Interview with Giorgio Cordini, the music beyond borders!

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The voice of soul goes back to the roots of songwriting with an acoustic guitar, to the ones of Mediterranean world with bouzouki, mandolins and saz and to the rock ones with an electric guitar.

Giorgio Cordini, born in Venice, started to play music as self-taught. At the end of the ‘70s he moved to Brescia.

Piccola Orchestra Apocrifa

Piccola Orchestra Apocrifa

He is into blues, fingerstyle, rock, Italian, Latin and worldwide singer-songwriting music.
He has played with an unique style in different bands: JB Club, Forneria Marconi (then called Premiata Forneria Marconi), Wha-Wha Band, Piccola Orchestra Apocrifa, Mille Anni Ancora, Suona Libero.
His collaborations with Italian and International musicians are worth a mention: Maria Alberti, Mario Arcari, Ellade Bandini, Carey Bell, Andrea Braido, Reno Brandoni, Massimo Bubola, Stefano Caprioli, Massimo Carrano, Nanni Civitenga, Eros Cristiani, Giovanni Andrea (Joe) Damiani, Cristiano De André, Fabrizio De André, Mauro Di Domenico, Irene Fargo, Max Gabanizza, Michele Gazich, Oliviero Malaspina, Enrico Mantovani, Nada, Luca Quaia, Mauro Pagani, Massimo Ranieri, Louisiana Red, Cesar Rivero, Giuseppe Rotondi, Otis Rush, Vittorio Sonsini, Riccardo Tesi, Franco Testa, Fabio Treves, Arnaldo Vacca, Roberto Vecchioni, Ezio Zaccagnini, Quartetto Zelig, Stefano Zeni and many others.
In 1996 he took part at the 7th edition of ‘Premio Città di Recanati’: a guitar festival where 10 of the best Italian guitarists performed on stage.
In 2007 he founded the Academy of Modern, Popular and Ethnic Music (Libera Accademia In Franciacorta, LAIF) in Provaglio d’Iseo (Brescia, Italy).
On March 12, 2000, he played the guitar with well-known Italian singers and musicians: Luvi and Cristiano De André, Vasco Rossi, Gino Paoli, Celentano, Ornella Vanoni, Zucchero and many others at the ‘Faber Amico Fragile’ evening in Genua.
On January 21, 2009, Giorgio played live broadcast at the Fabio Fazio’s Che tempo che fa program, it was dedicated to the greatest Italian singer-songwriter: Fabrizio De André (1940-1999). There he performed with the band which had played with the biggest artists of the Italian music: Andrea Bocelli, Edoardo Bennato, Gianna Nannini, Piero Pelù, Tiziano Ferro, Lucio Dalla, etc.Giorgio Cordini has been making an effort to spread the good music and the passion for the acoustic guitar with the ‘Acoustic Franciacorta Festival’, he is the Artistic Director of it. The festival is at the 11th edition and always earns a positive outcome. It has hosted great Italian and International musicians performing in concerts and teaching workshops: Alessandro Adami, Muriel Anderson, Mario Arcari, Sergio Altamura, Yiannis