Claudio Riggio: original compositions, arrangements, classical guitar, voice, electronics, percussions.
Piero Bronzi: saxophones, electronics, percussions.
Charlie Parker, or rather, a lightning bolt of harmonic intuition.
Only such beauty, dense and magnetic, can resist speed, swiftness, flashiness. It is felt, heard, seen in a fleeting glance. And if we expand time, rhythm, if we slow down those musical phrases under the microscope, they will all come out in their kaleidoscopic magic. They are perfect. They are equal to themselves. As if beauty would not depend on variations of time and space. Only the base chords don’t work anymore; those simple popular chords that belong to the traditional American Song. (ballads, musicals). It’s as if the phrasing were alive and easily influenced, inconstant, changeable. The chords were only an Arc used for the voyage, only to be abandoned like a sphinx in the desert. Those expanded, relaxed musical phrases seek new chords, new harmonic sounds. The persistent horizontal dissonances unveil bold interpretations that even once slowed down, are too fast for themselves. The harmony listens to the spreaded notes of the humming bird and the sphinx turns into ordinary live things: a spoon, a dice, a picture that was lost and found again.
The melody, slowed down, falls into the harmony. A sound is born.
To play this way, which is what I feel, makes me want to sing what I have inside.
I love you Charlie Parker.
- Claudio Riggio
December 26th. Destination: Fregene for a studio recording.
I pack my Lancia Thema ‘87 with four good microphones, my saxophones, computer and my few practical skills, two things that don’t agree with each other. I’m tired when I arrive at Daniela’s house in Fregene, but the sea air and the warm hugs and smiles clear my head. We try to do a recording session that same evening, but nothing works.
“Claude, how should we arrange the microphones?” Good question. On the other hand, one needs to know where the microphones go for recording a classical guitar. Maybe we should just go to bed now. Get a good nights sleep and feel with our hearts for a while. During the trip to Fregene, I think about the mysterious neighbour of Parker. The only thing I know about this recording session is the title of the CD. “Childhood of a Parker’s neighbour”. Who knows why but, I imagine a grand street that separates Parkers house from his neighbour’s. One of those un-crossable streets with 10 lanes, the ones you only see in American films. I don’t understand though, this distance. I mean, a neighbour isn’t far away. A neighbour is close. Same building, same courtyard, at the most, a neighbour lives in the house next door. Instead, in front is far. On the other side of the street, cars are gliding, quickly and swiftly by… With acrobatics, almost magical, technical abilities, beginners luck, we start to record. And then slowly and with grace the truth of a short but intense day appears. That’s when I find Charlie Parker’s neighbour leaning over his guitar. Claudio, who is playing, singing and smiling like a child. Distances are melting. Maybe that street, busy with time, rhythm and movement, is the ocean. But now the ocean is in a glass, and we drank it all up, Charlie, Claudio and me. Squeezed around a big slice of bread with jam.
Yeah. I was there.
- Piero Bronzi