Official Release: 15 October 2021
Here is a new discographic project of the Duo Nuages, with a wide-ranging red thread: the idea of “flowing”, a broad subject encompassing intensely close and at the same time distant concepts, joined by the idea of a continuous transformation.
“Fluendo”, flowing, as a continous, unstoppable and ineluctable metamorphosis, accompanying the development of life and of experiences, emotions, memories and energy. Everything flows; what once was is no more and will never more be; it is the flowing of a fleeting instant, which art always strove to grasp.
It is certainly not by chance that Eraclitus, already in 500 BC, attracted by this deep idea, expressed its thoughts about it. He thus offered one of the most important philosophical concepts on being, resumed in a metaphor: “It is impossible for a man to enter the same river twice, because the river is never the same river, and the man is never the same man”. In other words, everything flows, or else panta rei.
Indeed, if the first image which will come to our eyes will be that of water, the first which will take life for our ears will be music: a music made of sounds flowing in time, made of emotions and states of minds piercing and transforming us gradually.
Music, the art par excellence, has in itself the power of reviving what the composer thought and willed in a particular moment of his or her life thanks to the performer, who gives new life to what is written, and to the listener, who lives the experience of fruition, fully savouring the essence of flowing.
If the verb in its infinite form clearly expresses this idea (fluire, to flow), its conjugation as the gerund (fluendo, flowing) underpins in an even more significant fashion its action in the exact moment of its happening. Thus, it pretends to exalt to the nth power the force of all that is life, that flows, runs, passes, contrasting with the static quality of what stagnates having lost its vital essence.
The three pieces composing this album are inspired by this idea of flowing, with its multifaceted and multicoloured kaleidoscope. This CD is the fruit of the deeply different personalities of the composers who wrote them, i.e. Roberto Ghilarducci, Stefano Nanni and Giacomo Riggi.
In this triptych, by the title of Metamorphosis, the fascinating concept of fluidity acquires expression and sonorous intensity. It is conceived as a hypothetical emotional passage, a transmigration from one state of mind to another, a transformation allowing for an interior change.
Following the plot of the notes, in the midst of intertwining musical ideas shaping thoughts and feelings, all the elements which characterize resilience take form. It is that psychological attitude by virtue of which it becomes possible to reorganize one’s life even in the most difficult moment, transforming the negative energies into a positive force, from which one can acquire a new vital élan.
These basic concepts compose the guiding idea and the hinge on which the triptych is grounded. They are effectively present in all three pieces, within which there are themes continuously changing their shape and key.
The transformation is unceasing. The concept, flowing in a mutable and changing fashion like water in a brook, evolves and flows also in the forms of languages. Therefore, the titles of the three pieces are purposefully written in three different languages, precisely for underpinning the deep metamorphosis also on this level.
In Milonga, a typical Argentinian dance, fluidity emerges first and foremost from the characteristic rhythm, and secondly from semeiography. The score’s writing is characterized by a melody with a sinuous quality, which lasts throughout the piece, penetrating within the foldings of the soul similar to summer rain within the cracks of a thirsty and burnt earth.
In Rage in Joy, one assists to the transformation of the great energy pouring forth from the feeling of rage into an intense and liberatory charge of joy. It is a real emotional explosion, an enraged deflagration: in an unexpected and wonderfully mirific fashion, in the end it illuminates the sky of the I, like a sun dazzling with joy: the strong, warm and constructive light of resilience, indeed.
In Renaissance a true interior rebirth happens; it is a passage, a complex evolution caused by destabilizing events such as death and frustration. With an opposite itinerary with respect to the preceding piece, this work suggests at the beginning a seemingly tranquil climate, leading to a serene and reassuring musical landscape. Later, it conduces to a hectic finale, a very intense and rhythmic one. Precisely here, in the enthralling energy of the final part, the redress shows itself, as the new awareness reached in the end and as the unstoppable force of rebirth.
The form chosen by Stefano Nanni in order to give life to this music is that of the Rhapsody, in the fashion of Brahms rather than of Liszt, and which requires a great mastery of structure.
It is a work really inspired by the month of October. Here the composer infused the feelings and colours that this season conveys to him: the flavour of the new wine, the helpless fall of the reddish leaves, the birds’ migration, the first sudden gushes of wind leading us toward winter coldness, and the melancholic light towards the end of the day.
The piece is entirely immersed in this atmosphere, in this flowing of states of mind, of changes in the emotional temperature.
“When I wrote it, I thought of you, my own splendid musicians, and therefore of a sweet but also vigorous pianism, light but also deep, with a wide hand”. With this artist’s oxymora, Stefano Nanni entrusts his dense writing (similar to his being) to Cristina and Scilla, so that the two pianists’ sensitivities might find their very personal and original balance in his music.
It is a rhapsody full of themes, frequently in counterpoint forse meglio often juxtaposed, alluding to two important and contrasting themes – as in the Sonata form – with great developments and also sudden evolutions, perfectly in line with the savage aspect of the rhapsodic form.
Everything revolves around those initial chords, which at times reappear, always changed as the mutations in the seasons of life. They allow diverse episodes to start once more, or new developments of older elements to take place: slow chords, with no fear of the flowing of time, far away, as an echo.