Andronoglou, Bermuda Acoustic Trio, Karim Baggili, Duck Baker, Pierre Bensusan, Reno Brandoni, Alberto Caltanella, Clive Carroll, Corimè, Cathryn Craig, Peppino D’Agostino, Giovanni Andrea (Joe) Damiani, Alex De Grassi, Mauro Di Domenico, Alex Di Reto, Emil Ernebro, Lorenzo Favero, Daniel Figueras, Eugenio Finardi, Finaz (Bandabardò), Peter Finger, Michael Fix, Pino Forastiere, Dario Fornara, Luca Francioso, Beppe Gambetta, Ed Gerhard, Jon Gomm, Stefan Grossman, Nick Harper, Phil Holland, Pete Huttlinger, Eduard Isaac, Jontom, Goran Kuzminac, Eric Lugosch, Raffaella Luna, Walter Lupi, Michael Manring, Rodolfo Maltese, Enrico Mantovani, Tony McManus, Andrea Mirò, Franco Morone, Derrin Nauendorf, Pietro Nobile, Mauro Pagani, Giovanni Pelosi, Jimmy Robinson, Daniela Savoldi, François Sciortino, Shel Shapiro, Alessandro Sipolo, Jacques Stotzem, Giulio Tampalini, Andrea Valeri, Patrick Vaillant, Davide Van De Sfroos, Victor Villadangos, Jimmy Wahlsteen, Brian Willoughby, Vincenzo Zitello and many others.Discography
Goccia a goccia – Tiziano Mazzoni; 2011
I fiori di Faber – Giorgio Cordini; 2010
L’occhio della luna – Roberta Di Lorenzo; 2010
Piccoli animaletti – Ducoli; 2010
Vasco Tracks 2 – Vasco Rossi; 2009
34 volte amore – a compilation of 34 fingerpicking.net guitarists; 2009
Anema e Corde – Giorgio Cordini e Reno Brandoni; 2008
New Philosophy Of Jazz – Eros Kristyani; 2008
Storia di un impiegato – Mille Anni Ancora; 2008
Un buon motivo – Joe Damiani; 2007
Controvento – Roberto Tardito; 2007
Une primavere – Luigi Maieron; 2007
Note di Natale – Raccolta; 2006
La buona novella – Piccola Orchestra Apocrifa; 2006
De Profundis – Joan Isaac; 2006
Yelda – Reno Brandoni; 2006
In direzione ostinata e contraria – Fabrizio De André; 2005
2004 Creuza De Ma – Mauro Pagani; 2004
Zingarom – Reno Brandoni; 2004
36 – The Fingerpicking.net Sampler – a compilation of 36 Italian guitarists; 2004
Mille Papaveri Rossi – a compilation of the songs by Fabrizio De André; 2004
Club Of Malindi – Roberto Vecchioni; 2004
Segreti trasparenti – Massimo Bubola; 2004
Faber amico fragile – Raccolta dal vivo; 2003
Tra fiamma e candela – Lorenzo Riccardi; 2003
Domani – Mauro Pagani; 2003
Linea di confine – Joe Damiani; 2003
Disarmati – Giorgio Cordini; 2002
Senza fiato – Joe Damiani; 2002
De André in concerto – the 2nd volume Fabrizio De André; 2001
Resolvez-Vouz, Messieurs – Mario Mantovani; 2001
Chitarre d’autore – Giorgio Cordini; 2000
Dove sei sei – Nada; 1999
De André in concerto – Fabrizio De André; 1999
Roba di Amilcare – Premio Tenco; 1998
Mi innamoravo di tutto – Fabrizio De André; 1998
Strade perse – Lorenzo Riccardi; 1997
Amore e guerra – Massimo Bubola; 1996
Playing The Beatles – A. Braido e G. Cordini; 1995
La strada del cielo – Cattive Compagnie; 1994
1991 Concerti – Fabrizio De André; 1991

