Piraí Vaca: “He was extremely shy, to the point that he would cry when he had to speak in public” | Duty

July 9, 2023, 10:35 AM

July 9, 2023, 10:35 AM

With a consolidated musical career, always assuming new musical challenges, such as Side B Rock in the blood, his last show in which he left his comfort zone and put on an electroacoustic guitar, leaving aside, for a moment, the classical guitar, Piraí Vaca continues to take his art around the world. These days he performs concerts in the United States, to later continue through several Latin American countries. A few days ago he called attention to the fact that he expressed the possibility of leaving Bolivia and living in another country, tired of the political conflict. Words more words less, we took the opportunity to talk with the guitarist from Santa Cruz about his personal history, his inner searches and his personal life.

Is it true that you want to settle outside the country?

I declared it in a program, but I clarified that I don’t think I would, but it’s a bit of the feelings produced by the current political moment in the country and the possibility that I have with my European residence of living there and how I got to that feeling that I never thought it could nest in my heart. I have never been a person interested in politics.

I think that politics is fine for the group of people who try to order, arm society with assignments, with laws. I enroll in another group of people, in which he tries to change his own world and through my activity change a little the world of others. I believe that both groups are necessary for life. However, since 2019, there is no one in our country. Neither left nor right nor neutral or apolitical that can escape what is happening. To uncertainty, insecurity, little stability. So that affects me too. It has affected me emotionally. It would seem that honor was completely divorced from politics, either left or right.

At the age of ten you began to study music. Was it your decision or influenced by some person or event?

My father brought me a little guitar from Europe on one of his tours. And he himself began to teach me the first chords, because he sings and plays the guitar. When I was ten years old I was lucky that the Institute of Fine Arts opened and there they brought Professor Luis Valdez Alba who was the one who taught me the first steps.

In your interviews, you remember Valdez with appreciation. What advice did you get from him?

Professor Valdez encouraged me every week and created a space in which I developed. I was extremely shy to the point that I would cry whenever I had to speak in public.. Then I realized that when I managed to overcome my personal issues, the guitar went up to another level and when the guitar achieved some specific, technical-musical achievement, my personality also grew. I realized that when the music improved, my person also. From a very young age I felt that interrelationship. So that that I grew up with music is literal, not only that I grew up playing the guitar, but that I grew internally, thanks to music and I also felt that when I managed to overcome my shyness, the guitar and music also grew. It was a relationship that I felt from a young age.

Piraí Vaca in a photo of his childhood

I believe that Valdez paid everything so that I can develop. That regardless of the fact that he always made me play at the mid-year concerts, at the end of the year at the institute. Valdez was the first one who organized a concert for me when I was 16 years old. The first concert I gave was at the Casa de España, which today is the AECI. He was also the first to give me the idea of ​​playing in other cities in the country.

I think that was the seed so that in the year 90, studying in Havana and having received my first international award, I decided to tour Bolivia. Nobody knew me. I would go to the newspapers and give them my photos and cassettes that he had recorded to show them the kind of music he made. A friend who did screen printing helped me with the posters that we would go out to paste on the streets to play in small rooms, where 30 people could fit.

Have you always self-managed the dissemination of your work?

I had that self-management job since I was young. I think that even in this day and age everything depends on you, that you manage yourself and that you do things, because otherwise nobody will do them for you, especially in our country where we have a small population, where the group of people who consume this type of music.

I remember a phrase that I heard in a movie and it stuck with me “As you do one thing, you do them all” I think it is an innate responsibility that I have from which I cannot escape and that It has been a blessing, but at the same time a curse.

Blessing because it naturally leads me to other standards, but it also stifles me and over time I became too rigid and demanding with certain things. The problem is not the demand, the problem with that position is that you stop enjoying and The most important thing in life is to enjoy: Why do I play guitar if I don’t enjoy it?

So in recent years I have been a little more lenient with myself, because I have realized that true creation lies in relaxation and I think that the artistic part also acquires another level when creation flourishes in that stage. On the other hand, I never lose sight of the fact that it has been more than 30 years and thousands of hours of training my hand and my mind to handle all this. You can get up on the right or left foot, but there is always a level, now that on a certain day inspiration overwhelms us all, that is a plus. A magical moment.

How have your spiritual pursuits influenced your life?

Until the ‘twenties’ I had no metaphysical interest, when I talk about spirituality I don’t talk about religion at all. It was music that took me to other stadiums, to another level of consciousness. I remember very well the year 1992, inaugurating the Baroque Music Festival in the church of San Javier, it was an extraordinary moment. Suddenly, the anguish of making a mistake on this or that note disappeared. All fear disappeared and the hand began to flow by itself.

Then for some reason I perceive that I am just a messenger, that there is something immensely superior, that it is life itself that manifests itself through what I do. It is not metaphysical or mysticism to know that we live in a world of energy and only our five very limited senses are what give us the sensation of being separate and living in linear time. I have had three important visions. The moments of greatest clarity I have always had thanks to music.

How is your current relationship with your children?

Casiopea is already 16 years old and she told me that she wants to study something related to art. She paints very well, she is dedicated to studying the technique to paint well. Now that she comes to Bolivia, because she lives in Germany, and she arrives in Bolivia in a few days, I will find out what her specific wishes are in her art. On the other hand, the little one (Amir Altazor) who is four years old, is a very particular character in which he seesI see a very powerful ancestry in the art of your grandfather and your father. I see an excessive fondness for music.

Would you like me to be a musician?

For me, the important thing is that he is what he wants to be. Now if you want to be a musician that’s fine, but it’s not my wish at all. However, he shows very strong signs of having an artistic personality. I see too many things about myself reflected in him, but I see that he has certain things that are very marked to want to fulfill what he wants. With unusual vehemence and dedication for his age.

What role does your wife play in your life?

I have a divorce in my past and I name it, because I learned a lot. The separation was painful. A couple relationship is much more complex than just love. It requires preparation, knowledge, it requires knowing how a solid relationship is formed and I think I found that after my separation and I think I found it in the right person who is ‘Jack’ (Jacqueline Labardenz) and We complement each other very well in almost everything. I feel very happy and proud of what we have built and that is an extraordinary feeling, because we have built it day by day. Now we have been together for 13 years. Very grateful to life and to her that we are together.

Piraí Cow and Family 1980
Piraí Cow and Family 1980

Piraí Vaca: “He was extremely shy, to the point that he would cry when he had to speak in public” | Duty