Andrés Segovia, the renowned Spanish classical guitarist, made his first tour of the United States in 1928. When I watched and listened to him play many years later, I did not know anything of his first tour of the U.S. so many years before I saw him. And I cannot say with even a range of years when nor where I saw him perform. I only know it must have been between 1979 and 1985, because those were the years I was employed by what was then called the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, now called NACE International—The Corrosion Society; it was during one of the organization’s annual conferences, called Corrosion/XX (XX being the last two digits of the year in which the conference was held) that I saw and heard him play. A few other staff members and I paid for tickets to see and hear the virtuoso classical guitarist.
Here’s something new I learned as I dug into Segovia’s history: he played with a combination of his fingers and fingernails, which differed from his contemporaries. Other classical guitarists of his era typically used either one or the other, but not both. But Segovia, using a combination of the two, was able to produce a wider range of tone qualities than with one or the other, alone. Segovia died in June, 1987 at age ninety-four.
Here’s something else of which I was reminded as I tried to determine when and where I saw Segovia play: the internet may hold all of the world’s knowledge, but it hides significant parts of it. Though I have admittedly not exhausted all my internet resources, I have been unable to find a complete list of NACE’s Corrosion/XX conference dates and locations. I would have thought that would be a simple matter. But, no, not for me. Gaining some bits of knowledge requires more effort than others. I knew that. Now, I consider myself reminded.