February 27, 2024


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Interview with Claudio Angeleri: An Italian saying says that the heart is above the belly and above the heart there is the head, that is the thought: Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist and composer Claudio Angeleri. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First lets start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Claudio Angeleri: – I think it is a genetic fact as my grandfather was a musician and conductor although I have never met him. I was attracted from a very young age by the characteristics that evoke musical language in fantasy.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the piano? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the piano?

CA: – With the piano it was a love at first sight for the quality of the harmonic sounds that spread. Each note urges others also very different and distant from each other. My first teacher Aldo Sala was one of the pioneers of jazz in Italy. After the war he had played in Germany with the Americans and he was also an extraordinary teacher. In fact, he introduced the Orff and Kodaly method into the school and wrote several books. He had guessed that I was also talented in the composition and so he taught me the harmony immediately stimulating me to write my music already at ten years old. Then I was lucky enough to meet several pianists who helped me to grow: Jaky Byard, Mark Levine, Paul Bley.

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

CA: – I believe that each of us already possesses his own sound the first time he touches the instrument. Then it is improved, put on fire, is cultivated, but already has its original character. This process never ends and takes place only by playing many hours daily and constantly.

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

CA: – Rhythm is the most physical component of music and therefore you never stop cultivating even if you are far from the instrument. When somebody walks experiences various polyrhythmic possibilities. In any case it is essential to use the metronome at various points of the bar and not just on the beat or off the beat. In this way, rhythmic cycles are created which, even with different meters, have very precise appointments after 4/5/8 or more bars.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

CA: – Thank you for the question. It’s exactly the effect I want to create with my music. In my last album I applied the polar or negative theories of Ernst Levy. A great Swiss composer and theorist who taught many years at the Chicago Conservatory. In fact, analyzing the phrases and melodies of the record there are several dissonances also very evident. It is their melodic use according to symmetrical mirror techniques that makes them more usable. The rhythm, or rather, the rhythmic modulations then make the difference. The negative harmony has among its most well-known supporters Jacob Collier, Steve Coleman, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

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

CA: – In reality, jazz is a very inclusive music from the beginning and has in itself different cultures and musical influences. Despite this, it maintains its own peculiarities that distinguish it. This derives from the fact that those who play jazz must get involved, must experiment with their own sound and dialogue with others. The jazz player plays himself even when he performs compositions of others so there is no danger of losing any identity.

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

CA: – An Italian saying says that the heart is above the belly and above the heart there is the head, that is the thought. The balance between these elements is in a sense the soul of each of us. So we can say that the soul has physical and intellectual components.

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

CA: – The relationship with the public is fundamental for every musician. However, I try first of all to satisfy my creative needs. This sincerity and consistency is immediately perceived by people regardless of their competence. So, in fact I offer myself first to the public. Since today’s audience wants to deal with true and sincere people I can say, in this sense, that I give people what they want.

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

CA: – There would be endless and very funny. However, I believe that the magic that was created in the quintet with Charlie Mariano was truly unique. There was the sensation of creating art in every moment.

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

CA: – I find the current moment very rich in interesting and innovative music. In my teaching activity, I stimulate young people to research, experiment and write their own music. At the same time, it is necessary to accompany young people also in the knowledge of the great of the past and of the so-called standards. But it is not such a difficult process. The boys are naturally curious and are able to assimilate and re-propose All the things you are, for example, in a thousand new and different ways. Obviously, it is necessary that teachers are always updated, and they want to be the first to be receptive and creative. Therefore, a lot of study and commitment are needed.

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

CA: – Each of us must first be sincere with ourselves and must live every moment of our day in the best possible way.

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

CA: – First of all, reward merit and eliminate those who make their way thanks to friendships and bad faith. But I realize that we will be very few.

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

CA: – Honestly, I’m listening to the soundtrack of A star is Born the film nominated for several Oscars with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I confess to appreciate much more Lady Gaga than much music that is heard in festivals.

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

CA: – The pleasure of listening and having fun with my music.

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

CA: – I find the years between 1950 and the following decade very creative in USA. The Blue note period but also the free music of Ornette and Coltrane. If you think that Duke composed masterpieces such as Such sweet thunder, and musicians like Armstrong, Monk, Mingus, Davis, Shorter, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Dave Brubeck and many others are in full activity, you realize the richness of that period

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

CA: – What are the similarities and differences that you find between the European scene, and Italian in particular, and the American one today?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. 

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

CA: – I would say to make music as much as possible anywhere. Thank you for the opportunity. Claudio Angeleri

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Claudio Angeleri

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