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A QUESTION PENDING …

 

How to explain the mania that has taken hold of me this year? It’s me wanting to share my music with you! Hence my plan to issue four new singles for the four seasons. They all lead up to a new album Solo Piano intended for the next spring equinox.

The 21st March saw my first single of the year, Rendezvous, and it was the first of the series of singles planned for 2019. Now my composition for cello and piano, Claudine & Jean-Pierre, will very soon be out in all the digital stores in time for the summer solstice.

How did Claudine & Jean-Pierre come about? It all started with a meeting …

On a day long ago in 2015, at the home of friends, I had the pleasure of meeting a young French couple, Jean-Pierre, singer and guitarist, and Claudine, who shares his life and adventures and loves his music and art. We listened to each other’s music, exchanged CDs, opinions, stories … and our music. We immediately got on well and felt an affinity with each other’s music, and quite by chance I happened to accompany Jean-Pierre in an encore at the end of one of his concerts at the Circolo della Vela in Bari. Claudine & Jean-Pierre is the result of the emotions of that moment and is dedicated to them!

As so often happens to me, the theme came to me of its own accord and reflected the spirit of Paris rather than Paris itself, even though the city is uniquely fascinating and is able to convey strong emotions. To fully capture the romanticism of Paris what better instrument could I have found than the cello to match my beloved piano? As a result I chose the hands, mind, heart and cello of Claudio Mastrangelo, a truly genial and eclectic musician. Playing with him was a special, intense and particularly enjoyable experience, whether in the Crescendo AudioRegistrazione studio of Luigi Patruno orat the legendary Caffè D’Arte in Bari. This is a place of important encounters that I am very fond of, and over the years it has been part of my life and given me support during significant and fortunate moments. One case in point is Luci e ombre, on my second CD Fluide Risonanze. This piece, which was recently performed in Vienna at the Schönbrunn Castle, came about in that very café, on that very piano, and was a composition that my friend, the architect Antonio Nobile, categorically wanted for the presentation of the book Come piante tra i sassi by Mariolina Venezia

Because of their intuition and professional expertise I once againassigned Alma Films, in the person of Romualdo Pecorella, with directing and filming my video clip. The cutting and editing was done by Giulia De Feo, ayoung and promising whiz in this field. And to further enhance this  l i t t l e   work of art, we chose none other than a truly unique and exceptional location … the wonderful French capital, P A R I S ! ! !

And now that it has all taken shape I can’t wait for the crucial 21st June to be able to finally share Claudine & Jean-Pierre with all of you. This is my second single of 2019 and I leave you with a question … what is to be the third single planned for the year?!?

 

 

Target 2019!

2018 was full of important events and prizes for me and my music, as many of you will know: it saw the release of Lo Specchio, my third CD for solo piano (produced by Believe Digital); I took part in the 15th Argojazz Festival and won the 2018 Argojazz Prize for the Best Musical Work; and I was also at the 23rd Time Zones Festival ... all this and a lot more happened in 2018! 

What about 2019? What will 2019 bring?

I would say that it has already got off to quite a good start! La Besana, my composition for piano solo, won a prize from the Estro Musical Foundation (Milan). 

However, it is what I would call my ordinary path. It is normal for me to be always seen and recognised in the role as  p i a n i s t   c o m p o s e r  - more or less carrying on in the same style as ever. 

Ok! But who am I really? 

I have always written music of every kind. I believe that music can have a thousand and one functions: it can entertain, console, make you think, make you happy or make you sad. That’s why I will always draw inspiration for my music from any and every style or genre, and give it a special shape. Very often you are too involved in technicalities or in choosing what product to offer the market, you are too concerned about pleasing your own niche group. But the world is full of so many of us and we don’t necessarily have to please everybody. We simply have to be true to ourselves and life will do the rest, as it has done for us all already! 

In 2019 I intend to move away from the usual scheme of things and show other sides of myself. 

So I have planned the release of 4 singles and video clips to celebrate the arrival of each season. I have thought up 4 pieces that are totally different from each other as regards genre, style and character. They have not been specifically written for the purpose, but have already previously been composed and arranged and chosen for the occasion. But that’s not all! I can’t reveal everything, but there will be a special surprise for all of you in each piece. We will make the journey together. Where to, that we don’t know!

Yes! Because of each of these pieces depicts a landscape or place, and in 2019 I want to go on the journey with you! So ... fasten your seatbelt ... o f f   w e   g o ! ! ! 

 

A QUESTION OF CHOICES…

We have to make choices each day and every moment of the day. Some are close to us and others further away. We don’t always have the time to think, realise or understand if they are the right ones … the time races by and we have to decide.

Over the past few days I have had choices to make. There were a number of factors involved: the time available to me, the number of steps connected to it, and the tension that a recording session in a studio brings with it; besides which, it might happen that decisions once made could be overturned in favour of new ones. The choice is not always the one you want but the one that is possible and necessary in the actual circumstances. Each decision is only the snapshot of a moment.

Moreover, for me the concept of sound related to taste and touch is totally subjective, as I see music and sound as something strictly personal. Everything happened at the Officina Musicale of Francesco Saponari, Giuseppe Mariani, and Giuseppe Saponari at Castellana Grotte. This is where my third CD took shape thanks to Believe Digital Italia, to the professionalism of Giuseppe Mariani (sound engineer) and to the fabulous Steinway & Sons 1917 model D of Farina Pianoforti in Ostuni. It is a completely new work for Piano Solo which I am proud to have created. It is a rich patchwork of nuances associated with very different states of mind, which I often like to combine together as if they were a palette of a thousand different colours.

