't like that a music so good as yours loses its true taste; the color in music is as important as the accent in a man".
Short, one meter and sixty of height. His black hair and some weird very fine moustaches mark his smile that highligts any witty remark. He has the image of a quiet man, but full of life at the same time.
He smokes slowly his "Gitanes" cigarrettes. He doesn't seem to be in any rush. He observes with a relaxed expression.
He smiles in silence. He wears a light grey suit, light blue shirt and a yellow tie. He waits for the questions.
- Tell me something about you, Caravelli.
- What would you like to know?
- Your parents, your childhood, you know... all of that.
- I was born on September 12th, 1930 in Venice. But I'm not Italian. More like half-French, half-Italian. My parents? Giusseppe Vasori - Venetian - and Giselle Lamar, from Paris.
I have a brother, Josseffe, who is the pride of ours: he is only 27 years old and he is a professor of Literature at the University of Paris.
From my childhood little can be of interest to you. I studied dramatic arts when I was seven.
At thirteen I entered the Paris Music Conservatory, city where my family has been living in definitively in 1947.
I studied classical music, but I was more fond of jazz and popular music. In 1950 I was accompanying famous "vedettes" on their international tours, but my biggest illusion was not to be an accompanying but to form my own orchestra to do what I liked.
Only in 1959 I could turn my drem into a reality. It turns out that while being in New York some friends introduce me to Ray Ventura.
I explain to him my projects, I told him what I wanted to do: an orchestra with my own style, "Caravelli style".
I got carried away and beat around the bushes. Suddenly I readlized what I was doing.
I stood up, turn around and left. That wasn't working.
But it looks like Ventura didn't thought the same: next week he looked for me, himslef and I signed a contract.
That's how the actual Caravelli was born. Everything else, was just a matter of time and sacrifices.
That was the start of the person who later will win Eurovision Festival, selling millions of records and would conquer the international audiences with his marvellous orchestra.
- You are being accused of doing commercial music.
- They are wrong. I don't do commercial music. But I must respond to certain demands, specially when I'm back up for a company that needs to make profits and not just art.
- So what you do is not art?
- Who said that? Music is an art, but the activity must be taken with a professional sense.
- How much time do you devote to the music?
- A lot. More than 15 hours daily. I end up really tired. That is why I don't have time for anything else but to rest or my friends.
- You don't read?
- Never. I've told you that I need to rest and reading demands some concentration that I can't achieve after my studies and orchestral arrangements.
- Political or religous ideas?
- I don't think they are of interest of anyone else; that is why I don't talk about them. The only thing that I confess to my audience is my music, which, is why they know me. I can tell you that the true religion is that of a man shaking hands with another one...
- What kind of religion is that?
He walks slowly down Florida street. A group of girls stop intrigued for all fuss around this little man in a grey suit. When they know who he is, they jumped over him. Autographs. Caravelli smiles. He winks one eye at one of them, whispers something to the other, ends up signing with a flirtatious remark.
- What do you think! Or do you forget that I have French and Italian blood?
- Whose woman?
- Mine. Ivonne. A magnificent woman. I have tow kids: Patrick (19) and Dominique (18). Both of them are following the steps of the father.
- What I wanted to ask you is what kind of woman do you prefer.
- The pretty ones! But they have to be smart too. If not, it dies when the love is over. With the intelligence it survives.
- What do you dislike in people?
- Injustice and lies: ah!: also the stupidity.
- What do you expect to find in a person?
- Nothing. But there are virtues that I admire: love and friendship.
- What does love and friendship means to you?
- Two things entirely different. Love is a physical principle, passional. Someone can love to their parents and there always be in that love a physical devotion that makes us feel part of another. However, the friendship is something different.
- For example?
- Is feeling good with a person, and say and expect the truth of the other one. Is feeling sad and have someone that can give us a hand ... is a lof of things ...
- If you have to choose between love and friendship, which one would you choose?
- You can't choose, my friend. Or do you think that love and friendship are dishes that are consumed in a restaurant?
Back in his room at the Plaza. Another "Gitane" is consumed between his finger. The oval of light doesn't touch the floor anymore. Now it lights up a wall. Everything is fainter. More diluted. Over a night table there is a tray with a glass and a bottle of soda water that shows that the 744 is occupied. Otherwise it would be hard to notice it. An excessive order lies gently at the suite. Caravelli has taken out his suit. He is there again, peeking for the strange window this curious green Buenos Aires. He thinks on Ivonne and his children. He knows that he will see them only for one day and again he would have to leave, this time to United States. In France they will be waiting in any of the four house that Caravelli owns.
- What are you thinking, Caravelli?
- Nothing at all.
- Are you sure?
- Sure. I was just looking, nothing else.
- At what?
- The people, those down there. Do you see them?
- And what caught your attention?
- I don't know, they look so small. Without any details.
This man Caravelli can't distinguish from his high position that down there, very close to the rubber tree, the couple seating over the grass is loving each other in silence.
HERNAN FIERRO COLOMBRES
PHOTOS: GABRIEL ALVARADO