Interview

How was your passion for the guitar born? Do you remember the first time you held it in your hands?
On a family album there is a photo of me when I was 11 years old… I was holding my first guitar in hands. It was a Confirmation gift by a family friend. I started playing just for fun, later, at 14 I studied it seriously.You played for several years at Fabrizio De André’s side on concert tours: Le Nuvole (1991), Anime Salve (1997) and Mi Innamoravo di Tutto (1998).
In 2010 you made an instrumental compilation of 10 songs by Fabrizio De André with particular references to the flowers, it includes I Fiori Di Faber, a piece composed by Mimmo Saponaro and you, it is also the name of the album. On tracks you play the guitars, bouzouki, mandolins, saz and Gaspare Bonafede the percussions.
Your band ‘Mille Anni Ancora’ (with Alessandro Adami, Mario Arcari, Ellade Bandini, Max Gabanizza, Eros Cristiani, Enrico Mantovani, Stefano Zeni, Giuseppe Rotondi and Maria Alberti) have performed the tracklist of the last Faber tour.
All the things said so far are just some examples of your link to his music.
Would you like to tell us anything about your devotion to the music by De André? How did his music influence your songwriting style?
Before Mauro Pagani asked me to become a member of De André’s band in 1990, I had already been a wild-eyed fanatic, so the chance to collaborate with him made me in seventh heaven.
25 years before that moment the first albums on 7-inch vinyl of Fabrizio were launched, I was one of those people who dug a groove on the discos to learn the lyrics by heart. I used to write them down in secret, cause my parents considered them ‘forbidden lyrics’! Once the only way to learn lyrics was to write all the verses by listening to them, you couldn’t find them anywhere.
Playing at Fabrizio De André’s side really changed my life, it offered me the chance to join powerfully the music world and made me have a difference in quality for my musical carrier.
My devotion to his music and production made me keep his message alive. Of course all of his collaborators, like me, want to preserve his memory, cause we are witnesses of his work and creations.
I think I learnt a lot by him, especially concerning his love for rigor and perfectionism. I have been always amazed by his resolution on communicating messages: the lyrics of his songs had to come to the listener with precision and strength, that’s why his way of singing, no frills, neither interpretation nor dramatization of the lyrics, simply clarity on expressing words, of course he used the correct diction… all the rest was made by his deep, impeccable, hypnotize vocal timbre.
You have collaborated with Mauro Pagani for several years. You played with him also on a long tour through Italy, Spain, Macedonia and Tunisia. I would like to know how this collaboration was born.
Mauro Pagani lives in Chiari, a village near Brescia. In 1967 I started to play with him in ‘Forneria Marconi’ (then called ‘Premiata Forneria Marconi’), a quartet that would become famous some years later. The band played blues and the style of Cream, Traffic and John Mayall. We used to focus on sounds, originality and our musical tastes and passion for the new tendencies of those years, but those were hard times for us cause at dance halls people wanted to dance and our music was different. So the band broke up, however Mauro and me have been playing together in other bands. We are good friends, I have always followed his musical adventures: PFM and other important productions. At the end of the ‘80s I founded the trio ‘Wha-Wha Band’ in Brescia that accompanied also Mauro during his gigs. Some years later he asked me to join the ‘Le Nuvole’ tour [with De André]. Mauro Pagani produced the album of the same name and also Creuza de ma.You are a great singer-songwriter: your music and your lyrics make medidate on life. Tell us the sad story of La notte dei Fondi, whose lyrics were written by Luisa Moleri in memory of the victims of the massacre in Schilpario (‘Fondi di Schilpario’; April 28th, 1945). Did you write the music first?
I have owned a flat in Vilmaggiore in Val di Scalve for 15 years. I have good friends in that area too. Some years ago somebody told me about the massacre ‘Fondi di Schilpario’ on 28th April 1945, just few days after the end of WWII. An eye witness told Luisa and me about the sad event: 12 innocent people were murdered by some fascists, who weren’t certain about the end of the war. They machine-gunned the civilians coming from the village Schilpario, headed for Fondi to celebrate the end of the war.
The details of the touching true story prompted Luisa to write the moving lyrics that talks about a dialogue between a young victim and his mother, who was looking for him and found him dead among other dead bodies.
Then I made the melody and arranged the song La notte dei fondi, which is well-known in Schilpario as the symbol of that sad event during the remembrances each year.In 1999 you opened the concert of James Taylor in Piazza Duomo in Brescia: how was this experience?
James Taylor has always been one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I have always been impressed by his vocal timbre and his refined way of playing the acoustic guitar. When I got the news about his Italian tour (with a gig in Brescia) in 1999 I did really want to play before him: it was an unforgettable and unique experience. The audience appreciated a lot my performance.You sing and play rock music too, besides songwriting music and the fingerstyle guitar. You founded a rock-blues band at the end of the ‘80s: the ‘Wha-Wha Band’ (together with Ludo Quilleri and Pietro Tonolo, then replaced by Joe Damiani and Max Gabanizza). From 1968 to 1970 you got the tickets for several Jimi Hendrix concerts. Wha-Wha Band can be considered a tribute band to Jimi Hendrix cause you play almost 20 of his songs. How were you influenced by rock music? And how did you live the ‘60s-‘70s, the ages of the revolution and spiritual freedom of the human?
In 1967 my bro got home from England with Are You Experienced?, my first Jimi Hendrix’s album. We were very shocked of it: the sound of the electric guitar played by Jimi was unbelievable! I listened to it a lot! Later on May 1968 Hendrix came in Italy for a short tour, I had to watch him live twice: Milan and Bologna. I recorded the live in Bologna on a radio cassette recorder. On September 1970, few days before his death, I saw the live concert in Fehmarn (Germany). Those were the fabulous years for music: creativity, originality, freedom, imagination… there weren’t models or reference points, each month there was a birth of a new musical project called Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, Genesis… bands that left a mark in the history of rock and are still important and unforgettable.
Joe Damiani, Giorgio Cordini, Max Gabanizza

