An espresso with…
You live in Copenhagen but you are Italian. How did you end up in Denmark?
I first came here in 2014, after playing at Turin’s Fringe Festival with Jon Balke and Patrice Heral; Balke invited me to Copenhagen for a master class that was held in summer, in July, and I fell in love with the city, the atmosphere and with the Rhythmic Conservatory. So, I decided to try to go live there by sending an application to continue my studies there and I was selected.
How would you describe Copenhagen’s teaching modalities and musical life?
We are considered as younger colleagues who have the space to experiment whatever they like. There is a lot of attention for the personal research, to the meaning of what you do and why you are doing it. Copenhagen’s jazz life is strange: there’s a very strong experimental activity, and a just as strong mainstream scene, that has been existing since the 1970’s, since when Oscar Pettiford and Dexter Gordon went to live there. Sometimes what’s in the middle is lacking. Moreover, the Government allocates many millions of Krones in musical projects, and there are a lot of private sponsors. All of this is creating a greater freedom, maybe unbinding musicians from the public, by sometimes coming to a research that ends in itself, but generally interesting.
How was your CD born?
I had it in my mind since a lot of time; in 2015 I played with Gavino Murgia and Enrico Degani, and since then I always wished to meet them once again. In Copenhagen, I obtained a little fund for implementing a project, as a part of the program of studies. I called both of them, together with Ruben Bellavia and Simone Bottasso, who is a huge accordion superstar in Europe, but who also studied jazz and electronics. I like the idea of having an hybrid band, with an acoustic sound but with each of us having ties to some specific traditions; Gavino to Sardinia, Simone to Occitan music, Enrico to classical music, Ruben to jazz tradition.
How did you compose the tracks?
It took me a lot of time. Some were drafts of very old compositions; several were written by passing a lot of time listening to the others’ records in order to understand their sound; from there, I modeled the tracks and, in effect, studying a lot worked. An important part of the composition was to choose whom to play with.
What would you like to achieve in the next ten years?
I am interested in borderlands, and therefore I would like to cooperate with artists who are involved in the Mediterranean area music, folk, popular music and border music.
Why did you accept to write for JazzEspresso?
I’ve always been writing, since I was a child, but I never did it professionally. I like the idea at the bottom of JazzEspresso, a fluid network collecting experiences and ideas. I noticed that there was a lack of information about what’s happening in Northern Europe and I felt it amusing to be able to give my contribution.