Luca D’Alberto is a classical composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist from the heart of Italy. His music is visceral with a life beyond itself, cinematic yet personal.
2017 sees the release of ‘Endless’, D’Alberto’s first recording for newly-formed, Berlin-based, neo-classical imprint 7K!. At its heart his latest work is a blood and guts remagining of what neo-classical can be, passionate and daring, music that jumps out from the shadows at you. Every instrument on the album is performed by the artist himself, with engineering by Martyn Heyne and additional production by Henrik Schwarz. We sat down with him to discuss the album and how it came together.
We sat down with Luca D’Alberto to discuss the album process and how it came together.
Electronic Groove: Hey Luca, thanks for your time. Some of your live videos have a strong electronic element, but the album is almost entirely traditional-sounding instruments. Was that a conscious decision to keep it that way?
Luca D’Alberto: My musical world has many colours, but I decided for ‘Endless’ to give my acoustic strings space to breathe and to play them, the piano and all of the instruments that you can hear on the album with a new attitude. Recording all of them is not simple and is quite hard work, so it shows this part of me, my signature, including my childhood instruments, which I’ve played since the age of 5. But also I’m totally in love with electronic music and I used a lot of electronic sounds that I’ve been in contact with lately, for example my soundtrack for ‘L’apocalisse’ by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway, which will soon debut in the Spoleto “Festival Dei Due Mondi”.
EG: Marquis Hawkes remixed your track ‘Wait For Me’ and Henrik Schwarz helped produce your album ‘Endless’. Are you a fan of electronic music and do you go to clubs?
Luca D’Alberto: I love this music. I love all the music that conceals a secret blade, even in a sweet melody for me it is important to hide a blade. I like clubs of course. I recently attended to a Caribou concert.
EG: How do you think being Italian has influenced your sound?
Luca D’Alberto: I think that where I have born and where I live and of course how I live, whether I like it or not, enters my mind and my music. I think that even when we have negative moments in our lives if amazing music is created from that moment, then I’m happy again. Wait for your joyful moments and you’ll definitely enjoy them more, especially after a walk through dark times.
EG: Is there much of a contemporary and post classical scene in Rome? Any good venues or musicians you can recommend?
Luca D’Alberto: In Rome… I don’t think so. There is more an Italian pop scene. At the moment Italy is focused on its own people. Every year, you see a lot of great international artists travel to Berlin, Paris or London, but in our country we have our comic artists that take care of Italian laughs. I think that in Italy it’s important to laugh to forget.
“It’s always a beautiful surprise when you find people who are on the same wavelength as you”
EG: If you could collaborate with any musician dead or alive, who would it be?
Luca D’Alberto: I think Chopin. He was never afraid of the melody, adding his own hidden emotional scream.
EG: Which band would you most like to have been in and why?
Luca D’Alberto: Honestly, I don’t like the “band” concept. I think you can understand my point of view based on the way I created ‘Endless’ – without the help of anybody else.
EG: Which single individual has had the most influence on your music?
Luca D’Alberto: Pina Bausch.
EG: You’ve worked with legendary director Peter Greenaway and his wife Saskia Boddeke. How was the experience?
Luca D’Alberto: I’m working regularly with them and it’s one of the most exciting collaborations I’ve ever done. It’s always a beautiful surprise when you find people who are on the same wavelength as you. You become one and fight for a sincere art. The music that I compose for these projects is sometimes far away from the atmosphere, so I get to show another colour of my music. Saskia and Peter are rare artists!
EG: Wim and Donata Wenders, Peter Lindbergh and Lars Von Trier’s ‘Zentropa’ are fans of yours. Can you tell us more about that?
Luca D’Alberto: I met Wim and Donata Wenders during the 40th anniversary celebrations of the “Pina Bausch” company. During that time, I worked on my “ESTASI” project with dancers from the Tanztheater. I love how art connects people. I think that is the best gift from art, when it is pure. I met Peter Lindbergh in his Paris’ studio organizing a different project in the music/contemporary dance world. Lindbergh and his son Benjamin felt in love with my music, and of course I linked with them as humans, and on the artist side as well. In 2012 I licensed my music to the Zentropa catalogue too. Before I learnt to speak English I met these amazing artists, and I remember that the first time that I met Peter we had some problems in speaking fluently, instead I passed him my headphones and let my music speak for me.
“I love how art connects people”
EG: If you could score a movie for any director dead or alive, who would it be?
Luca D’Alberto: ‘Alive’ from Michael Haneke and ‘Dead’ from Andrej Arsen Tarkovskij.
EG: How about re-scoring a classic movie – are there any soundtracks you’d like to do your own version of?
Luca D’Alberto: At the moment there is actually a similar project in progress. Big news coming soon.
EG: Which of your songs is the most personally meaningful to you, and why?
Luca D’Alberto: In this moment, or rather in this hour, I think I’d choose ‘Her dreams’ . The song was written like a lullaby for a child, where after awaking with a big scream, it falls back into slow motion.
EG: What’s next for you?
Luca D’Alberto: A lot of projects… In Italy, I’m working on one important film soundtrack by Costanza Quatriglio. Also, there are two important theatre shows touring with my music. Regarding artistic installations ‘L’apocalisse’ debuts in July. It is produced by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway and includes my music. Apple has chosen my track ‘Her Dreams’ for a new commercial, and Wimbledon 2017 have used ‘Wait For Me’ on its championship trailer.
Also, I’m building the live shows for touring the album focusing on showcase my acoustic and electronic side. Dates coming soon!
Follow Luca D’Alberto: