Interview with Tiziano Bianchi: Composing is like improvising in slow motion: Video

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Jazz interview with jazz trumpeter Tiziano Bianchi. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Tiziano Bianchi: – I grew up in a small town in Northern Italy, called Castelnovo ne Monti. The town is the smallest in Italy with a Conservatory, where I started studying the trumpet at age 8. There was a lot of music in the area: marching bands, choirs and rock bands. That, and thanks to my family, was probably the reason why I started studying music so early.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the trumpet? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the trumpet?

TB: – When I was a kid I saw a trumpet player on TV. I felt in love with the sound of the instrument and the idea of pushing those three buttons. That’s why I choose it back then. I never regret the choice. I have a classical background, but at the Conservatory I started playing Jazz Big Band and I was very fascinated with people able to improvise. It felt magic to me and I wanted to learn. Later on, at 25, I went to Berklee College of Music and it was there where I had the biggest improvement, thanks also to teachers like Tiger Okoshi, Hal crook and Dave Santoro.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

TB: – Sound was always one of the most important aspects of playing to me. I have tried to find a sound as personal and honest as possible. Listening to a lot of music and different genres of music helped me to find an idea of sound to reach for.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

TB: – I have established a technical routine on the trumpet. Part of it is based on the method ‘Flexus’ by Laurie Frink. I have worked a lot on rhythm through the years. I have deeply explored the different possibilities and results of rhythmic choices using an almost scientific method and my playing had a great improvement from it.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

TB: – Dissonance is a strong color. If you use something strong all the time, it is not strong anymore. It’s not a conscious choice when I play, but I find it more interesting and catching to use it with attention to give it more strength and effect when used.

JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

TB: – It’s important to have disparate influences. But to avoid them to make you wandering around too much or loose focus, it’s important to have clear in mind the general sound that you want to obtain and stick to it. That will make your choices more coherent.

Today I am working on the live performance of the band. When I finish a new album I usually take some time off from writing to refresh my ideas.

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

TB: – Composing is like improvising in slow motion. The ideas come from the soul and the hearth, then the mind helps to finalize them. Improvising live is similar but in real time.

JBN.S: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

TB: – I think that the audience is usually right. If they don’t get what you are doing, usually the problem is yours, meaning that you didn’t ‘spoke’ to them well enough. When you have a strong message and you are honest the audience gets it and the feedback is strong.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

TB: – I have a great memory of a concert we did at sunrise in a castle in northern Italy. There was a strong connection with the audience, the landscape and the sun coming up. I felt all of us as part of the Universe, all together in the present moment.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

TB: – The standards are an endless sort of inspiration and universally common heritage for musicians from all over the world. We can practice the same tune for years and keep finding new ways of expression that we can then elaborate and use for our own music too.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

TB: – I feel lucky to have found in music a way to give meaning and direction to my life. I think that one meaning of life could be finding what we love and work to express our potential as much as we can.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

TB: – Nothing in particular that I would like to change. I would just support and boost the places and realities where musicians can meet and share their views, beyond genres and provenance.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

TB: – Album from Jon Hopkins, Dawn of Midi, Mathias Eick, Christian Scott, Avishai Cohen.

JBN.S: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

TB: – A positive message, try to look at the bright sight of things. Open yourself to others and feel the common path that we have as human beings.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

TB: – Paris in the 20s-30s of the Nineteenth century. So many artists of different fields were there at the same time and they worked together. I think it was a really interesting period and place.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

TB: – What young artists should do these days to promote their music and built their career?

JBN.S: – Thanks for answers. You have to be smarter and cooperate with the media, which you did not do …

JBN.S: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

TB: – I am happy that the album is having a good feedback and many people are listening to it. I hope we can play it around as much as we can and share good feelings with the music.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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