Our next “Inside Story” features long-time PARMA artist Georges Raillard, a resident of Switzerland, author; and guitarist, specializing in composition. Enjoy!
Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?
Towards the end of 1968, at the age of 11, I began listening to a Swiss radio program called “Hit Parade”, broadcasted every Tuesday from 8 to 9 p.m. and very popular among my peers. They would play the week’s top-selling songs in Switzerland from #10 up to #1, with some spoken comments in between. The number 1 hit when I began listening to this broadcast and for some nine weeks was “Obladi Oblada” by The Beatles. I was electrified by this music, it was so completely different from the classical music my parents listened to. I also remember other great songs by other groups or singers of that time, but The Beatles were the first and luckily, as I found out by and by, also the best.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/composer/creator?
I can’t determine an exact moment really. I began taking private guitar classes in 1973, at the age of 16, inspired by my mother who played the piano and the violin and by the music I used to listen, which was guitar based. I was lucky because I had a very good, open-minded teacher. He quickly sensed that I had a flair for composing, and so by and by the classes grew in duration, contents, and scope, comprising not only the guitar playing skills but also harmony, musical form, melodic exercises, etc. In 1981 I was about to begin studying composition at a college in New York City, but finally, I renounced because I felt my urge to creating music had weakened, and in fact, it remained absent until 18 years later when I rediscovered my old compositions and decided to compose some new stuff. But these 18 mute years by no means were creatively lost years because in the meantime I had become a writer and published two books with short stories.
What was your most unusual performance or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
In the late 1970’s at the university, departments would organize parties for their students, I was one of them at that time and always looked for performers among them for entertaining the crowd. Once I thought it would be a good idea to play my compositions for the classical (acoustic) guitar to such an audience and make my mark. It was a disaster. I played well, but the people were half drunk and noisy, speaking all the time and even shouting about. After playing two pieces I was forced to abort my performance and I hurried away. But I learned two things: What I was interested in above all was not performing, but creating, and that my creations were something “serious,” and for really interested people, [not] vulgar entertainment.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A guilty pleasure of mine may be watching crime series on TV. After dinner, I’m too tired for serious activities and crime series are ideal for preparing for bed. They are entertaining and at the end, the good ones win and the bad ones get what they deserve and everything, including life, the world, and the universe, is ok again.