What’s the role of the “Error” in your musical vision? For “error” I mean an incorrect procedure, an irregularity in the normal operation of a mechanism, a discontinuity on an otherwise uniform surface that can lead to new developments and unexpected surprises .
I welcome error in an improvisational setting, I think it can serve as be an opportunity to find unforeseen potential in a musical situation, which and it can bring the individual or ensemble to a great level of focus. I am not very forgiving when error occurs in a compositional context or it causes a bad tone/sound, where the irregularities and discontinuities are chronic, to a bad tone/sound.
I have, sometimes, the feeling that in our times music’s history flows without a particular interest in its chronological course, in our discotheque before and after, past and future become interchangeable elements, shall this be a risk of a uniform vision for an interpreter and a composer? The risk of a musical "globalization"?
I think there is a risk of musical globalization, which can be positive or negative. I’m thinking about the access we now have to pretty much everything that’s being recorded and have been recorded. I think that the older generations can still use all this access in a positive way and somehow still think that it’s amazing that we can just check out anything we want (I am putting myself in the “older” generation). I see this as more of a problem or a challenge for younger generations who grew up with the internet and music has always been free and easily accessible. I think it’s harder for them to create a musical path because there’s the danger of being overwhelmed by the access, the sheer quantity of material and possibilities.
Let’s talk about marketing. How much do you think it’s important for a modern musician? I mean: how much is crucial to be good promoters of themselves and their works in music today?
I think it’s very important, unfortunately too important. What I mean is that musicians of the type of music I make (non-mainstream-jazz, creative music, improvised music), have to be performers and maybe composers, of course, but they also have to be promoters, booking agents, touring agents, publicists, designers, band leaders, crowdfunders and much more. I say “unfortunately” because no matter how great you are as a musician, if you are not very good at promoting yourself, no one will hear you. Especially here in New York, where there is a lot of talent, sometimes it just gets unnoticed. Obviously there are exceptions on both sides of the spectrum, but generally if you’re good at all the aforementioned skills, you’ll be pretty successful.
Which kind of music (or which historical movement) do you think is easiest for the non-musician listener to appreciate? Do you think they enjoy pieces that are more technically difficult or just more "flashy"?
I’m not sure, because I became interested in music as I started playing, but I think the easy answer would be a type of music that has a nice groove and melody. I like that too. I think when a piece is technically difficult can lose some appeal to the non-musician and unfortunately the “flashy” is always appealing. If I want to be a little more pessimistic, I’d say that people listen to whatever they are exposed to (the same goes with TV, books, movies, etc. We can go back to our “promoter” question for this).
Please tell us five essential records, to have always with you .. the classic five discs for the desert island ...
Glenn Gould, Goldberg Variations (1981)
Bill Frisell, Disfarmer
Paul Motian Trio, Live in Tokyo
Keith Jarrett, Changeless
The Velvet Underground & Nico
What are your five favorite scores?
Right now I am working on an arrangement of Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44, second movement. It’s just amazing.
I also spent a lot of time with Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin and I like playing through those a lot.
I like the Monk Fakebook, transcribed by Steve Cardenas, and I loved learning Bird’s melodies off the Omnibook.
It’s more than five, but any five out of those books.
With whom would you like to play? What kind of music do you listen to usually?
I am very happy that I get to play with a lot of great musicians here in New York and I just hope I can play with even more of them.
I listen to all kinds of music, usually a mix of classical, jazz, rock, reggae, experimental. Lately I have been interested in electronic music, so I have been checking some of that.
Your next projects? When will we see you playing in Italy?
I’m recording a second album with Josh Deutsch, a trumpet player I have been working with for almost ten years. We write, arrange and co-write all the material and we have a couple of tracks left to record. With him we toured quite a bit, twice in Italy and once in the West Coast and we’d love to go back to Italy to promote this album, hopefully next year.