It is fitting that composer and pianist Fabrizio Paterlini was born and lives in the ancient northern Italian city of Mantua. A romantic and historically significant centre of musical and artistic excellence, the City’s elegance and cultural depth permeate Paterlini’s exquisite original solo piano compositions. Yet despite Mantua’s unavoidable influence in informing the composer’s work, his cinematic music is far from localised, or even recognisably Italian, instead tapping directly into universal human emotions.

Listeners and critics alike are torn as to how best label the beautiful sound of Fabrizio. Neo-classical, Ambient, Minimalist and New Age have all been considered, but it is more pertinent to note some of the adjectives regularly used in appreciation of his sonic palette. Ethereal, soulful, lush, emotive, dreamy, delicate and, tellingly, passionate, all appear with unerring frequency. Fabrizio himself describes his work as “like a glass of red wine on a summer evening,” in awareness of the calming effect of his reflective melodies on the listener. We got the chance to have a chat with Fabrizio, see what he had to say.

1. Thanks for your time Fabrizio, now the single ‘Be In The Moment’ is out, what can we expect from you over the next few months leading up to your UK tour in November?

It’s always a great pleasure for me to come back and perform in the UK, and this year it will be even more special as I will be sharing the stage with a string trio for the first time. I will be bringing new material along with my “classics” for solo piano, but I will be presenting a different show compared to the concerts I have done in recent years.

2. Your music has been described as “evoking an array of emotions with your listeners” – what kind of emotions do you hope to tap into with your listeners?

During my concerts, I always tell the audience that once my music is released, it no longer belongs to me but becomes the property of those who listen to it. The incredible thing is that despite most of my songs being melancholic, that’s not the only feeling they evoke. Comfort and hope, for example, are among the feedback I receive most frequently. It’s a great honour for me to know that my music elicits such deep and meaningful emotions. That’s why every time, I try to give my all in the studio and on www.

3. Putting yourself in the shoes of a music listener, who were the artists who had a similar effect on you?

I will never forget the first time I listened to Pink Floyd’s album “Wish You Were Here.” I still remember the day I inserted the cassette into the stereo, and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” started playing. That moment marked the beginning of a sonic and imaginary journey that, I believe, has greatly contributed to where I am now.

4. In terms of the live show, do you think that connection between your music and your fans will be on a different level?

Every live performance is different. The relationship that forms between those on stage and those in the audience is unique and very intimate. It’s a circle that closes: what is created in the studio finds its natural place and is reproduced live. The energy that the audience conveys is incredibly powerful, and I always hope to give back at least a part of it through my performance to the people who are listening.

5. Given the range of emotions you tap into through your music, what is the live experience like for you? Do you switch off from the fact that you are performing in front of an audience?

Playing live, with a theatre full of people awaiting your concert, makes the moments before stepping onto the stage intense and special. I try to focus as much as possible, close my eyes, and first listen to the sounds around me, then listen to the sounds within me, becoming aware of where I am and what I have to do. Once I enter the stage, I close my eyes again and begin to play. Almost the entire performance takes place with closed eyes, and it feels like an active trance, where it’s just you and your piano. But in reality, your senses are highly receptive to capturing all the nuances and emotions that only a live concert can provide.

6. You’ve talked about the importance of living in the here and now, has that been inspired by your life over the past few years?

The awareness of the “here and now” is an ongoing work that lasts a lifetime. I’m certainly not a master at it (laughs), but I do my best to remind myself that it’s necessary to tame that swirling collection of thoughts and worries that take you away from the place you’re in. The real risk is spending a good part of the day in a “non-place” and not enjoying the beauty of the present moment.

7. While the pandemic was difficult for many people, as a writer did the solitude and quiet help you when composing music?

The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone, including, I believe, those who write music. It’s true that solitude can enhance concentration, but external circumstances inevitably reflect in what we create. In my specific case, I haven’t noticed a significant difference in the amount of music I’ve written during the pandemic compared to what I write in periods of normalcy.

8. You’ve been performing the piano since you were six years old, what was it that you connected with in terms of your choice of instrument?

The piano has always been a part of my life. My parents tell me that even as a child, I would go to the piano at home with my portable record player and try to play the music I had just listened to a few seconds before. It’s an important connection; when I play, I truly feel that the keys are a natural extension of my fingers. Like in any relationship, it’s not always “roses and flowers” – sometimes there are necessary periods of distance (which never last more than a few weeks), and other times I can’t seem to keep my hands off the keyboard.

9. Your work has been used in films and documentaries as well as your own releases, is there anything in the pipeline for your work in those areas going forward that you can tell us about?

Writing music for films or getting my music placed in any visual work is a separate endeavour, different from what I do when I write music for my own projects. I confess that I’ve always been fascinated by this possibility, and recently I’ve been approaching it with more discipline and intention, hoping to further develop in this area. Something is starting to happen in this field, and I truly hope to have some great news soon!

10. Thanks for your time Fabrizio. Just to finish, as someone who has been performing since a young age, looking at 2024 and beyond what are your ambitions?

My main ambition, which has accompanied me since I started this journey, is to have as many people as possible listen to my music. This includes both online, in the virtual world, and in the real world. So, once again, here I am, ready to embark on a new path that will bring new music, and I hope it will be received with the same enthusiasm that my previous works have received.

Keep up to date and for tickets to live shows to see Fabrizio Paterlini here.

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