Q: Let's talk about the content; the articulation of the video is a series of short movies, each of which is set into a certain atmosphere, or periods during which there has been a blossoming of expressive forms not only in music. I wish you can focus better on this aspect.
A: In part there is this idea: sometimes just few symbols can denote an age, clothing, hair styling, all set in a dream-like vision.
And this is the case of “Lost Generation” opening suite, dropped in a cultural environment which I know very well, since it has been a part of my adolescence. I was interested in comparing my experience with that of other people to understand whether it were just my nostalgic interpretation, related to my youth or universally this time was felt in that way.
I have also learned from others that this period has been experienced in the same way, as well as other extraordinary periods for the development of music.
As a matter of fact,the period after the'80s ended badly. I am mainly talking of rock music. In previous years, however, even though maybe the musicians were not especially gifted, they tried to produce music with their style, their own sound and they were therefore recognizable.
This made it impossible, for instance, that someone would had imitated other successful things, because it was contrary to the primary intention: to play your own music ...
What happened in those years(70 ‘s) is comparable to what happened after the war, in the bop period of Charlie Parker. The music we listen to today has a still a strong link with bebop;
Ornette Coleman too, a great innovator, was definitely influenced by Parker, swing and sound.
Q: We notice an extreme variety of situations and environments: you mentioned the 70s, bebop, Lennie Tristano, the imaginary Colin McKenzie, then there are songs that I think dissolve the tension between these things, but they are always recognizable in your way of playing and composing. You've come to play even a rap in your way; then you've come to our times.
A: To tell the truth, I did not want to actualize the things I do, which are fine as they are. To reflect well on, also this springs out from the tradition, sometimes maybe it becomes easy listening to sell but on the other hand it can become a way to communicate things, just like we did. African American music has a red thread that goes through all these trends.
Q: So you consider your music as the development of musical trends, like Quincy Jones did.
A: Yes, because you can’t stop listening to and feeling the current sounds and then you try to include them in your work. I can’t exclude that the next musical trip would lead me to contemporary music influences, blues or Irish or Cuban music. I don’t exclude anything about that, because I've never loved to have a single musical color.
Q: This may therefore represent the first step of a larger mosaic you're thinking?
A: Definitely yes, this is the main idea; I hope to continue with the same approach for the future. In the course of my career, as a freelance I played with various musicians in different projects. Other times I worked at my own music, as for the Red Record Cd’s or with Sonora Art Quartet.
In this project I wanted to put the same youthful spirit; though at the time I was convinced that one could change the world through music. I have had to learn that even if you can’t change the world, you can try to improve the environment around you making a good music and showing others how to do.
Q: This was a very widespread belief, in the '70s .
A: I can’t help but say it. This project has given to me the same feeling and enthusiasm of the Sonora Art Quartet era, because I'm convinced that we are saying something new.
Q: Finally, how and where was this work created , that I know to be self-produced ?
A: just few words about this genesis: before recording, there was a work in progress started with some concerts . I often changed music time after time, forcing colleagues to play every time something new, maybe handing out scores few hours before the concert, to check if the ideas would work. So the whole project reached this form, but I have to say that in the next future I will do the same: there will always be something changed, deleted or added, as I have continually new ideas.
The recording materially occurred in very good set in Caserta: DayTwenty9 by the “cultural association Feelix”.
The place is particularly good in acoustic, having been built to make live music and the people who animate it are extraordinary, because they do it in an almost no profit spirit .
We succeeded in producing this project with a very low budget, entrusting the direction to a young musician who is also involved in video productions. It was our beginning experience. The director did well, although it was for him the first time he worked on such a long movie. We worked as: choreographers, writers, authors of texts (all unusual activities for us!), but the result is quite professional.
Q: So the opera is recorded direct, live?
A: Yes, everything is played live, improvisations can’t be overdubbed in a movie. Even for this we needed a real musician as director, able to follow the logic of theevents.