Dedicated to Jacopo Taddei my last work: “Free Sonata for Alto Sax and Piano”

Finally completed and currently under study my last composition dedicated to saxophonist Jacopo Taddei, very promising musician both on the classical and contemporary music scene and in that of jazz. The idea of ​​composing this piece was born precisely to carry forward the goal, which for some years I have in mind, to always create solid collaborations between composer and performers. I believe a lot in the fact that music today needs to go towards sharing and multiplicity of expression: it is perhaps no longer the time for composers, and musicians in general, to remain isolated in their “ivory towers” thus emphasizing the detachment between “who writes and who plays” and consequently also with the public. The best direction (for my way of thinking and understanding the art of course) I think is to try to re-establish a dialogue through mutual sharing, inserting it within the own creative process: for example by activating a comparison on the ideas before the beginning of the creative phase. The keywords will therefore be “collaboration and sharing” to stimulate creativity and consolidate the relationship between composition and performance: a relationship that, from the past to today, is increasingly forgotten in contemporary music. In fact, there has always been a tendency towards the separation of roles that has led, over time, to a cooling of the relationships between the “playing characters” and in the relationship with the audience.

Can an artistic idea arise from the collaboration or just from inspiration?

In my opinion, music comes from life not from music itself … The life experiences give birth to and grow the impulse to create something “artistic”, and life is not lived only internally with ourselves but it is also made of relations with the outside world and with all that they entail. This is why we can not think of the work of art solely as a result of the artist’s interior process, but it must also be seen as a consequence of our relationships with what surrounds us, of how we relate to external things: what happens and at what we make happen, how people make us feel and how we make them feel, etc. So it’s just a matter of choosing “how much” and “where” to move the bar: more towards the outside (ie. towards relationships, sharing, the influences that are generated by interacting with the world) or more towards the inside (ie. the relationship with ourselves and our inner world). But in any case it is not possible to completely exclude one aspect for the benefit of the other, both of them will always be present and will influence each other even if we are convinced of the opposite. If it really is impossible that one’s creativity is born “only by ourselves”, for me it is necessary putting aside own “ego” accepting the idea that everything, even our personal creative vein, is part of a Yin and Yang. Two opposite but complementary poles in which both our will and knowledge and the external world create the possible work of art. In fact it is this the interaction between the world and us to makes something happen, something that we really do not control and that often, in western culture, we are led to exclude considering it a harmful aspect (because it is not the result of our knowledge and our ego).

What then is the direction to follow?

For me it is important to always keep alive the process of sharing that is created by relating openly and actively to people and situations. Only in this way the work of art comes to life, the idea takes shape, the energy between things and people starts moving. I try to do it in my life and therefore also in my music, hoping that this will be transposed to the outside and that those around me will want to enter this process. This is exactly what I tried to do by proposing to Jacopo Taddei a collaboration in creating “a piece about him”, leaving the relationship of artistic friendship that was born between us to be the generative engine of musical writing, of the idea and of my creative drive. By sharing our thoughts and interacting creatively among us surely a more lively and stimulating work was born and a relationship (and not a gap) between musician and composer has grown … and this, for me is already a great goal.

Concerning the Sonata…

Then we arrive at the composition for alto saxophone and piano which has been outlined in a sort of free sonata form, free from the styles, the languages ​​and the classical form of the sonata. For me, language is subordinated to expression so the manifold is an opening necessary for my creativity … As usual there are two opposite poles, always present in my writing, let’s say two distinct themes in this case: the first more mechanical and rhythmic that slowly becomes more and more complex in rhythm and phrasing. Slowly jazz-fusion influence is intertwined with the language, between the minimalism and the bartokian style, of the beginning of the piece (among other things, Jacopo is also a very good jazzman and improviser, has brought out my “always not much” hidden “jazz soul”). Then we arrive at a second very singable and evocative theme where the lyrical vein and the expressiveness of the sax and the harmonic capacities of an instrument such as the piano are called into question. There is therefore a more refined section of thematic development in which the fragments present in the previous two themes are mixed and elaborated in an ever more pressing evolution that translates the language on a more “contemporary” territory characterized by the timbral research, the more jagged rhythmic figures and the more dissonant harmonic relationships. Then arrives the resumption of the two main themes that are presented here in a reverse order, thus ending on the notes of the first theme that closes a pseudo-palindrome shape to represent a circumference that begins with its term.

Concerning the the Musicians…

All this was born from the discussions with Jacopo Taddei creating a beautiful and sincere collaboration among us that I hope will last in the future. I also hope to have a similar collaboration with the pianist that will perform the piece (He should be Luigi Nicolardi and I hope to have the nice to meet soon). On their skill I think there is no need to say much, the facts and the awards they have won in Italy (such as the Salieri-Zinetti among others) and abroad speak more than anything in this case… for me, more than anything, is they sound to talk

Greetings and good listening … and stay tuned

italian version