Interview with Pavel Steidl
Why are you looking forward to working with Karin Schaupp?
To work with Karin is a pleasure. She is not only a great professional musician and artist with many talents but a fantastic woman who has her heart in the right place – as we say in Czech – mother, wife and friend to people around her. I think we both feel the same about music – Music is a language. A wonderful method of communication.
How did you both choose the program?
It was quite a long process. I hope we did well and what we are going to present will make people happy. We want to tell a story about the instrument which is a very special part of music history and part of our life. This instrument is so popular everywhere on our planet. I am just coming from India where thousands of people are playing classical guitar.
Which piece are you most looking forward to performing with Karin?
All pieces I love, but maybe performing Janacek together with music of Australian composers – it is something special to me. But I love to play romantic music on period instruments as well.
How many guitars will you bring along on tour?
I will bring two guitars.
Can you tell me about them? What make are they?
The first one is a copy of 19th century Viennese luthier Johann Anton Stauffer. We call such an instrument a romantic guitar. The guitar was made for me by German luthier Bernard Kresse from Cologne a few years ago. I play his instruments for a long time.
Second guitar comes from Granada and is made by my other good friend Franz Butcher. This guitar has a more traditional sound than the guitar of Karin and I think it is good because symmetric sound is not always a beautiful sound. I like asymmetry. Everything in the nature is asymmetric.
Other than Karin Schaupp, who has been your favourite musical collaborator?
I like to play with Czech violinist Gabriela Demeterova and last year I joined the European guitar quartet. There are 4 different players Reentko Dircks, a great world music guitarist, Thomas Fellow, who plays Jazz, and Zoran Dukic, a phenomenal classical guitarist.
Have you ever collaborated with/performed with a high profile pop rock/rock n roll guitarist? If so, who?
I do not remember if I collaborated with a rock guitarist but I did some recordings with a legendary bass player Miroslav Vitous.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
On the way to my primary school I realized that everything I was learning at school was not so interesting to me and I could not work with my hands as my father did. I think I was already 13 years old. But I had joined a group of older boys and we played Bluegrass since I was 8 years old. So I went to the music school and learned to read music and two years later I went to the conservatory .
How old were you when you started playing the guitar?
I think I took a guitar in my hands when I was 6 but never had a lesson. My brother played banjo and I played guitar, mandolin and I was singing a lot.
If you were not a musician, what would you like to be?
Something in nature – a park ranger, or a Chef in a good restaurant.
Last book you enjoyed?
The Four agreements by Mexican Don Miguel Ruiz.
Last album you bought?
Now in India, where I am coming from, I bought some CDs with traditional music. Awesome! Amongst them is Ravi Shankar of course.
Favourite thing to do, (other than playing guitar)?
Be in nature and to cook. Be with my family and friends at home. I do live in great, very small village close to Prague but in the (national) park.