Who has seen the violinist in action Ara Malikian he has not forgotten his way of playing. He was born in Lebanon, is of Armenian descent and has lived in Madrid for 20 years; He likes Paganini, Björk and Extremoduro. All of the above defines her career. On Saturday, September 26, the cycle closes Musical whims in Paradores at the Parador Málaga Golf (Málaga).
He hasn’t stopped playing in recent weeks, despite the situation. Yes, I feel very lucky, because my colleagues, the culture and all the performing arts are suffering a lot. We have been able to tour with different, beautiful and exciting concerts, but we are still worried.
The sector is very upset with the Ministry. Do you share it? It is normal, nobody is working, nobody is trying to improve the situation of the artists. The concerts are being held with all the security measures, there has not been a single contagion, and despite this they are being canceled, events are prohibited, while with other sectors it is being more permissive.
How did you see the public that went to your first concerts after the confinement? It has been the most beautiful thing in the last three months. The public approached with all the affection, and all the fright too; because when you go to a concert in this situation you think about it several times. But they have come, they have supported us and they have sent us their energy. It’s exciting. I have done thousands of concerts in emblematic and large places, but these last ones, with the limited capacity, have been wonderful.
“The confinement was a time of much reflection, of being more aware of what we are doing”
He launched several reflections during confinement. Has a pandemic had to come to know who we are? It was a time of much reflection, of being more aware of what we are doing, of how we can take care of others. We have learned many things and, although later we return to normality, we hope that this bad experience will be a learning process for us to try to make a better world for everyone.
In the chronicles of his concerts it is often read that he does “magic” with the violin. Do you feel you have a gift? I don’t know … It’s not a question of whether you have it or not, in fact, I think everyone has talent. The most important thing is what you do with your gift, how you work it, what your vision is like, your way of interpreting it. For me, the most valuable thing has been this long road: it has been years of making mistakes until I found myself.
Phil Collins told me years ago that he had assumed that he was not going to play drums like before and that maybe he should try something else. Do you have a plan b? I have reinvented myself a thousand times in life. If you are a survivor, you always find a plan b and a plan c. A year ago I had an accident, I fell from the stairs of an airplane and broke my shoulder. He couldn’t raise his arm. They had to operate on me and for three months I was afraid that I couldn’t play again; It was in those moments that I most thought about what to do. And one is an artist, plays the violin or not, so I would dedicate myself to the stage. I was lucky, and I am very grateful, but you always have to be prepared to have a plan b, although for now I hope not, because I am in love with what I do.
He has talked a lot about his father, but now he has written a piece to his mother, Loucine. Like she was? She was very optimistic, hard-working and had a passion: teaching the Armenian language to all Armenians in the world. She did a study and wrote several books on it. I have always admired her and for me she was also an example of a woman. It has inspired me a lot.
Your father left you several boxes with books, sheet music, etc., what did you discover in them? Many surprises, things I did not know, information, personal things of him or my grandparents. My father was very orderly, he kept everything. It was very exciting to open them. And from there came the documentary of Nata, my wife [Una vida entre las cuerdas].
“Style doesn’t matter. I like an artist according to the passion that touches your heart”
What connects Paganini with Björk and Extremoduro? The passion for music. For me there is no difference, the style does not matter. I like an artist according to the passion that touches your heart. It shows when all these artists make music with love.
Do you remember any performance that touched you? Although it’s easy to say, I think the last concert is the one that touches you the most. And, as I have told you, the last ones are exciting me a lot, although I have always thought that the next one is going to be more exciting; and I keep thinking about it.
Does the violin suffer in your performances? Well yes, I move and sweat a lot and the wood is very old, so you have to clean it later. It is an important maintenance, it must be taken regularly to the luthier to take care of it. It is also normal for the strings to break.
Tell me about your fondness for playing in the bathrooms. It is a costume. Sometimes when I study I walk and I like to be in front of a mirror to check that the movements are correct. I always find a mirror in the bathroom, and I always end up in one. It’s not because of the acoustics …
“It is important to travel, get to know the world and cultures: you become a more sensitive and respectful being”
His origins have marked his life, but now he is also from Madrid and adopted son of Zaragoza. When he has homelessness, where does he get it from? I have homesickness from my family, I feel at home anywhere in the world. If I have my family with me I feel comfortable, although it is true that in Madrid I am very happy. I found my place, that’s why I stayed so long.
And that it cost him to achieve nationality. Yes, it cost me. They denied it to me and then they gave it to me.
Would you like Lebanon and Armenia to be more present here? It is important to be aware of what is happening in other countries, but it depends on each person. It is important to travel, get to know the world and cultures: you become more sensitive, respectful and you hate different people less. It makes me sad that there are people who when they see someone from outside, directly, they start a hatred, their thing is to understand why we are different and enjoy those differences.