AROUND SLOVAKIA

Slovak air guitarist advances to world finals

THE FIRST official Slovak championship for air guitar players held in Rimavská Sobota on June 26-27 selected its winner: a young man from Snina, a town in eastern Slovakia, will now represent his country at the world air guitar finals in Finland. Peter Kuričšák won over the tough jury with his heart-felt rendition of an air-guitar solo to a song by Gary Moore, even though the first Slovak champ admits he cannot play a single chord on a real guitar. “I came to the stage, played the tune and did not care about the rest,” the medical student told the media after his performance.

Laco Lučenič, air guitar judge.Laco Lučenič, air guitar judge. (Source: Sme-Pavol Funtál)

THE FIRST official Slovak championship for air guitar players held in Rimavská Sobota on June 26-27 selected its winner: a young man from Snina, a town in eastern Slovakia, will now represent his country at the world air guitar finals in Finland. Peter Kuričšák won over the tough jury with his heart-felt rendition of an air-guitar solo to a song by Gary Moore, even though the first Slovak champ admits he cannot play a single chord on a real guitar. “I came to the stage, played the tune and did not care about the rest,” the medical student told the media after his performance.

Denisa Vološčuková of the MW Promotion agency told the TASR newswire that Slovakia is one of 24 countries which chose a 2010 national champion in this curious discipline. Kuričšák was chosen from among eleven contestants by a jury of famous musicians chaired by guitar player Laco Lučenič. Other jury members included guitarist Fefe of the Hex band, Smasho of Lavanagce, and Pino of the Puding pani Elvisovej group. Kuričšák will travel to the Finnish town of Oulu and compete in the world finals between August 25 and August 28. For those not familiar with this ‘musical’ genre, playing an air guitar is a show in which the performer mimics playing an electric guitar, but without the guitar. A performer can have a plectrum and sing as an aid but must not hold a guitar. Judging is based partly on the performance and partly on the image of the contestant.

The first competitions were held in Sweden and the USA in the 1980s and since 1996 the official World Championship has taken place every year in Finland. The championship jury will consist of well-known and lesser-known guitar players and the winner receives a real electric guitar or a special gift such as a plectrum used by Brian May, the guitarist of the rock group Queen.


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