The instrument is the means by which music reflects the state of mind of the player.

Playing an old and priceless instrument like the Steinway & Sons model D with its rich history, which includes the RAI, was  a n i n c r e d i b l y e m o t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . You just need to consider that it appears on the greatest stages in the world and is the choice of the vast majority of the best pianists in the world (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim and many others).

Mitsuki Uchida (a Steinway artist) writes: ”When you start to play a Steinway D, your music changes. It takes you into a new world. To own one is a true privilege.”

I can say that the week I have just spent was truly s u r r e a l with regard to the intensity and immensity of the beauty and purity of sound.

With an instrument like that everything is possible, but even so choices still had to be made as regards meter and sound … because, just as in life, music is a question of choices!

 

“A passion for research, a vocation as a director, and an entrepreneur by chance.”

Two magnificent evenings of international pop music have just taken place… but that’s not all!

The leading lights of both evenings were the MAXIMAorchestra and the amazing voice of Sarah Jane Morris, an internationally famous performer, with TONY RÉMY on guitar as Special Guest.

What was unique about this wonderful Apulian experience was that the arrangements were original, and were made especially for the MAXIMAOrchestra… and this was all due to the intuition and brilliant ideas of Paolo Tittozzi, who, as he often says of himself, is “Passionate about research, has a vocation for directing, and is an entrepreneur by chance.”

Not a musician himself, but totally absorbed by it, he has been able to create a truly exceptional experience of content, repertoire and unique arrangements. These he personally commissioned from each individual arranger according to their character... from Vince Temperato myself, and from Antonio Molinini to Giacomo Battista, and others.

It has always been very stimulating for me to make arrangements for orchestra, and even to play around with well-known pieces from the Italian singer-song-writer LUCIO DALLA, from the rock music of DAVID BOWIE, from the Soul and R&B of JAMES BROWN, as well as the classical music of VIVALDI... and even more so when it is for a niche project like this one.

It was wonderful to work on masterpieces such as Sting’s EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES IS MAGIC, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, or Vivaldi's SUMMER… and so on.

Paolo Tittozzi is a true “visionary”, in the best sense of the word. He is farsighted like no one else, ‘a lucid madman’ as he calls himself.

It is thanks to him, that in March 2017 I had the chance and opportunity to arrange I’M A WOMAN, one of the songs of Sarah Jane Morris which she herself sang exquisitely on the evening of the 18th March at the Communal Theatre in Corato (with TONY RÉMY as Special Guest on guitar and Roberto Ottaviano on sax).

I had the honour and pleasure of reliving the same magic of that evening on the 20th October at the Cinema Theatre Impero in Trani, and then again on the 21st at the Palazzo Theatre in Bari. With that voice of hers Sarah is able to captivate and warm the hearts of all who hear her. 

Thank you Paolo! People like you are a special inspiration for the creative enterprise in our area, where funds to support us are becoming more and more scarce. 

With your simplicity and your daring you have contributed to reinforcing a parallel experience and to realizing the dreams of many!

L O N G L I V E T H E K I N G ! ! ! 

 

DREAMS ...

Dreams are sold to us as if they were abstract ... but actually our dream is in the here and now!If we are doing what we love that is a step towards fulfilling our dream … but step by step and our dream really does come true!

Over the long months I often wondered if I could do it but it didn’t in fact matter … it was good to believe it there and then, at each moment, and with each heartbeat … live for that goal and dream the dream that once fulfilled would become a further step towards a new goal ... on the way to yet another dream.

It is incredible how a telephone call can change your life, your mood, your whole day ... for better or for worse!

It happened for a second time … the first time was when I won the first prize in a competition for a music composition and now ... the V.I.T.A. Web Talent show!!!

It was impossible to believe it, yet, during those months I had done nothing but day dream about it and believe deep down that it could actually happen!!!

It is really true ... dreams do come true and everything is possible for those who believe!

It was such a strong emotional feeling to receive that telephone call that I had to stifle the sensation. I realised and guessed at once but just listened in silence, doubtful but certain at the same time that all would turn out well … partly because I sensed it, and partly because I knew I had the support of so many of you!

I really don’t know what has changed after that telephone call and I still have to find out, but I do know that if you really want something you will find the way to achieve it!

If I think about it, at the beginning anyone would have said I had no chance … my  music was simple and without any frills, it was music that had no pretensions whatsoever other than the wish to speak to the heart; besides it was only instrumental, without any words, in a contest where many very compelling artistes were taking  part and who could well have become new stars of pop, rock and the music of the moment …“young people love songs they can sing at the top of their voices in their cars, whether by themselves or with their friends, with the stereo blaring out” (as one of the fans commented, obviously not one of mine).

With hindsight and thinking it over, I could have been totally discouraged … mine were not  s o n g s . Yet I wanted to believe in it and now here I am enjoying my victory with you!!!

It came, despite the comments of people who said that there was no scope for me and my music in Italy, that my particular type of music was not suited to this talent show ... T H A N K Y O U Believe Digital Italia for proving that where there’s a will there’s a way and that in life as in music there are no limits ... the limits exist only in our minds...