A few months after Aeolian Processes (Dronarivm), Italian pianist and composer Lorenzo Masotto returned with a new album. White Materials is out now as self-release. It features Stefania Avolio, Laura Masotto and Matteo Bogoni. We had a talk with the Italian artist about his new works, the visual part connected to his music and the new plans for 2018. Read it after the streaming.
White Materials is your new album. What about the idea behind it? How is it born?
White materials is a different album compared to my previous works. I worked a lot on the mix between the electronic parts and the piano, in particular the electronic part, made with my sound engineer friend Matteo Bogoni with whom we processed the sounds on his amazing modular system. The sound research in the recording step totally absorbed and led me to spaces that previously where unknown to me, before opening up new horizons for experimentation. I also used the voice of my wife Stefania Avolio. This was the first time for me when I succeeded in getting a wider palette of colors and allowed me to reach a new and unexplored expressive lyricity. Finally, the use of my sister LauraMasotto‘s violin allowed me to achieve trough this work a sort of collage made up of different styles and contaminations. I’m particularly proud of this album because I did it on my own from the very beginning to the final step,from recordings to the master, from the packaging of the album to its promotion. Most of the pieces in this record were born and were inspired during my mountain walks. In the paths that I walk immersed in the spectacular nature I can clear my thoughts and grasp sensations and ideas in complete silence.
This year you also released Aeolian Processes. What about it?
Aeolian Processes is an album that is closer to the genre so called neo-classical. It ‘a record that allowed me to enter a circuit of new very important composers, especially thanks to the release by Dronarivm, the label of the talented Dmitry Taldykin of whom I publicly thank for professionalism and kindness. The album was sold out in short time and allowed me to know Wilbertjan and his Fluister agency located in Holland, another extraordinary person who made me start playing in Europe taking me to Holland, Portugal and England. These are fundamental stages of my artistic growth, and because this reason I am emotionally bound to this album.
Your works had always great artworks. What about White Materials and Aeolina Process covers and how much the visual part is relevant for your music?
Thank you for this question. I believe that the image is closely connected with the music I write. The covers of my records are the visual representation of the compositional idea that I want to express. The sculpture on the cover of white materials is a work by johnson tsang, a fantastic Chinese ceramist that I love. The cover of aeolian processes is an awesome photograph by Hardo Muller.
How Is it important to give new shapes to the sound to express your world? What is the relevance of contamination and research for your works?
What I’m looking for during the compositional phase is the way to express this feeling or vision using sounds and timbres that can best describe the exact moment in which I got the inspiration, the right vibration. When I wrote ‘Trees’ for example, I was thinkg of the four initial notes of the piano while observing a snowy forest on a gray and windy day. The movement of the trees inspired me for the melodic idea of the piece; later I decided to use the violin to recreate the ecstatic atmosphere that I felt at that precise moment. Speaking about ‘Cera’, I remember a beautiful shrine that I visited with my wife. I remember the silence and the rock, around this magical place there were hundreds of candles, I watched them for a few minutes, the wax dripped slowly as if time had stopped. Here I decided to use the voice, to convey the idea similar to a Gregorian chant specifically written for that mystical, vibrant place.
Are you planning a tour? What is the best part of live shows for you?
I will be playing again in 2018. We are presently planning concerts around Europe. I received a interesting proposal from the United States, I will keep you updated about it. During my live concerts I love to improvise, I like to capture the moment, the vibration that you breathe in the room, I try to absorb the warmth that gives me the audience and make notes and agreements that then I give back to the audience. My luck to be able to travel around the world playing my music and this allows me to visit different places and to know new cultures, to meet new people and to continuously increase my cultural baggage.
Are you already working on a new album or other projects ?
I’m working on a new album with my band ‘Le Maschere di Clara’, I’m writing the soundtrack of a movie, I discovered the that I have a deep passion for choral writing (I direct male voices choir) and I’m working on my new solo album.
What are the best releases you appreciated this year?
There is no album released this year that I particularly loved, this year I’m listening to Arvo Part and Steve Reich a lot, two composers that I love.