Tag Archives: Salvatore Sangiovanni

SALVATORE SANGIOVANNI AND SUSAN DiBONA.

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THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN is one of your latest assignments, can I ask how did you become involved with the project?

The Director, Domiziano, contacted us and asked us to pitch a piece in the Giallo/1970’s Italian erotic film style. This was before the movie was even filmed. He loved it and immediately asked us to compose the score and arrange and produce a few pieces by Giovanna Nocetti to be used later in the film. We also pre-recorded the accordion bits following the timing given by Domiziano to be used during filming.

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Did the director have any specific ideas concerning the way in which the movie was to be scored or indeed the style of music that should be employed, or did he leave it to you to come up with the goods as it were?

He gave us two clear indications: Morricone and Donaggio. That was our starting point, and we developed it from there.

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Was scoring film or television something that you both always wanted to do, or was this something that just evolved as your musical careers progressed?

Both of us have wanted to do this since we started composing as children! There have been little detours, there have been lots of parallel side streets, but here we are. And both of our varied musical backgrounds have only served to strengthen us as composers, as far as craftsmanship and musical maturity.

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When did you begin to collaborate and how does the collaborative process work, by this I mean do you work on cues together or do you decide which sections or scenes from a movie that you will score and work on these separately ?

The Villa Studios is like Area 51. That being said, it takes two to make a baby.

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THE TRANSPARENT WOMEN score is very much a homage to the great Italian composers who worked predominantly during the 1960,s through to the early 1980,s. Morricone, Baclov, Ferrio, Orlandi, Donaggio etc, did you have this in mind as you began to spot the movie or was it a style or an idea that developed during the composing process?

For us, it’s not solely an homage – though the ideas that the director had us start with and the influences are easily recognizable to fans of that period of Italian cinema. However, it’s easier for people to classify as yet relatively unknown composers by saying “…it sounds like…” . But it is definitely an original DiBona&Sangiovanni, which we are realizing more and more each time we finish a score together.

STILL FROM THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN.
STILL FROM THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN.

The female wordless voice on the soundtrack is at times reminiscent of Edda del Orso and also at times sounds a little like Mina, who performed the vocals ?

Susan did the wordless voices, using a lot of air and singing at a whisper extremely close to the microphone to create that breathy sound. She also sang backups on the Mina-esque which were sung by Giovanna Nocetti.

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How do you work out your musical ideas, do you use piano or do you rely on a more high tech process?

Coincidentally, we both have perfect pitch, so we’re able to write in just about any way and at a very gratifying velocity – at a piano or some other instrument, in Logic, using Finale, or at a desk with pencil and paper. It depends on what kind of product we’re delivering – MIDI, live, or whatnot – and whether the parts have to be notated for others to be able to read.

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How many times did you watch the movie before you actually began to write the score and how much music did you write for the movie ?
We literally started composing as we watched it for the first time. It came to about 60 minutes of music, of which about 45 minutes were used.

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The soundtrack for THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN will be released soon on KRONOS records. Did you have any involvement in what music would be going to be included on the compact disc?

We had full freedom to decide which tracks to release and their order on the CD.

What size orchestra did you use for the score?

A string quartet – but with 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello, and 1 contrabass. Then piano, and a tenor recorder. The rest? MIDI. Magic. And a talented engineer.

As I have already said your score is very much a homage to the Italian Maestro’s such as Morricone, Nicolai and Ferrio, however what composers or artists would you say have influenced you both, either classical or contemporary?

Salvatore’s influences: Puccini, Piccioni, Morricone, Rota, Fiorenzo Carpi, John Williams, Max Steiner, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Bernard Hermann, David Hirschfelder.

Susan’s influences: Thomas Newman, Gershwin, The Police, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Elmer Bernstein, Bernard Hermann, Stephen Schwarz, Peter Gabriel, Aaron Copeland, Schubert, Schumann, Led Zeppelin, Leonard Bernstein.

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Orchestration is an important part of the composing process I think, do you orchestrate all of your own music?

Up to now, yes. It’s important to keep our own color. Maybe in the future, though.

What is next for you ?
We do work for films produced almost exclusively outside of Italy, because for some strange and unexplained reason, it’s been hard to enter the market here. We know very well how to do Italian-style film scoring, but no one is letting us in. We have had an enormous international resonance from USA to Europe to Asia, but Italian production companies don’t even respond to us. So we’ve chosen to live and compose in this beautiful place, and we’ve been finding work elsewhere.

