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London, 2020

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 Friedrich, aka Federico Squassabia. The musician has just released his debut project under the pseudonym, Sea Songs; an opportunity for him to expose his fantastic musical universe. 


Federico, very little is known — and can be found — about you. Help us bring some light to Friedrich. 


The first light is the music. It is the driven force that has pushed me since I was a child. It is a sort of enormous wave, like the ones you find in Nazaré for instance. I grew up in a place away from the sea, and the piano helped me to imagine it, to paint it. I experimented a lot with the black and white keys, before reaching this dimension. 


Tell us more about Sea Songs, your latest project.


Sea Songs is the first step of a long walk. It is a dimension born from many experiments and the right words to describe these sea songs are these ones; “The Sea as a way out, with its voices, the footsteps that disappear and turn into light. It is not a border, it has no border, it carries thoughts of other times, fragments of other places. People. It is awakening. Crystal in the midst of breaths and horizons. Each song contains. Like shells.”


Sea songs… tell us how they relate to you Have they been inspired by your own experience, natural influences — the music of the sea —, traditional folk music, or even Vaughan Williams’ works? Or any other reasons…


First of all they are related to natural influences; the sea is something that I fell really close to, from my childhood, the sound of the waves and the vastness of blue are the focus of my compositional process. It is definitely the music of the sea. 


What about the arts that influence you? Tell us about some of your most influential composers and artists.


I have many influences that not only related to contemporary music. I love pop, folk and jazz too. There is a multitude of influences in my mind, and I also look at painters or writers as a source of inspiration. 


With this release, you are trying to build a universe; a story hiding behind mysterious statements. Tell us more about it. 


I like poetry, it is a comfortable way to describe my music. Music is a complex language and a complex world, but it is not only a matter of notes and melodies. It is something deep as the ocean.  


So after Sea Songs, what’s next?


There will be Islands. After a long journey through the waves, there is always an island on which you can breathe, smile and plan new journeys. The landing is part of the process, as are the arrival and the departure.


Thanks very much Federico. Last one for the road—one book, one album, one film—tell us about your latest cultural pearls?


Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Lynch’s The Straight Story — with, of course, Angelo Badalamenti’s music —, and, a painting, “Seashore by Moonlight” by Caspar Friedrich. 


Bouncing on Federico’s words, I strongly suggest to discover Badalamenti’s music, and yes, perhaps through Lynch’s works. Read my review of Sea Songs.

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