Rodion - December 2007 English Version
CM>>>What means the word Rodion? Why have you chosen this artists name? I just found a classic musician from Russia and a poet who named themselves Rodion…
Eduardo>>>I always had quite a crush on russia. I've never been there but I imagine russia as an universe in itself: endless, frozen but passionate, romantic...russia provided us with some of the finest all-time geniuses, people like prokoviev, scriabin, stravinsky, dostoevski, majakovski. also the sovietic sci fi technologic imagery had a big impact on me. so the name rodion comes after the main character of dostoevski's masterpiece 'crime and punishment', rodion romanovic raskolnikov. I liked him because he was not an hero: rather he was full of doubts, fears, showing a natural human tendency towards the dark side...
Eduardo>>>I think it all started when I was 4 or 5. my uncle is a choir singer and a passionate music lover and I used to spend many evenings at his place, wearing huge headphones and listening at his bach and debussy vinyl records. I remember being astonished when I pumped bach's massive organ works into my ears, some sort of a mystic experience. so I suddenly started my piano lessons: I took the thing very seriously and I kept on with classical and sacred music studies until 20 or so. If you start early and you are in love with what you are doing, it's much easier to achieve good results. so maybe I could have been playing chopin when I was 10, but I never considered myself as a wonderboy (smiling) but I definitely feel a very lucky guy because I had the opportunity to receive a strict and proper classical training.
Eduardo>>>music conservatories and sacred music schools might be inhabited by narrow minded people. Many times teachers and parents want their kids to behave like competitive robots, and they focus their attentions on strict discipline rather than on music. there's usually no room in those schools for different kinds of music: I remember of a friend being kicked out because he released a dark-wave album with his teenage band! I always felt that music would have been my life, but I did not want to get stressed and stucked with accademy only. In italy 'centri sociali' are left winged occupied places, a bit like squats with lots of cultural initiatives: young people meet there, they smoke a lot, talk, watch live concerts, movies and so on. when I was 16 I used to spend many of my nights there. I met many stimulating people and we set up a new wave band called the 'ZU!', where I started playing synths and programming music.
Eduardo>>>From 16 on I had a sort of dual life: classical by day, a bit ravey by night. I tried to mix the two sides but the musical school teachers where not happy with my piercing and freaky haircuts (laughing) I still felt in love with music, but I did no longer want to hear people telling me how I had to play, to dress and to behave. So I went away and I took my piano graduation by myself with private lessons. It has not been frustrating at all, I just did what I felt I had to do.
Eduardo>>>Sure, I still love to play piano. I have one at my place and I play it whenever I can, though not as much as I would love to. sometimes I'm a bit frustrated because I feel that I'm no longer good as I was when I used to spend 8 hours per day on my piano, but I still love it. And when I will get tired by the modern sounds, I'm pretty sure that I'll return where I do come from.
Eduardo>>>The title and the artwork of my album both come straight from the Gomma factories. Sure we had lots of talks about it, but it's part of a good label teamwork to provide the music with a proper imagery, and it's nice to see how my music gets interpreted by Gomma. I think the title quite says it all: the music is sometimes mellow and romantic, sometimes fast and hectic. and though not strictly conceived for the club, it's basically dance music. the artwork completes it in a nice way I think: there's humour and explosions, and there's airplanes quickly moving forward and backwards through past, present and future.
Eduardo>>>people are a bit like sponges, they absorb everything passing through them, even if they don't want to. it happens to me as well, and things in my music sometimes just come out from I don't know where. I just let them flow and try to have fun driving them together in a musical form. a good music piece is much like a play or a story. it has to tell you something. the sponge provides me with the characters and I put them together on an imaginary stage. I usually spend time thinking before writing a tune: I write my sketches on paper, I imagine the story and only after then I start tweaking knobs.
Eduardo>>>the romantic jet dance album is more a collection of tunes that I wrote during the last two or three years than not a concept album. I sent all of my tunes to Gomma in 2006. then they had a rodion listening overdose and together we chosen what to put into the rodion debut LP. it has been quite hard to squeeze everything in a compact and coherent album: we had to leave many tracks out and to cut, edit and rework many of those we left in. As it usually happens, now we find that some things could have been done in a better way, but we are all very satisfied about the final results. I reckon I'm a very meticulous guy when we talk about music, and the Gomma guys are among the very few ones which I found to be as meticulous as me, if not even more. so I'm happy we did an extensive and accurate work together to produce this album: I feel I learnt many useful things on my music working with them.
Eduardo>>>No, and I don't really think that they would care about it ...(laughing)
Eduardo>>>Usually the music business requires you to be labelled with a simple and easy to understand style tag. So Rodion is Italian and he makes Italo. But that's not definitely true. Sure I love Italo, but I think that if one is willing to listen with open mind, he could find much more than Italo in my music. I've always been used to listen and produce music in very different sauces, from string quartet to bossa nova. The romantic jet dance album features the sound I've been after during the last couple of years. with Gomma we tried to define it in the clearest possible form. but in the meanwhile I kept on learning about production and listening at new music, so good chances are that my future works will evolve and sound in a different way, still retaining the rodion style.
Eduardo>>>I just can't stop making music, I feel quite bad whenever I'm not working on a new track. at the present moment I'm working on many remixes: one for tomboy's 'flamingo' has just been released on gomma and one for my friend fabrizio mammarella and his telespazio project is out now on tiny sticks, plus I'm working on some other remixes wich will be released in 2008. I think remixing is a good production exercise. In the meantime I'm trying to release the debut album of my pigneto quartet freaky band and a first technopop split on our new roman roccodisco label. but what I care more about right now is working on a new rodion album. I'll take my time: I already have many sketches to work on and I think that I'll throw in more songs and featurings, though I generally like taking care of the rodion by myself.
Eduardo>>>I've been much impressed by the Gomma showcase at Sonar in 2005: munk were mixing techno and gloria esteban while holding a bottle of jack daniels in their hands and whomadewho played an unexpected ultra tight funk rock show. so I decided that they were open minded enough to receive a rodion demo.. laughing
Eduardo>>>The video has been made by mathias modica, one of the two Munk guys which run the Gomma label. He told me nothing about the video, I just found it by chance on youtube! but I liked it a lot: humour is an essential part of my music and I'm sometimes quite a cynic guy.
CM>>>What kind of gear do you use for your music? Do you use also kind of vintage synths or do you create these Eighties sounds with plug ins?
Eduardo>>>I use both vintage and software stuff in my studio. I like the look and sound of vintage instruments and I'm also fascinated by the potential of computer generated music, so I mix both in my music. I'm not in the hardware vs software thing: every proper musical instrument, being it acoustic, electric or synthetic could sound good if you dedicate time and passion on making it work.
Eduardo>>>It's a difficult question, there's so many wonderful things here...sure there's all of the ancient roman ruins, full of tourists and charme. but I'd probably take you to a walk and then to a 'trattoria' (our term for popular restaurants) in garbatella, a neighbourhood where true roman people still live. this is what I usually do with my guests.
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