June 24, 2024

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Interview with Ettore Fioravanti: In my country – Italy is still valid the joke “What’s your job?” “Musician” “No, I mean what real job do you do?”

Interview with an ungrateful, impolite, dull, unhuman, drawn creature, as if drummer Ettore Fioravanti. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off?When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Ettore Fioravanti: – I was born in Rome (Italy) and I started having a passion for music at the age of 11/12, at 13 I had my first drum set and at 15 I started taking lessons from a good classical percussionist.

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At that time I was fascinated by rock, especially the so-called progressive, I lived near the Sport Palace where the most famous groups of the time played: Deep Purple, King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Santana. I’ve seen them all. To be sure that the choice of playing would be my life I waited until I was 18, then I started playing a lot and it was completely automatic and natural.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound? What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

EF: – When I was young I deeply studied technique, both rudimental and coordinative, and as I grew up I understood more and more that the most important way to communicate my musical qualities is the power of sound. I’m still trying to refine the sound on my instrument, taking care of the touch and the balance between the various pieces of the set. I also try to perceive the essence of the sound of great drummers, I really like drums with open, natural and resonant sounds, therefore linked to the jazz tradition. My study routine involves rudimental technique applied to the set and to different structures, with a work on the combinations of polymetric phrasing and attention to the independence of the limbs. As you can see, nothing particularly original…

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

EF: – To make great music there must be a two-way transfer of energy between intellect and soul. Intellect is activated before the creative action, to direct the music on the shape of the project and the accuracy of its realization; soul is consequently free to express all its extemporaneousness having a path in which it finds itself at ease. But after that there is the reverse, soul often betrays expectations and invents new solutions, and then intellect evaluates them, maybe rejects them or maybe adapts them to the artist’s personality. And the cycle continues, ad infinitum.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

EF: – Not always, the main mistake I sometimes make is to think more about myself, to look only within myself, in this way the energy does not come out, or it comes out choked, incomplete. But when I have a right attitude I realize that my music gives me energy because people who listen to it like it, and also in this case a beneficial cycle is created: I give something beautiful, music, to the public who repay me with something equally nice, applause.

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

EF: – First of all it must be said that the standards repertoire, i.e. more generally the songs related to the world of commercial music, belongs to the background of a big part of the jazz world, which for this reason will never quit it, always proposing it again with new forms and ideas, similarly to what happens for the eighteenth/nineteenth century repertoire of classical music. In parallel we see a continuous search for new forms, new sounds and rhythms, often borrowed from other musical environments and translated according to the keys of jazz, and this makes this music immortal, as a dress that adapts to any body.

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

EF: – Oh my, what a question! Perhaps I would like that the consideration that in some countries (for example Italy) is given by the government to music, particularly to jazz, were bigger, and that the profession of musician, especially jazz musician, were valued equally to many others who have public subsidies, professional registers, union and pension protection, social recognition. In my country is still valid the joke “What’s your job?” “Musician” “No, I mean what REAL job do you do?”.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

EF: – Lots of classical music, especially Baroque composers, both Italian and non-Italian. I adore Purcell and Haydn, but also late 19th/20th century Russians, like Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff. In the jazz field, I like listening to the greats of the 50s/60s like Miles and Trane, but I’m also attracted by the new American streams (Wendel, Glasper, Akinmusire). I’m rediscovering historic drummers like Zutty Singledon and Tiny Kahn, and it’s always inspiring to listen to Blakey, Williams and De Johnette.

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Interview by Simon Sarg

Ettore Fioravanti - Songs, Events and Music Stats | Viberate.com

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