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Interview for www.musiccomposerblog.com

Here’s the interview done for the website http://www.musiccomposerblog.com/

What is your studio setup like? What do you use for recording piano?

-I have a hybrid setup, half virtual instruments and half real ones. I am myself a piano and flute player and in my studio I have a grandpiano, so basically this two instruments are recorded live. If the budget allows me to have other musicians, I usually record live with some soloists like guitars, cello and violin. On the “virtual” side of it, I use Cubase, installed on a Windows 64bit based workstation. As for sample libraries, I use Symphobia and Orchestral Essentials by Project Sam for orchestral ensembles, Komplete 8 by Native Instruments, 8diotaiko Drums and Voices, Requiem Light by Soundiron for choirs, various Vir2 Instruments like Q or Mojo Brass, Best Services libraries for ethnic sounds like voices and percussions, Spectrasonic’s Omnisphere and Trillian for synth an basses. To record the piano I use a babygrand Challen piano, and if I need a quick digital sketch I use Ivory or the pianos avalaible on Komplete 8.

How have you seen the business of composing change during your career? Where is the industry headed?

-The business has changed in some ways. First of all, the Internet has become an amazing way to keep in touch with directors and projects worldwide. This means that I can write and record a full soundtrack in my little studio in Italy, eventually make additional recording with musicians from anywhere in the world, and get the soundtrack delivered to the director or the producer the very next day . The other side of the coin is that technology gives everyone the chance to play with music… but the real work is something else. Some people act as composers, download and crack softwares and samples illegally and accept to work for movie projects for free. This kills the busines, and especially the Art itself. I hope young directors will learn to recognize art from hobby, and to judge quality in music.

What composers or artists inspire you? What artists have influenced your piano works?

-I’m inspired not only by other musicians but by any form of art, books, movies and paintings. I love Boudelaire, Dalí and Magritte for example, they are an amazing inspiration. Talking about music, I have to mention Stravinskij and Bartok, Dvorak and Ravel, Debussy and Satie. In the film music field, the composers of the Golden Age, then North, Herrmann, Mancini, Kornald. And I must add Goldsmith and Williams… and Giacchino and Elfman. Talking about piano, I’m totally in love with the piano works of some jazz pianists such as Bill Evans and Stefano Bollani (in my opinion, one of the greatest piano players in activity now).

What genres and sounds are most comfortable – and what styles are you still learning to master as a composer?

I really love to compose for small ensembles: they have a more intimate sound and the fact of having less sound combinations drives me to experiment more. Limits are a great thing to develop creativity.
I have had on hold, for about two years now, an album for piano and other chamber instruments, music which sounds like film music but that is unlinked from any audiovisual project. I like to work especially for documentaries, horror and drama movies. As a film composer, I’m costantly studying orchestration and new ways to make melodies and variations grow, I’m experimenting writing music for animations and comedies as well, as far as I’m concerned the most difficult genre to score.

Can you recommend any pieces that are essential for every composer to dissect?

Everything Stravinskij, everything Bartok, Beethoven’s string quartets, Gil Evans and Duke Ellington’s arrangements… this could be a good start.

Do you have any projects you’d like to promote?

Of course my latest OST for the Movie “Hyde’s Secret Nightmare”

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/revelation/id541356836?i=54135695

The film follows the tradition of Italian horror movies and directors like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci,Mario Bava and also Federico Fellini.

The music inspiration comes from great composers such as Alex North, Ennio Morricone, Fabio Frizzi, The Goblin, Claudio Simonetti, Pino Donaggio, Bernard Herrmann. The soundtrack (more than an hour of music) explores lots of different genres, from classical Orchestra and Chamber Music, to Minimal and Progressive Rock Music from the seventies. I’ve tried to stay away from the clichès of modern horror music, looking for a sort of vintage sound.

I’ve also composed the trailer music for the movie. Last year, this trailer received a nomination in the “Music for Promotion” category at the International Film Music Awards “Jerry Goldsmith”.

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