Strumming around the world
JAN LAHNEY talks with him about his heroes and music.
If Sardinian guitarist and songwriter Davide Sanna could only have one possession in the world, it would be a guitar that is always in tune.
Eighties music did not resonate for him, so he created his own city of musical gold and peopled it with Bob Dylan as the mayor and threw in citizens...acoustic blues men like Robert Johnson, Indian and North African percussionists, some medieval lute players and some rock musicians.
Sanna blended their styles on his $30 guitar. Now they call him "The Mediterranean Dylan".
"No one can be compared with His Bobness," he protests. Claiming that Dylan was, and still is, 'The Master'. He salutes the American for his total devotion to his music, his muse and the honesty that Dylan uses to create 'something as powerful and soulful as his best songs and performances'.
Sanna admits that he is quite reserved about what inspires his songs. His fans would be surprised to learn that once he has written a new song he likes to keep it hidden for a time, so he can enjoy it as totally his and not shared with anyone else.
When he is ready to share his music, steeped in his traditional folk roots, the perfect gig for him is not at a specific place, but rather a universal combination of elements in front of an audience that gives him a feeling of bliss.
"Playing for me is a constant research of inspiration, a sort of nirvana, a mental and physical release of emotions," he says, explaining that this type of perfect gig happens many times.
The past six weeks have been an exciting time for this poetic guitarist.
Not only has he released his album but he has played in America, Britain and is currently touring Australia and New Zealand, before resuming a European tour.
Australia has already surprised him with its greenness that clashed with his concept based on the remote Outback.
He says his audiences are less geared totally to the pop culture in Australia, and are more drawn to acoustic work than their English cousins, with a different balance of songs versus music.
Sanna applauds Australian musicians whom he says are more open to different cultures. he says he had wonderful jamming sessions with flautist Anne Norman, guitarist Jarek Czechovicz, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Livett, who was adept at Indian instruments as well as guitar.
"Music is to me a spiritual thing...I think it touches the same strings as religion and songs are very close to my prayers," says the singer for whom English is a second language.
His tour has been fostering his love of travel. Although Italian born and resident in London, Sanna considers himself a citizen of the world and does not feel the need to be overly patriotic.
The pull of poetic London to the beauty of his home town, he says, will have to compete with the necessity of "a trip to Oz", now he has discovered the land Down Under.
His philosophy is to live as deeply as he can and to learn as much as he can.
He says experience has taught him that music is very rewarding and a good vehicle to learn about oneself.
"You don't need fame and glory to have the best times. If you have the energy to practise and learn to play or sing, that is success," he says.
Sanna's current tour takes him from the Frankston international Guitar Festival in Melbourne to Adelaide and then to Sails in the Desert at Ayers Rock before he comes to Far North Queensland to play at the Kuranda Amphitheatre on April 2nd at 7pm.