The writing is constantly orchestral, thick, with many melodic elements intertwining as if the composer would struggle to remain within the circumscribed universe of the 88 keys. Stefano Nanni writes thinking of an orchestra full of instruments and colours, similar to the image of an incredible sunset at the beginning of October. It convinced him to compose the Rapsodia d’Autunno.
The performers have the choice of what to put in the frontline and what in the second line, following their own artistic vision and expressive freedom.
Inspired by the wonderful word “fluendo”, a hotbed of diverse meanings and interpretations, Giacomo Riggi left room for his instinct, allowing his creative fantasy to enliven this extremely broad-ranging and inclusive concept.
In Playing linked, the concept of fluidity merges with the composer’s desire and will to be spontaneous and natural, in an entirely personal fashion.
From these premises a Suite lasting approximately 18 minutes was born. It is divided into five sections, five different pieces, each with its own title. Here the performers have not only to play the piano traditionally, but also to sing, to stomp their feet, to recite, to play on the wood and strings of their instruments, and to clap their hands.
The work opens with Buongiorno a tempo: a kind of a rather goofy overture, where the two performers seek a dialogue, exposing their musical ideas which are very discordant in the beginning, and later get closer, giving life to something harmonious. Sogni profondi, this suite’s second part, is a deep and intense moment pouring forth from the two musicians’ will to cooperate rather to impose their ideas (it is not by chance that they sing a touching melody together). Immediately afterwards, it is the turn of ImiTango Piazzolla, a clear homage to the great Argentinian composer, dominated by the traditional rhythmic figuration of the tango. Slowly this rhythm crumbles down, but the piece closes on a powerful and aggressive note. The fourth part, Waltz of the woods, presents itself precisely as a dark, gloomy and heavy waltz. Imagine you get lost in an unknown forest in the midst of night, and feel overwhelmed by its silence and by the thousand noises of nature. A waltz opening with sadness and closing with more sadness.
As in a bath of light, the Suite closes with Freedom dance: introducing melodic phrases in the octave, mixed with the clapping of hands, it opens the gates for a dance of freedom. The first and fourth grades of the major scale, united with the pressing rhythm of the bass line and with the repeated note, express an incredible feeling of freedom.
Having as its aim a public live performance, Playing linked has been conceived by Giacomo Riggi almost as a theatrical action, alternating deep and at times dark moments with exhilarating and surreal ones.
Also from a stylistic viewpoint, the work passes from a funk rhythm to a dreamy melody, from a tango to a passionate waltz.
The rhythmic aspect markedly characterizes the entire work: odd rhythms such as 7/8 are found. However, they aim not at being perceived as lopsided, but rather as flowing, as in the suite’s purpose.
This is a musical itinerary starting from the encounter between two musicians who fix an appointment to rehearse together: one is late, attempting to justify herself by singing her reasons in a rap style, and then taking on the reins of the situation, performing the following piece.
Without spoiling the surprise, we leave now to the listeners the liberty of undertaking this journey, each with their own feelings, and with the wish that they let themselves fluidly glide in a very original aural world.
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”
Duo Nuages: The Duo Nuages was born in 2010 on the occasion of the contemporary Music Exibition “Suoni Inauditi” held by “Pietro Mascagni” High Musical Formation Institute.
The two pianists, after an intense artistic background and a series of recitals, both as soloists and in chamber ensembles, decided to share their experience and musical expression, thanks also to the common taste for an eclectic and experimental research.
Through the elaboration of compositions for piano duet, the Duo tackles a vast repertoire that ranges from Mozart to Piazzolla, passing through the big romantic and the less famous twentieth-century's authors.
The Duo dedicated also to the study of the repertory for forte-piano and plays on the branded table forte-piano: “John Broadwood & Sons/Makers to his Majesty...Great Pultney Street … London” of 1825.
One of the peculiarities of the Duo is to execute performances where music combines with other languages such as dance, recitations and other graphic-visive expressions.
The Nuages Duo aroused the interest of some italian composers who dedicated them some pieces, paraphrases and projects tied to contemporary musical research: Stefano Nanni, Giacomo Riggi, Diego Valente, Roberto Ghilarducci, Fabio De Sanctis De Benedictis, Claudio Vaira.
The Duo Nuages held numerous recitals for prestigious associations and concert season in Italy.
On the occasion of “Concerti della Domenica 2012” at Pietro Mascagni Institute, during the review's opening recital, dedicated to Darius Milhaud, the Duo played “Le boeuf sur le toit”, before the composer's son, who is a famous contemporary painter that expressed his own enthusiasm towards the two pianists.
The Duo recorded the CD “Ritmi dal Sud America”
(PPG Editions, 2016) and the CD “Finchè non sarà mattina” (Map Classic, 2017).
The name “Nuages” is inspired to the first of the “Three Nocturnes” of Claude Debussy who wrote the following introductive note to this orchestral work: “Nuages” shows the sky's unchanged appearance and the slow, impressive clouds' motion, disappearing in shaded grey tones, lightly tinged with white.
The choice of the name has a dual reason: the two pianists' common love towards the great composer Claude Debussy's music and the Duo's expressive affinity to clouds' ineffable essence and continuous becoming.