Guitar in the 21st century
An interview with Filippo Cosentino

September 4, 2017
 
Tireless traveller, expert in solo baritone guitar, but at ease also with electric guitar, open to several artistic cooperations, Filippo Cosentino is one of the most famous new Italian guitarists. We had an interview with him.
 
 

Can you briefly describe yourself?
I am a curious musician towards a lot of musical cultures, that I study by appreciating the main features, and the music I write can also be affected by them. I am particularly fascinated by string instruments: the guitar was a perfect choice for my way of being, seeing and feeling things. I’m also a very lucky husband and father, and this is my greatest energy source.
 
What is your educational background? Where and what did you study?
My academic studies were with  Maestro Tomaso Lama at G.B. Martini conservatory in Bologna, where I graduated
summa cum laude. I approached jazz relatively lately: when I was about 24/25 years old I started to attend the first workshops and at 28 I published my first record, Lanes, self-produced, with the participation of Fabrizio Bosso, followed by Human Being, featuring Michael Rosen (ERL), and the lucky L’Astronauta (ERL/IRD).
Before that, I worked in pop and blues; I’ve always wanted to be a musician and those experiences were, for me, very shaping and helpful in order to understand, when studying jazz, that the music is a liquid element, in which genre boundaries don’t exist or at least, they are easy to overcome, a genre wraps the other and they are mutually influenced by each other; this can also be a very beautiful metaphor of everyday life.
In the last year, I met the Maestro Andrea Marcelli, a drummer, I became friend of. We have a very beautiful professional relationship, which led us to producing the record L’astronauta, recorded with Antonio Zambrini on piano and Jesper Bodilsen on double bass. A very lucky record that changed my vision of things or, at least, marked a path that I’m still travelling on.
 
Why the guitar?
I find it a very fascinating instrument, that requires a constant commitment, even cryptic, and that leaves a lot of space for the musician’s personality. Moreover, it has a great variety, I can play different harmonies and sounds, based on what I’m playing, say acoustic, classic or electric guitar. Moreover, in the last years I have been approaching the baritone acoustic guitar, that I play with the Nashville tuning, therefore as if it was a completely different instrument from the traditional guitar.
 
You are an expert of baritone guitar; what do you think this instrument gives you more?
It offers the possibility of going much lower in the frequencies according to a traditional guitar. It therefore allows me to examine in depth the medium-low frequencies and to better study the writing and the solo interpretation, also by transcribing materials for piano.
Moreover, after using it tuned a fourth lower, but by keeping the relation between the strings similar to the traditional guitar, in the last two works with the baritone guitar I use the Nashville tuning, with the two central strings tuned an octave above the standard tuning. At this point, it was important for me to study the instrument as if it was completely new. With this instrument I recorded Tre, a baritone guitar solo produced by Milk and Spirituals, that will come out with Jazzit magazine.
 
You have travelled a lot; which are your favourite places? Do you think that travelling has affected your music? In which way?
Travelling has definitely influenced my way of thinking, acting and writing music; I think that is a very important experience to find peace. I’ve always been a person who tends to reflect in his music feelings, memories and thoughts I had in my mind during my travels, and so to face with other musical cultures or with different approaches to music allowed me to see things from a different point of view. Moreover, after having lived for 13 years in a city, Bologna, I live now in the very quiet town of Alba, at the heart of the Langhe Hills, in Piedmont, and this allows me to develop my musical thoughts as I best wish.
The strangest and fascinating place where I went to play is definitely Hong Kong, and also Macau. To know another culture, to try other kinds of food, different life rhythms made me richer. So it was playing in other European Countries. I was able to understand how jazz composition is conceived, and that sharing ideas, contacts and advices for the artistic growth of young musicians is spread widely and it was important in order to understand how to develop my artistic activity.
 
 
 Which are your latest projects?
Last summer I had a very intense tour: I had a concert at Beat Onto Jazz Festival with an Italian-German quartet with incredible musicians such as Marque Lowenthal, Johannes Fink and Andrea Marcelli. Then, I promoted the record
Come Hell Or High Water, I recorded together with Federica Gennai, produced by Naked Tapes; it was released in April and, so far, it is granting a lot of satisfaction with participations to important festivals (Roccella Jazz, Barga Jazz), and that we will be also performing during next autumn, starting from November 4 with the concert at Jazz&Co, a series of concerts organized by Milleunanota for the Alba White Truffle World Market. But my autumn will be all interesting: I will be in Germany for a series of concerts in Berlin area, in the USA for a lecture on Italian music in cinema, then in Portugal together with Andrea Marcelli. I will be back in Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Winter Jazz Festival where I already played last year by cooperating with the Italian Institute of Culture. I believe then that in 2018 I will be back to Asia. Moreover, I will record my new work in quartet and other projects are under implementation.
 
Internet and music: do you think that it is a possibility or a curse?
It is definitely a possibility. If carefully cultivated, it can sensibly increase my profession quality, as the use of social networks that, if utilized for creating a real interest, can help us to overcome the distances that sometimes seem so big.
 
 
 
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Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有;  Guitar in the 21st century An interview to Filippo Cosentinocopyright Jazzespresso 2017.
 
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JazzEspresso 不只是一个爵士乐杂誌,也是一个能将拥有各种不同精髓的世界爵士乐,包括美洲、欧洲、亚洲、澳洲及非洲各地,互相连结起来的网站及交流站。以中文及英文写成的内容将是一个新的多元文化交流的参考点,为各地的爵士音乐爱好者提供来自全世界最新的消息。请持续关注!
 
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