The Ugly Duckling: an espresso with Leonardo De Lorenzo

Image Credits: Leonardo De Lorenzo © Leonardo De Lorenzo

29 July, 2020

Drummer, composer, teacher, indefatigable artist and musician, we interviewed Leonardo De Lorenzo.

Leonardo De Lorenzo is one of the most committed and active Italian drummers. He has many new projects that will be ready in the next few months.

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What are your new projects?
I recorded a new record on January 18th in Castellammare di Stabia with Ergio Valente on piano, Giacinto Piracci on guitar, Ciro Marone on alto and Vincenzo Lamagna on double bass. We recorded in studio but in live mode: it was, in fact, made with the audience in the studio. I had already recorded The Ugly Duckling, a 2016 trio album, in this way.
Why the title The Ugly Duckling?
The ugly duckling is me, but I think in a period of our life each of us has felt this way. I wanted to give the idea that this duckling was becoming aware of new attitudes and responsibilities.
What are the differences between the two recordings?
This was the evolution of the initial project, I called it version 2.0. We recorded in a studio where the instruments were isolated, each in its own room, and the audience was therefore distributed in the various places; we used silent headphones creating a sound that was the same for everyone listening in any place.
What was the audience feedback?
Excellent! About 90 people arrived in the two different sets. It was, of course, also a form of crowdfunding with the public paying a ticket: they came, enjoyed an aperitivo, booked a physical copy of the record, and were also able to ask questions because the interaction with the musicians was expected.
Is it a new form of crowdfunding?
Yes: it gives fans the opportunity to understand how recording an album works and then it seems to me that meeting in person, with a direct human contact, is different. At the beginning you share a live performance and at the end of the process you will have the physical record.
When will it be released?
In the fall. Because of the lockdown, we all got a little stuck, and since there are no concerts at this time, we preferred to delay the release.
What are your other records that you would recommend to those who don’t know you well?
Waiting For is an album I particularly love: it has four songs in nonet and two in quartet. It is a mixed and variegated disc. On YouTube there are also videos relating to the four tracks with the nonet. Then The Ugly Duckling; and finally Pictures, my second CD: the compositions and the way they were played make it worthy of being listened to.

Tell us about the Vesuvian Jazz Society.
It is an ongoing project because the album will be closed definitively in September, the voice of Susanna Stivani (who is one of the guests) is still missing. We chose seven tracks from the 70s and 80s such as Grace Jones’s “Slave To The Rhythm” or Alan Sorrenti’s “Figli delle stelle” (who complimented us!), or Tullio De Piscopo’s “Stop Bajon”. As you know I like to produce and work on various things at the same time. The problem is to promote well what you do. Of course, there are less and less venues and more and more musicians.
What is the dream you still wish to fulfill?
If I look at what I have done I’m happy, I also managed to teach in the conservatories (those of Pesaro and Benevento). In my opinion teaching is important, it is a part of being a musician. I would certainly like to play more, but I already have everything: I produce, teach and as a musician I have the esteem of many colleagues. It would be nice to also have that of a different audience, perhaps a wider one!
The Ugly Duckling: an espresso with Leonardo De Lorenzo.
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