Music and art
Interview to Satoyama and Lavia Lin

Image Credits: Satoyama & Lavia Lin © Leonardo Schiavone

July 31, 2017
The Satoyama are an interesting Italian quartet formed by Luca Benedetto on trumpet, Christian Russano on guitar, Marco Bellafiore on bass and double bass, and Gabriele Luttino on drums. We have interviewed the group for the release of their album In Sweden, recorded live in Sweden together with Jonny Wartel, shortly before their departure for the tour with the Chinese artist Lavia Lin.
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How did the new record come out?
Gabriele Luttino / Christian met Johnny at the Novara Jazz Festival; we then submitted an application to the Swedish Government, who financed a tour and a CD; we recorded the album and performed about ten concerts in Sweden and Denmark. The record includes a couple of tracks written by us and a couple by him.
How did you develop this new tour with Lavia Lin?
Luca Benedetto / Our music is particularly inspired by travels and culture. We like it a lot to meet other persons, and that’s the reason why we often played as buskers in Germany, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, hence all around Europe. After that I wrote a lot of emails in order to play around the world, such as in Eritrea, in Shanghai; usually, only the 1% of the recipients answers…
Lavia Lin / … and I answered for the Shanghai House of Blues and Jazz. So we thought to develop a project together, as in reality I live in Berlin.Luca Benedetto / We saw her works, many of them are in a blue shade, a colour we love; we then though that it was crazy enough to think of a project together.
How will the cooperation be developed?
Gabriele Luttino / We will play, while she will be painting in total improvisation. A painting for each night.
Lavia Lin / I don’t have preconceived ideas, I don’t know what I will be painting, I will be inspired by the music.
Why do you live in Berlin?
Lavia Lin / I have been studying arts for three years. I like Satoyama Music, I think it is different from what I normally listen to. To paint with the live music is very interesting, it’s a challenge, I’m trying it for the first time.
How do you work to your compositions?
We try to be personal: we all write, normally one of us establishes a starting point and then we start to work on it. We don’t use many jazz harmonics or strange rythms; we play what we like and what we feel.
What’s jazz?
Marco Bellafiore / To create something new.
What is your target?
Christian Russano / To travel with our music, not necessarily in very large places but in interesting places, and communicate our emotions to the people listening to us.
Lavia Lin / To express my love for the music through my art.

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