Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Tragedy of Lucia Micarelli

Please note: this blog is out of date -- I am keeping it here for historical purposes

Lucia Micarelli is currently acting in a television show named "Treme."

Before that, she was a violinist.

For me, the world violinist in fact is insufficient to convey what she was.  I grew up with parents who were classical music fans.  I heard violins all the time.  I never liked them much.  I was ok with the lower strings, but not violins.  As a result, I've never been a huge classical music fan, unlike my parents.

Then I heard Lucia Micarelli play the violin.  This was on YouTube.  There were recordings of her performing with Josh Groban.  I was dumbfounded.

I enjoyed listening to her play.  It was the first time I had ever enjoyed listening to the violin.

Part of it was her high drama stage presence,  drama that has translated into substantial acting ability on TV, but there are other violinists with stage presence.

She also has a unique bowing style.   If you watch her play, you can see that she is holding the violin and moving the bow ever so slightly differently from other players.  The sound is different as well.  Her unique bowing style gives her a unique voice on the violin.  She is a great genius, like Miles Davis on the trumpet.

For me, her "Kashmir" on Josh Groban's awake DVD was like Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk at the 25th anniversary of Motown.  After I saw it, I could never look at the violin quite the same way.

She played other places, too, with the Transiberian Orchestra, with Chris Botti, on her own CDs -- a long string of utterly amazing performances.

Then she had an accident.  She hurt her hand.

Fortunately, she got surgery and can now play again, though she apparently still is not quite 100%.  She is playing the part of a violinist on Treme -- sometimes she actually gets to play the violin on the show -- not so often, but enough that you can hear that the voice is still there; but the character does a lot of other things as well, and is also sometimes not featured in some of the episodes.

Micarelli says that in her new album, she will be singing, writing songs, and playing the guitar, in addition to playing the violin.

Thus the voice of Lucia Micarelli on the violin has fallen largely silent -- or so it seems to me.   I guess she is not unhappy with the situation, herself.  She feels this is a growth experience -- but I am unhappy.  I want to hear her play.

How can the entertainment industry allow this to happen?   How can so few people notice the silencing of the voice of a great genius?


Addendum: 8/2/13  She did finally go touring with Barbra Streisand this year, which was something of a relief, but, still, I don't feel she's adequately appreciated.