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London, 2021

During this interview, I change seats, place myself in front of another artist and ask him the questions I wish people asked me. Today, I speak to the Italian composer and pianist Giulio Fagiolini who has just released Diamond and takes the opportunity to talk about his works and projects. 


Giulio, tell us a little bit about yourself?


I live in a little town in Tuscany, Italy. I am a psychologist, and try to bring to music what psychology has taught me; I do not think of music as a special therapy, but as a personal state of mind in which to immerse yourself. I like to travel, find secret places, ancient places too, not to forget history and culture. The same comes to music: I try to find it from the most disparate areas of the world and I love to let myself be influenced. I work and create from my own studio. 


What about Diamond, your latest solo project?


Diamond is my first EP distributed by Believe, after Dietro a un vetro, released by Home Normal. I produced the album it in my personal studio and it is a very special release. All the pieces from Diamond come from the search for something rare — such as diamonds. With this project, I started recording again and I am very happy because it allowed me to set up a very nice approach to life, in order to be able to bring my music around, as well as expose it. 


Can you tell us more about some of the themes of Diamond? What are you trying to express as an artist?


For this project, I was inspired by diamonds because of the duality between purity and preciousness. “Millions of years with very high pressures at great depths are the necessary conditions for the creation of this extraordinary material, the diamond. In the same way, to create, to find music, to let it emerge, you need to dig inside, overcome the pressure, the resistance. And from the depths, allow music to show itself pure, iridescent, precious, transparent and capable of generating infinite colours, as when a drop of light passes through it, breaking into a thousand different variations, a thousand colours, like a diamond. In Diamond, music is like that drop of light that opens, declines, becomes sound, then note, then harmony. And then the notes are reflections, they are decompositions, the declination of that one drop, that one feeling.”


How do you approach developing your own voice as a creator and composer?


I travel a lot and get to know many people, many places and this is is the real source of inspiration in my creation process; it really influences me and gives me a thousand ways to write, to compose, to be.


Tell us about your creative process.


When I compose, I do not like to constantly keep the same approach to creation. Performing, composing, these are the only things that do not make me think of anything, that really take me out of here. Letting thoughts be released through notes, written or played. Diamond was first played, through improvisation, and subsequently arranged and rewritten, to give a more structured form, as I was conceiving it. Other times, I hear a melody or a mood spinning in my head, then I notate it, I play on it, develop it, work on it, until I am completely satisfied with the result.


Where do you see yourself artistically evolving? 


In the future, I would like to develop even more a less-classical side of my music, more based on electronic music. It would be very nice to work in collaboration with other artists and give, more and more, an overview of my music, in which various styles and musical tastes blend together.


So after Diamond what’s next?


My next EP is ready and will be out very soon; one will feel this experimental leap towards ambient, electronics, strings and drones.


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


One book: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. One album: Nectar by Joji. One film: The Shawshank Redemption by Frank Darabont. 


Bouncing on Giulio’s words, I discovered Murakami with 1Q84, and have been obsessed with his works since then. This masterpiece is a must! Read my review of Diamond.

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