Today, contemporary music enjoys a special status: a wavering fame is juxtaposed to a continuingly nuanced reception.
This starts from its very definition, since justifying for human beings what is contemporary (i.e. “of the present day”, “of the now”, “of the hic et nunc”) is an instinctive tendency both for our species and for many others in the animal realm.
When contemporary music is concerned, however, the matter gets complicated in comparison, for example, to a painting which clearly cannot enjoy an aural mobility.
The simple justification of something as being “an output of the present day” loses its meaning almost entirely.
Music itself, in fact, became shattered in innumerable spaces, avantgardes, fortresses and free rivers, and each of them has an identity of its own (or is in quest for it, as happens since the times of Alfredo Casella).
It is also extremely complex, for composers, to define and create a poetics of their own, supporting them and making them recognizable in the aural mare magnum accompanying our existence; moreover, it is complex for this output to reach the highest possible number of people who are (or may be) the ultimate receivers of their work.
This led, from the one side, to an extreme attempt to disconnect oneself from the past, with the risk of sterility and utopia; from the other, to the plundering of styles and “modes” attributable to a past whose range varies depending on the composer.
With increasing frequency, one glimpses a mixture of these two tendencies.
In its novelty, it is nothing else than the recovery of a balance which partly got broken in the first years of the twentieth century. It gives back to the artistic and musical dimension the crossroads of “past/evolution”.
It gets pacified with respect to its phantasms, which are frequently felt as too cumbersome, especially when they are historicized.
Giacomo Riggi can doubtlessly define himself as part of this latter current: in the attempt to propose a thought of its own, this current wisely balances modules (not modes) coming from the European (and not only European) musical past.
One has only to think of harmonies, which are occasionally reminiscent of Dvořák’s Slavic symphonic tradition, as in Paesaggio della Toscana (composed for a competition of music for images), and in particular Il Mattino.
Or else, there is the use of cutting harmonies leading us close to the atmospheres of Bernard Hermann, as happens with the Quartetto in G minor.
This was the composer’s first experience in this genre, and here every idea flows in a free and spontaneous fashion.
This happens to an even higher degree in the Rapsodia per cinque strumenti, where jazz influences are also found, along with a homage to the figure of Chick Corea.
Thence the leap is made to music applied to images – i.e. to cinema: Riggi does not explicitly touch this medium in most of his pieces, but frequently seems to brush against it, through a narrative which powerfully suggests an action or a gesture rather than closing itself in its asemanticity.
In Sunbeam he explicitly refers to a Spanish anonymous short movie of 1912 recounting the journey of a man heading towards the Palace of Queen Sunbeam.
One could also cite the model of Brahms’ chamber music writing, overwhelmingly appearing in the Piano Quintet, which continuously veers, particularly in the Finale, towards an exquisite ideal with a clearly symphonic style.
No element in these works, however, concurs to creating a homage, a divertissement or a variation upon a theme.
Quite the contrary: it is precisely by appropriating and interiorizing a multitude of elements that Riggi traces a path of his own, which is extremely recognizable; he later adds it up to the experiences of many other media and of non-“cultivated” styles of the twentieth-century tradition.
Leading these back to a poetics of his own, the composer expresses the potential of his palette of sound at its best in these chamber music works, chiseling a complex fresco made of the continuous intertwining of suggestions, in the constant tension of a gaze facing the future of his art, in awareness of and respect for what preceded him.
