Il Sognatoio: an espresso with… Ludovico Peroni

Image Credits: Ludovico Peroni © Giacomo Alessandrini

July 22, 2020

“Il Sognatoio”, the work composed by Ludovico Peroni, will be published in September for the Da Vinci label. Peroni is the artist and conductor of the Quick Response Orchestra and he gave us a preview of the genesis of the project.

> Ivano Rossato 

How did the idea of the “Il Sognatoio” project come about?
I had engaged in writing some experimental compositions that could musically describe how my memory works and, above all, my dreams. By chance, in those same days, I intercepted the announcement in the “Music, Theater and Shoah” competition of the Roman Center for Studies on Judaism; I immediately thought of putting at the service of a strong theme, such as that of the Shoah, the dreamlike musical form that I was increasingly defining. It was a job that – after days of intense study, in which I read books, saw documentaries and studied new composition manuals – I wrote and arranged all in one breath and in less than a week. The result was a writing full of suggestions coming from contemporary music, pop, jazz, and concrete music; and, above all, in which improvised developments guided by gestural improvisation techniques that were already contemplated from its compositional genesis. 
Since I like symbolic dates, I delivered the composition on the day of my birthday. I don’t know why, but the prize commission decided to assign “Il Sognatoio” the first prize of the competition. So this journey – taken during the last moments of life and in the mind of a Jew, survivor of concentration camps, and made of memories and sound and musical associations – had to continue its journey.
What was the compositional approach and the registration process?
In dreams and memories, borders and barriers break down, so I tried to merge all the styles and techniques that I still delude myself to know and master: from serial composition to a special pop song. As far as registration was concerned, it was a particular decision. We absolutely did not want to give up recording everyone in together and in a single environment. For this reason many months passed while we searched for a studio capable of welcoming and managing an ensemble that played live and, above all, with all the musicians being able to look each other in the eyes. Ironically I found the solution that most convinced me a stone’s throw from home, in Fermo, at the Nufabric Basement Recording Studio.
What other musicians did you involve besides the QROs?
Fabrizio De Rossi Re, in his magnificent cover notes on the disc, called the musicians of Il Sognatoio a “ship of fools”. There are those who prefer to research music, some prefer contemporary, some pop, some jazz and some heavy metal. A schizophrenic formation, perhaps, more than crazy. In addition to QRO, the narrative voice of Filippo Davoli (also author of the poetic composition that frames the work) and the clarinet of José Daniel Cirigliano who agreed to do a duet with Hitler’s voice in my composition for solo clarinet and tape music.
What do you think is the relationship with your previous works?
Despite having intimate connections with my musical feeling, Il Sognatoio is unique in respect to my previous works. One of the biggest decisions was to choose to give it a definitive, record form: previously we had been very reluctant to set performances. By their nature, we always wanted to be perceived as new and created in the present moment.
What is your reflection on the impact of the recent health crisis on the world of music?
We have experienced an incredible period that has made us perceive, literally, the fragility of our time. The world of art and entertainment then had to face really profound reflections and arrive at conclusions that were not always univocal. What touched me most, however, was to see how, regardless of the form chosen, an unprecedented horror vacui was perceived: a sensation that made us understand how disturbing a world could be with the radios off, the silent televisions and the cinemas and empty theaters. This feeling I feel has prompted us to reflect deeply on the role of art, entertainment and music in our lives. A role that we often take, foolishly, for granted.
Il Sognatoio: an espresso with… Ludovico PeroniIl copyright Jazzespresso 2020.
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