What are your earliest memories of any kind of music?

Salvatore: It was my dad playing Lucio Battisti and Celentano on the guitar.
Susan: Playing “The Sound of Music” by ear on an old electric Lowry home organ, and listening my mom singing along to to Barbra Streisand records.

16. Were any of your family musical in any way ?
Salvatore’s great- grandfather. Susan’s grandfather. And Susan is a descendant of Giuseppe Verdi.

BIOGRAPHIES.
Susan DiBona.
born 18 February 1974 in New Haven, CT.
Composer for film and television, conductor, pianist, educator.
Winner, Global Music Awards 2015 Silver Medals for Composition/Composer and Original Soundtrack Film&Television.
Study of Piano and Theory with Leopold Godowsky III, nephew of George Gershwin, piano with Thomas A. Martin. Study of European Languages (Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish, French, ancient Greek) and Literature at Barnard College/Columbia University, New York. Study of cello, viola bassoon, organ, flute. Participated in NYU/ASCAP Buddy Baker Film Scoring Workshop, New York University. Study of Latin American Literature at Connecticut College.
Has conducted the Berliner Symphoniker, Studio Ensemble of New York Philharmonic, various studio recording ensembles in Berlin and Italy, Choir The Art of Contrast (Berlin), Neuma/Ensemble for Medieval Music (Berlin), and various church and studio choirs. Has toured as assistant musical director and orchestrator for musicals in USA and across Europe. Vocal coach for Star Search television show, Germany.
Performances in venues such as Berliner Philharmonie, ICC Berlin, Woolsey Hall, Lincoln Center, Goodpeed-at-Chester, Theater of St. George’s College, Buenos Aires, Nikolaisaal, Potsdam (Germany). Performed private Gershwin recital at the Godowsky Estate in New England. Has written many scores for popular primetime television series and movies broadcast in Europe and the Americas.
Her feature films have been shown in international cinemas and at festivals such as Comiccon, Cannes, Berlinale, Fantasia Film Festival, Filmfest Hamburg and Filmfest Oldenburg. Currently producing and composing for film projects in her own music production studios in southern Italy. Member of the Faculty of Classical Piano, Accademia Musicale Cameristi di Laos, Santa Maria del Cedro, Italy.

Salvatore Sangiovanni.
born 14 August 1980 in Praia a Mare, Italy.
Concert pianist, jazz pianist, composer, educator.
Winner, Global Music Awards 2015 Silver Medals for Composition/Composer and Original Soundtrack Film&Television.
Education: The Royal School of London, Diploma in Piano Performance, as well as private study of piano performance with Maestro José Lepore, following the pianistic school of Claudio Arrau. Currently working towards Doctorate in Concert Piano Performance and historical performance techniques with Gianmaria Bonino at the Conservatorio di Alessandria, Italy. Master class in jazz piano performance with Michael Camilo (Juilliard).
Winner of 15 international piano competitions. Participated in master classes in orchestration, Russian piano technique, film music composition, and orchestration. Composed 4 original operas which have toured in Italy and Czech Republic. Jazz performances in concerts and festivals across Italy. 2015 USA concert premiere performing Liszt Sonata in B-minor and compositions of Susan DiBona in Gagnon Auditorium, Clinton, CT, USA. Performed private Gershwin recital at the Godowsky Estate in New England.
Has conducted Orchestra Cameristi di Laos, Italy; Chamber Orchestra of Ostrava, Czech Republic; Chamber Orchestra Città di Priverno, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Calabria.
Besides performing virtuoso classical piano repertoire and jazz, he currently works as a film composer for various documentaries, shorts, and features for Italian independent productions and national TV. Founder and Artistic Director of the state-accredited Accademia Musicale Cameristi di Laos, Santa Maria del Cedro, Italy, associated with Conservatory of Music of Alessandria.

THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN.