Joe Damiani, Giorgio Cordini, Max Gabanizza

You’ve produced several albums so far, even Strade Perse (together with Mauro Pagani), the first album by the singer-songwriter from Pavia Lorenzo Riccardi; La Strada Del Cielo by the trio ‘Cattive Compagnie’ from Verona; Yelda by Reno Brandoni; La Buona Novella by ‘Piccola Orchestra Apocrifa’; Eppur Bisogna Andare by the young Alessandro Sipolo. Your aim as a music producer is to share the good music. Would you like to add anything?
I’ve been sporadically music producer and for a short period of time. However I’m very proud of all of those above-mentioned albums. It’s very important to listen to them again, even 10 or 20 years later; I recognize that they sound good and are well made!
Nowadays I’m focusing on Alessandro Sipolo, a very talented singer-songwriter with a deep and original vocal timbre. His lyrics are very politically active. He knows how to involve the audience with the rhythm and the melody. He deserves to play on the biggest stages, however we have to bear with it: I’m sure he will succeed.You do social work as an Emergency volunteer, you are also one of the main figures of the Emergency branch in Brescia. In 2002 the album Disarmati (with Mauro Pagani, Fabio Treves, Riccardo Tesi, Mauro Di Domenico,…) was launched. You wanted to send a peace message through the fastest communications medium: the music. A part of the proceeds was donated to Emergency. Would you like to take the chance to send a message to our readers?
I’ve been an Emergency member for ages, cause I think that it’s right that everyone helps needy people. The mission of Gino Strada is an example for all of us. I’m completely sure that each euro we raise for Emergency goes where there is a great need of resources to safe human life.

You are the Artistic Director of the academy of music you founded in 2007 in Provaglio d’Iseo (Brescia): Accademia Di Musica Moderna, Etnica e Popolare. What do you wanna send to your students, besides love for the instrument?
All the teachers of our Academy, besides being very great teachers, perform at theatres, squares and pubs. Our idea is to prepare students to play the instrument and to face the audience, obtaining self-confidence and determination from the point you get on the stage to let them listen to your music. There are often good musicians, who are terrified performing in front of the audience!

You are also the Artistic Director of the Acoustic Franciacorta Festival, one of the biggest guitar festivals in Italy and Europe. The 2014 hosts the 11th edition. Could you please give us any previews?
Acoustic Franciacorta Festival 2014 is occurring from the 27th to the 31st of August in different fabulous places in Franciacorta (for instance at the ‘Monastero di San Pietro in Lamosa’ in Provaglio d’Iseo, where all began 11 years ago).
Even this edition is hosting international and world-renowned guests: there will also be a Chinese fingerstyle guitarist, Joe Zhu, who is considered a champion in Asia. The evenings are being dedicated to singer-songwriting (organized in collaboration with Club Tenco).

Could you please tell us your next gigs?
My concerts appear on the website www.giorgiocordini.it, which is always updated. One of the next Summer gigs is taking place in Ospitaletto (Brescia) on 25th July, there I am going to play with ‘Mille Anni Ancora’ and Eugenio Finardi, as a guest. It’s an experiment we already did some weeks ago at the Donizetti Theatre in Bergamo, the outcome was really great. We are even planning a Winter tour.Knowing a musician means knowing him/her musically speaking but also personally, as a human, so, would you like to send a message as a musician and a teacher to our readers?
In my life music has always been very important. Music is really my life. I wouldn’t have calm, happiness, creativity, enthusiasm, smile nor the strength to face the life if I didn’t have music.Thank you very much indeed Giorgio. You have been so kind to issue this interview. It has been a great honor knowing you so deeply as a human and as a great musician too.Contacts
Keep you posted! Visit the official website of Giorgio Cordini, Facebook and Twitter.You can buy the CDs and books on: the official website of Giorgio, CdBaby, Fingerpickingshop.com, Self, MusicStore by Rockol and ‘A’ Magazine.Listen to the albums: I Fiori di Faber, Disarmati and Anema e Corde on Spotify.Don’t miss the Acoustic Franciacorta Festival: from 27th to 31st August, 2014 (read about it on the official website, Facebook and Twitter).

Would you like to study music? Visit the official website of Libera Accademia In Franciacorta (LAIF, Accademia di Musica Moderna Etnica e Popolare), and like it on Facebook!

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pianist and singer-songwriter "The Rovers" acoustic trio #pop #folk http://theroversband.wix.com/the-rovers /// jazz singer "Liza & The Brothers" #jazz trio http://lizathebrothers.wix.com/liza-and-thebrothers /// classical piano /// foreign languages