WITH FEDERICO TRUZZI
During this interview, I change seat, place myself in front of another artist and ask him the questions I wish people asked me. Today, I speak to Italian composer Federico Truzzi. The pianist has just released Forgotten Memories and takes some time to talk about composing, creating and producing!
Federico, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello Doug, thank you for your time and your questions. I am from a little town in Italy, but I am currently living in Berlin. I work as a composer for movies, advertisements, video games and in my free time I compose music for myself; I write and perform for my solo projects and I also play in a metal band.
Forgotten Memories is your second solo release, after The Great Grey Ocean—tell us about it.
The Great Grey Ocean was born after a break in my life, and after that everything changed. During this moment, I rediscovered some parts of myself that were lost and I did the work of finding them back. The Great Grey Ocean is a melancholic album, very intimate—it is about the static vision of my past, and what I have lost.
Forgotten Memories is the moment after, when I reached and I finally stood up and started again with something new. It is a sort of a rebirth; it is the way of celebrating it.
You are a composer as well as a producer. How did you approach the composition and production of the album?
These two albums are focused on composition and on the concepts I want to express. I worked on instrumentation, on how to express myself with musicians and how to improve the way they work together. The next album/EP will be focused on production, and I will be experimenting with different sounds, field recordings and instruments. It is a part of an evolution and I am really curious to see where I am going.
How does your background as a guitarist influences your creativity as a composer; what’s the role of the piano?
I started playing guitar when I was fourteen years old; I was impressed by virtuoso guitarists and my dream was to be one of them. At the same time—and from the very first moment—I was attracted by the magic of composition and creating something that is yours. I spent a lot of time writing music and studying harmony instead of studying guitar techniques. So the dream of being a virtuoso was lost very early—after a few years—and I decided to continue what I love the most: writing music. Even if guitar is my first love, I actually rarely compose for the instrument. My relationship with the piano is very particular; I always thought that studying it would limit my composition process because I was scared that my orchestral parts would be only focused on the piano and not the instrument I was writing for. But one day I realised that I can use my technique in a different way—my own way—and so I fell in love with it. The funny fact is that with guitar I have been always attracted by virtuosity, however on the piano I love the exact opposite: slow, deep and minimal.
What about rock, and especially metal; do you try to input any of it in your own compositions?
It is a strange relationship that I have with metal; it is based on love and hate. I try to find some new ways of playing it, instead of the traditional ones. In my composition—for my solo projects—I try to stay far from it because here I want to express something different. Of course metal is still a big part of me but with my solo project I want to show a different side of my musical personality.
Tell us about your creative process. How do you approach composing for film?
I first need to understand how to read the movie or the scene, and then how to create music that will fit. Most of the time it is more trying to understand what the scene is about—an emotion, a feeling—or simply what role the music plays. I then sit on the piano or use the guitar to find a melody or a chord progression that will fit with what I have found. And from this moment, I start to create the entire piece…
So after Forgotten Memories what’s next?
I am currently working on a new EP—or perhaps even an album—and I am trying to change some of my compositional rules. I am introducing some different instruments, vocals, synth, field recordings. It is a deep moment of research of the music language I want to use and I am very excited to see what will be the result.
Thanks very much Federico. Last one for the road—one book, one album, one film—tell us about your latest cultural pearls?
A movie: Jules and Jim by Truffaut; an album: The Undivided Five by A Winged Victory for the Sullen; a book: The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov.
Bouncing on Federico’s words; I strongly suggest the reading of The Master and Margarita, which explains the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil! Read my review of Forgotten Memories.