Interview with Alessandro Galati: I let my music speak for me: Video

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Jazz interview with jazz pianist Alessandro Galati. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Alessandro Galati: – I was born and live in Florence, Italy. In my memory, the awareness of my interest in music was born at the age of about 4. I still remember my mother doing housework while listening to the radio. I was fascinated by those sounds that I later discovered to be mostly classical music, big bands, Italian pop music. At 7, I started studying classical music and from there, I never stopped. Interest in Jazz reached the age of 17.

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

AG: – Sound for me is the most important thing in a musician. A sort of identity card, an identification license that remains etched in everyone’s memory right away, regardless of the notes played. So it is for all the great ones; Miles, Bird, Bill Evans, Monk. Their sound identifies them perfectly long before the notes. My work on sound concerns the study of the classical piano, and I think I found my own tonal identity while studying Debussy and Ravel.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

AG: – I have no particular exercises to recommend but, playing complex odd tempos trying to get the same freedom you have with 4/4 is an excellent exercise in independence.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

AG: – I’m not afraid of being influenced by other artists or genres of music. If I had any, it would mean that I’m not sure of my means, of my identity. On the contrary, I want to be influenced by it.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

AG: – My preparation is in the daily life that I lead, I compose and stream music for 5 days a week (from Monday to Friday) and this helps me to maintain a constant relationship with creation and with my audience.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

AG: – I always choose musicians based on the affinity I feel I have with them, on their communicative and technical potential. But to tell the truth, in recent years I have also favored the personal, intimate aspect. Playing with great musicians is nice but playing with great friends can be even better.

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

AG: – The distinction between rationality and soul is a categorization that does not belong to me: we are made of a unique whole.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

AG: – I love having a relationship with the audience, I clearly feel the meaning of communicating with them and I like this one-to-one relationship but that doesn’t mean that I do something to please them.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

AG: – I would have many stories that basically come from my tours in faraway countries, like Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Norway and more but I prefer to keep privacy on this one. All these cultures are very different from mine, and each time I am surprised at various levels. I love traveling, it’s definitely one of the best parts of being a musician. Maybe I could tell about the time I got drunk in Tokyo and then I couldn’t find a way back to the hotel because I only had the address written in kanji characters in my pocket…

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

AG: – If you really love this music, you cannot ignore its history. I love standards, I have always played them and I always will. Those who do not understand it, lose a fundamental piece of the past by giving up building part of their future.

JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

AG: – The meaning of the music is “a pacifist act”. All musicians give this message to the whole world, each in their own way.

JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

AG: – If I could, I would change the economic relationship between who holds power in digital platforms and how the money is distributed. It is a shameful thing on a planetary level.

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

AG: – I listen to other people’s music when I’m looking for new things. In others I prefer to remain surrounded by the silence, I need it to be able to concentrate on my music.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

AG: – I don’t have a specific message to give, I let my music speak for me and people take what they like.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

AG: – In the future, I am too curious to know what will happen tomorrow.

JBN: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

AG: – Will I be able to find new music to compose and play?

JBN: – 🙂

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

AG: – Looking at myself in the mirror, I would say that today, at the age of 54, after playing with wonderful musicians, making records, traveling, winning numerous awards, I feel I am a happy and fully realized man.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Alessandro Galati Trio @ Y Theatre, December 2, 2014 | Jazz World Live  Series

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