June 20, 2024


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Interview with Gabriele Mitelli: Тhe intellect should be placed before or after the performance act: Video

Jazz interview with jazz cornetist, soprano saxophonist, flugelhornist Gabriele Mitelli. An interview by email in writing.

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

Gabriele Mitelli: – My musical experience started very late, at 19, and it was a real cure. A difficult priod brought me closer to the music that like a hurricane blew everything away leaving only one thought, clear and strong: I want to be a musician. I immediately found a fantastic teacher who took me as his son and in a short time I started to develop my language and my projects.

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

GM: – I certainly listened to a lot of music and after realizing that the freest part of jazz was the one I was most interested in, I began to identify with the sound of those myths that accompanied my nights. Each one had an incredibly personal sound and each note represented a signature. So I started to evaluate my limits as something special, something to develop without necessarily distorting them. Magically the music comes out of the one that most opposes you and attending the discomfort you realize that what you don’t know about you, and your lynching, is just the most unique, intimate and wonderful part.

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

GM: – Playing with exceptional musicians works very well!

JBN: – 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?

GM: – I don’t play on harmonic patterns and I don’t decide anything. My last projects are exclusively improvisation, white paper pertona and I don’t want to talk about music before the concerts.

I feel to love the melody and to love humanity and the whole world in all its nuances. When sound is pure inspiration, we occupy the space, we breathe the popular contemporaneity and we make it a personal synthesis where past, present and future are mixed, giving life to a color that exists until the end of the performance. From then on, if we think about the vastness of the universe, everything has already changed.

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

GM: – It’s impossible and maybe it doesn’t even make sense, too much effort! It would take you out of yourself and out of what you’re doing. I know that Don Cherry, Terry Riley, Bill Dixon and many others are inside me. What I hope is that if they were there in front of me they thought they had given a good lesson in how to be amazed.

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

GM: – This is a good question to which giving a good answer is very difficult. I believe that the intellect should be placed before or after the performance act. Intellected as a curiosity to know the unknown and in some cases to understand it. During the performative act I prefer an ascent, a connection that goes beyond rational thought and intellect, a state of collective trance.

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

GM: – As I told you, I love humanity and I also play for it. What the audience wants goes beyond the music, so I feel like answering you: absolutely yes!

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

GM: – Don Cherry – Symphony for improvisers Chicago London Underground – Boss Redux (A Night Walking Through Mirrors, 2017)

Irreversible Entanglements – Fireworks (Irreversible Entanglements, 2017)

Abdullah Ibrahim Band 1968 NDR (G) – Jabolani

Johnny Dyani – Dudu Pukwana – JohnTchicai – Witchdoctor’s Son

Alessandro Bosetti – Gloriously Repeating

Quatuor Vocal de Giovanna Marini – “Partenze”, 1996

Jim O’Rourke – There’s Hell in Hello, But More in Goodbye (Bad Timing, 1997)

Bill Dixon – Intents and Purposes

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

GM: – No longer playing standards like 70 years ago! Better still by playing new music, trying to represent, in our way, the contemporary.

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

GM: – I don’t think I understand that, I think Coltrane had a problem with that too. By playing, you create that relationship with the mystic within us. In that moment, more than in any other, it seems to you that you are closer than ever to the great mystery of life. Approaching you admire the infinite and allow the spirit to roam freely in this greatness.

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

GM: – I don’t think I would change anything in the music, but having such a great power I would surely increase the effect that the music has. If I had the magic wand I would make a plant grow every time a person makes a smile for a good music, I would make rain pure water every time a person cries for a good music, I would turn a bomb into a watermelon every time two people kiss for a good music…I could go on for hours!

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

GM: – Lucio Dalla, a great Italian singer-songwriter who in the 60s – 70s – 80s wrote some incredible songs!

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


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

GM: – Surely I would go to the Renaissance (1300 – 1600), I always dreamed of having a coffee with Leonardo Da Vinci.

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

GM: – What’s the interview you did with a great artist who gave you the most amazement? Why?

JBN: – Thanks for answers. With Bob Mintzer, Keith Jarrett, Joey DeFrancesco, Paolo Fresu, Randy Brecker and others … Because these interviews were more interesting and intellectuals.

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

GM: – I love history, sometimes telling about my past makes me think that the history of people, difficulties, revenge, happiness and satisfaction are cyclical and this gives me hope for the future, for the whole world.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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