Paolo Ardinghi: Born in Soest (Germany), he received his diploma magna cum laude at the Istituto Boccherini of Lucca under the guidance of Antonio Ardinghi. Thereafter he studied principally with Franco Gulli, and frequented masterclasses with Mirco Pezzini, Angelo Stefanato, Pierre Amoyal, Regis Paquier, Maya Jokanovich, Tibor Varga , Piero Toso, and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena with Uto Ughi. In his career, he has interpreted concerti for violin and orchestra, collaborating with orchestras throughout Europe…under the direction of conductors such as: Wolfart Schuster, Walery Soroko, GianPaolo Mazzoli, Marco Severi ,Fabio Pacciani and others. His repertoire spans from the baroque- Tartini, Nardini, Vivaldi and Bach, to classics such as Mozart, Haydn, Chevalier de Saint George, to the romantics- Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms. He has collaborated with pianists such as Hector Moreno, Leonardo Bartelloni, Federico Rovini, Federico Nicoletta, covering the complete Sonatas of Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Grieg. Since 2006 he has initiated an intense duo collaboration with famed Italian pianist Bruno Canino, with whom he has played among other places at the International Chamber Music Festival of Copenhagen. He has played as soloist with several illustrious musicians such as: Bach Double Concerto with Alessandro Cappone (Berlin Philharmonic), Beethoven Triple Concerto with Bruno Canino and Andrea Nannoni. As first violinist in several Italian orchestras, he has played throughout Italy, France, England, Germany, Holland etc…(Paris, London, Munich, Antwerp). Paolo Ardinghi teaches String Quartet performance at the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “Luigi Boccherini” in Lucca, Italy.
Giacomo Riggi: He was Born in Barga (LU) on November 1983, Giacomo begins his musical studies at the age of 11 and graduated in classical percussions with full marks and honour at the high musical education Institute P.Mascagni in Livorno under Gionata Faralli’s guidance.
Musician, songwriter and composer, Giacomo wins the following competitions: “We love Jazz and Gospel” in Genova (1999), “Cesare Chiti” announced by P.Mascagni Institue in Livorno (2000), First prize as Solo Percussion “Città di Fusignano” (2002), First prize “Città di Cento” (2003), chamber music competition of “Venaria Reale” (2005), First prize “Moncalieri Jazz” with the band “Sestetto formica” (2005), First prize for the 3d edition of “Waltez jazz competition” with his own project “Isevarm” (2009), Prize “Radio stop” and “premio della critica” at the international pop music competition “golden disc”, “The prize “rotary” issued by the rotary club Livorno (2011).
He performs with the following orchestras: Orchestra sinfonica di SanRemo, O.R.T. Orchestra Regionale Toscana, O.J.M Orchestre des jeunes de la Mediterraneè, O.G.I. Orchestra Giovanile italiana, Arts academy of rome, Maggio musicale fiorentino, filarmonica Arturo toscanini parma.
He toured in Italy and abroad: Lithuania - Estonia - Finland - Romania - France - Spain - Germany - England - Russia – China- Japan - Taiwan - Bulgaria - United States - Colombia - Mexico etc..
He recorded 3 albums as leader: “isevarm” - with Simone Graziano; string quartet “even8”. Featuring Luciano Biondini and paul mccandless (2010), “linea s” (2015), “into my life” (2016) and cooperated as side-ma in several album such as: "Vox Aquae" with flutist Stefano Agostini, Giovanni Canale e Francesco di Francescantonio (1998), "Now here nowhere" with guitarist Simone Ricci and Johannes Faber on trumpet (1999), "Keep Swinging" with the trio Inside Out (2008), "One changes bass" of Fabio di Tanno, a live album with the "Contempoart ensemble of Prato" in the performance of "Don Perlimplin" by Bruno Maderna and "Serenata per un satellite" (2003) and many others.
As composers, he wrote also, "Fantasia per violoncello e piano" performed in the festival six "Concerti della Domenica" of Mascagni Institute, "Il fagiolo magico" opera for children freely inspired by the homonymous tale staged in April 2009 at the Teatro Goldoni of Livorno and performed at Teatro Verdi (Florence) in March 2018, “La Regina delle nevi” opera for children freely inspired by the homonymous tale staged in March 2019 at Teatro Verdi (Florence).
Riggi collaborated with Cirque du Soleil as Pianist/Bandleader at the creation and first leg of the tour in the show “Axel”