En terre étrangère

It’s been an eventful summer. I have moved to Brussels, in Belgium. I’m slowly starting to work on music again – so many things have happened… some good, some not-so-good, that have kept my mind elsewhere.

I’m enjoying a semi-voluntary retirement from live performances. I do like performing live, but I have always thought of myself more as the “studio type”, so to say. I know: it’s very hard to sell records nowadays and studio work isn’t as common as it used to be. True, very true. And tragic. Having said that, making records and crafting songs is my vocation. Writing them, recording them, that’s what I’m good at (The Beach Boys’ I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times plays). However, there comes an urge to play in front of an audience at some point. I do miss it. The last concert I played was in June. I don’t think I have ever taken such a long break from live gigs! Therefore, I’m about to get my head out of the sand. It’s a love and hate relationship.

I have been using this time as a stranger in a foreign country to make some research and putting ideas together. Me and Julie Slick have started writing new music for the next EchoTest album (she did start sending ideas several months ago… I just wasn’t ready to work on them). She is currently on tour with Adrian Belew. We will dwell into it when she gets back home. Other than that, I’m helping a friend producing her brand new EP, contributing arrangements and “treatments” (that word implies so many things) to her songs.

As you know, I have been releasing some new (as well as not-so-new) material on Bandcamp, in the form of exclusive treats for my subscribers. The latest one is a full live version of my album “Small Music From Broken Windows”. Here’s the direct link. And here’s a brief description of what to expect from the recording…

On January 21st, 2018, I played Small Music From Broken Windows live in its entirety for the first time, in my hometown in Italy, Latina. I was accompanied by EUGENE on keys and vocals, Alessandro Inolti on drums and Enzo Ferlazzo on guitars. It felt like a special show… even though, being the hopeless perfectionist that I am, I thought some of my playing and singing hadn’t been great that night. I got home with a L+R output recording (taken from the mixing board) which I later discovered to be a good performance – way better than I remembered. I kept the recording aside for a while; now, the Bandcamp subscription plan offers me the perfect outlet to release it. I feel Small Music is a special record and it’s incredibly satisfying to embark on the journey in a live setting, playing the album from start to finish.

More releases are in the works, although it’s still too early to talk about them. I will share more details when the time is right.

Meanwhile, I’m adjusting to my new life in Brussels. It is an interesting city for sure, with a lot of diversity, not to mention a vivid cultural life. When you walk down the street, the mixture of languages assaulting you is confusing. Many Italians live here, and there seems to be a big Spanish community. However, there is people from all over the world. It’s a huge melting pot of humans who come and go: students, interim workers, freelances. For sure, it is in an inspiring place to live in, considering that I’m writing a lot, in a way that feels different from the routines I would usually work with. I’m experimenting more with keyboard sounds and electronics, for instance. I’m also looking forward to attend a number of exciting gigs in the coming months (I guess I will be an habitué of Les Ateliers Claus – their calendar is pretty interesting, with a selection of avant-garde international acts).

When at home, I put my cooking skills to the test (also inspired by my girlfriend… always learn from the best). Another one of my favourite activities right now, is the rediscovery of point and click videogames from the late 80s and the 90s… anyway, I guess this is not of much interest to you. Don’t let me talk about point and click videogames or you’ll regret itDon’t get me started on comic books and obscure records, either (I have found one of my new favourite record stores ever, right here in Brussels: Balades Sonores).

For now, merci beaucoup pour votre attention et a bientôt!

 

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