Interview for Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2011–1-

First interview about the nomination for best Music in a Documentary

At this link you can listen to the full soundtrack too

Short Biography of the Composer

Born in Loreto (Italy) in 1976. He starts studying piano at the age of six. At twelve he starts making his first experiments in electronic and computer music, which will lead him to form several ensembles of modern music with such points of reference as Stockhausen, Cage and Zappa. He attends the DAMS (Department of Music and Performing Arts) in Bologna, directing his studies towards Musical Education, Music for Images and Anthropology. In 2001 he wins a scholarship of $5000 awarded by the Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He takes a Jazz degree with full marks at Pesaro’s Conservatory studying Composition and Arrangement. At the same conservatory, he studies Classical Flute and Music Pedagogy. He’s now scoring the latest movie by Domiziano Cristopharo, “Hyde’s Secret Nightmare” and also has scored the movie “Butterfly Rising”, by Tanya Wright. Last year he was nominated for the Jerry Goldsmith Awards with the Documentary “La Fano dei Cesari”.


Which are your main musical influences, in and outside film music?

I believe that music is just… music, so my influences come from everywhere: Jazz Composers (especially Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus), African, Middle East and European Popular Music, Classical Composers (such as Debussy, Satie, Bartòk, Ravel), Rock Musicians (Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and The Beatles of course). In Film Music my reference points are Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestri, John Williams. As a composer I strongly believe that the time I spend outside the studio has the same importance as the one I spend recording or composing at the piano. Lots of inspiration comes from stories: stories I hear from people, stories I read in books or see in movies. I like to think that in some ways I can convert those stories in feelings through music. The world itself is an inspiration, with its variety and the continuous interchange between horror and beauty.

Which what orchestra or musical instruments have you worked with in this work?

I usually like to work with small combos, I think that if you’re lucky enough to find a good melody and some interesting rhythmic/harmonic solutions, a piece of music can sound great just using an acoustic Piano. Of course this helps to keep the soundtrack budget low: in this case, even if I had a budget for a big orchestra I chose to keep a sound that wasn’t too much “boombastic”, as that was perfect for this kind of project. I’ve played all the instruments, but of course the orchestral parts (especially the strings) are the result of the use of samples libraries like Symphobya and Miroslav Vitous Orchestra. As a main sequencer, I usually use Steinberg’s Cubase. Other digital instruments I use are Heavyocity Evolve, Synthogy Ivory, Ik Sampletank, Project Sam Symphobia, Xln Addictive Drums. These have become the standard sounds in the film music industry, used by film composers as John Powell, John Ottman, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Jesper Kyd, Angelo Badalamenti, Brian Tyler, Bill Brown and of course myself. In the end, digital sounds were mixed with real accoustic instruments I’ve played and recorded.

How did you get to be involved in the film?

It’s the result of the collaboration with the directors Henry Secchiaroli and Andrea Giomaro, we worked together on the project “La Fano dei CesarI” (nominated for the JG Awards last year) and they called me again for this new project.

What were the main indications of the directors?

I had, as usual, freedom on the scoring. Before starting to work we talked about the direction to follow. We liked the idea of an “Italian sound” in orchestration (following the ideas of great Maestros such as Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone), using new harmonic ideas, with some nuances of music from the great Latin Music tradition, especially from Argentina (part of the documentary is set in this amazing Country). At times I’ve chosen a “patriotic Italian style” inspired by the music of Italian composers of ‘800, while other times I used instruments like the clarinet and rhythms like the Milonga, which lead us to Argentinian music. When the documentary is set at our present time, I’ve used a more contemporary sound.

What has been your main creative motivations and what have you intended to create with your music?

The main idea was to use the music as a “time machine” so that it can connect the various historical moments presented in the documentary. In some cases, in the same cue, there’s a transition from the present to the past, and from Europe to Argentina; in these cues the music slowly changes, bringing the listener’s attention to a specific instrument, rhythm or harmony. In this way, the music is the perfect extension of the beautiful images seen on the screen.