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When listening to the musical score for THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN by composers Salvatore Sangiovanni and Susan DiBona without any knowledge of the film it would be quite easy to make the assumption that the music is taken from an Italian production that was released during the mid to late 1960,s. This is because the score is filled with numerous sounds, quirks of orchestration and musical trademarks that evoke the music from Italian cinema during that particular period and up to the late 1980,s. A flawless, sultry and seducing sounding female voice opens the work and immediately evokes the aural performances of Edda Dell Orso, the vocal pieces are placed throughout the score at key moments, supporting at times the various instrumentation that is utilised within the soundtrack but more often than not the seductive sounding wordless vocal is the heart of the work, infusing personality and attractively enhancing the proceedings. There is to the vocal performance a slight childlike aura which in effect makes it more sinister. This is effective in two ways, it lends to the movie a kind of romantic and sexy sound but at the same time it creates an apprehensive and at times foreboding and chilling mood. Nerve jangling strings and sinister sounding keyboard performances are at times interspersed with slightly melancholy and romantic sounding piano interludes punctuate and adorn the work. The composers have created a musical ambiance and style that is not a million miles away from the sound created by a number of renowned Italian film music Maestro’s who were gainfully employed in the 1960,s and 1970,s. When one explores the score the musical trademarks of composers such as Gianni Ferrio, Nora Orlandi, Luis Baclov, Piero Piccioni, Bruno Nicolai and Ennio Morricone shine through. Soundtracks such as THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (Morricone), LA MORTE ACCAREZZA A MEZZANOTTE (Ferrio) and LO STRANO VIZIO DELLA SIGNORA WARDH (Orlandi) being prominent or at least a style that is akin to these works. What the composers Salvatore Sangiovanni and Susan DiBona have successfully accomplished is to create a respectful and tasteful Homage to not only the aforementioned composers but also they pay tribute to numerous Italian solo artists such as Edda Dell Orso, Mina and Alessandro Alessandroni and the highly original and innovative sounds that they collectively performed and at times helped to fashion, but saying this they have also given these sounds a more contemporary feel at times by placing upon them their own individuality and original musical fingerprint.

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When listening to the score for THE TRANSPARENT WOMEN I found myself transported back in time to a period when Italian film music was for me exciting and innovative, and collecting was like a voyage of discovery where it was possible to find new composers every week and also to discover new movies on a daily basis or so it seemed, it was a period that influenced and also astounded many collectors, composers and critics alike as there was so much original and groundbreaking movies coming out of Cinecitta and a veritable landslide of original sounding music that enhanced, supported and ingratiated them.

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This is a soundtrack that upon each listen one can find something that sounds familiar but at the same time something that is vibrant and fresh in its overall musical impact. There is also a handful of cues that are far removed from the rather taught and tense atmosphere that prevails throughout much of the score, these brief interludes of calm are welcomed but even these can be underlined with a brooding atmosphere that seems to be telling the audience all is not well. For example a music box type sound can be heard at the beginning of track number 8, the theme which it introduces however is soon passed to piano which is even more of a calming element, this is something that Maestro Gianni Ferrio employed at times within his film scores employing a more harmonious or romantic approach to scenes that were either violent or harrowing, thus the impact of a scene would be greater simply because the audience were being lulled into a false sense of security by the music. The score for the TRANSPARENT WOMAN is a mix or fusion of styles, we have on occasion an almost easy listening side to the work plus there are a few cues which are most certainly darker to the point of being harrowing thanks mainly to the composers use of strings and keyboards which are neither harmonious or discordant but border on both of these, the sounds created in the main by strings literally emanate an atmosphere that is uncertain and unnerving. Then there is another face to the work which manifests itself via the lilting and calming piano solos performed by both DiBona and Sangiovanni and a heartrending violin solo which seems to appear from nowhere at certain points within the score, although these are more subdued and less vexing they still have to them an underlying mood which is of apprehension and at times dread. Plus we have the exquisite wordless Female vocalising that returns throughout the scores running time which I am told is courtesy of composer Susan DiBona. This is a score that is filled with a shadowy and dark persona, but also one that contains its fair share of light and melodic content.

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As I write I hear that the composers have won an award for their sterling efforts on THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN, they have been recognised for their outstanding achievement as composers in film and television by THE GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS. All I can say is it is well deserved, and I look forward to more of the same. This is not just a score that takes its lead from the great Italian film music composers, it is much more than that, accomplished, inspirational and above all entertaining. Available for pre order now only from KRONOS RECORDS.Will be released early 2016.

Kronos

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