When I began this project, my main goal was to become a competent and confident tango violinist, especially one who could switch effortlessly between tango and classical violin. For me, this was a particular challenge, since I had never played other types of music besides classical. Furthermore, it is important to mention that many classical players try to perform tango music without any in-depth knowledge; tango is a musical language unto itself (albeit based on a Western musical tradition) with specific conventions. Before beginning the master's program, I was aware of some of the stylistic differences, and wanted to understand how to adapt my playing to the specific challenges of tango.
In general, the master's degree in tango gave me a fantastic opportunity to discover and study tango – particularly from the perspective of an orquesta tipica player – but in my artistic research I wanted to understand how the great tango violinists played, on a deeper level, and then apply that research to my own playing. Later on, I would narrow the focus from tango violin in general to what inspired me on a more personal level: solo tango violin. My point of departure was a recording of Astor Piazzolla's “Decarissimo,” performed by Polish-Argentinian violinist Szymsia Bajour. The rich timbre of his sound plus the beauty of his phrasing provided me with a model to emulate. Upon further investigation, I
discovered that he was the perfect violinist for me to study, because he was best known as a classical violinist who also played tango, switching effortlessly between the styles.
Once I understood how Bajour played, I wanted to determine how I could apply that knowledge to my own artistic development. For example, I thought about what interested me most in “Decarissimo” and the answer was the violin solo – and not the accompanimental passages. So I decided to focus on the role of solo violin in tango, with a more
specific focus on Szymsia Bajour. At the outset of my research, I was more concentrated on the interpretational aspect of the project (how could I imitate his playing style in order to assimilate it into my own) but as my research progressed, it became clear to me that while the first part of my project would be based on interpretation, the second part would be creative. My initial idea of the creative portion was to write my own version of a Bajour solo and insert it into one of the pieces that he recorded, but ultimately I discovered that I was much more interested in virtuoso tango fantasies for solo violin – the models for which I found over the course of my research.