Renowned Italian Saxophonist GIANNI DENITTO is in Goa to mesmerise Goans and give them a glimpse of Jazz- that can be enjoyed by all, including non-Jazz music lovers. Here to perform his latest album ‘Brain on a Sofa’ as part of his India tour, Gianni who is in Goa for the first time talks to NT BUZZ about Jazz, the album, jamming up with Indians and more
By Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
Tell us about your music project ‘Brain on a Sofa’?
‘Brain on a Sofa’ is my latest project. It is a solo saxophone performance mixed with electronic sounds.It’s my story, it’s a journey. Since I travel a lot and I love to infuse my experiences through music. The project allows you to chill and relax. Its about seating your brain on a sofa after a long day at working, to enjoy the music without thinking too much.
What was it like performing in various parts of India?
I like this country so much and some songs of mine reveal it. There are songs called ‘Namaste Supermarket’ and ‘Bhalobasa’. Through music and the tour I’m enjoying the culture and history and of course the music. I have travelled to Varanasi, Rajasthan and other parts as part of the project and it gives me really good feelings.
What did you learn from other Indian musicians/bands?
I had concerts with some Indian classic musicians. One can never stop learning. As of now, I have learned just a few things and I want to understand Indian classical music better and go deeper into it. But, I also know it’s not so easy to master Indian music. The Ragas along with the different and complicated rhythms have really fascinated me.
What’s it like to be playing in Goa?
This is my first time to Goa. My first impression – nice weather, good and positive vibes and beautiful beaches. At present, it’s snowing in Italy. We Europeans think we know Goa as a beautiful location without even knowing the place properly. I am extremely lucky to play here. When I go back, I will be in a better position to explain to my Italian friends about the beauty of this place .Thanks to the Italian Institute Of Culture and others who have made this concert possible.
Share with us your love affair with the saxophone.
I started playing the saxophone almost twenty years ago. I’m 34-years-old now. I remember listening to the music being played on the saxophone at the age of thirteen and fell in love with the instrument instantly. I don’t come from a family which has roots in music, but decided to study it because of my teachers who told my parents that I was the best musician in the school…that was when I was just twelve. I then went on to study classical music at the Academy in Italy eight years ago before venturing into modern and jazz music. Now the saxophone is my best friend, my lover, my wife, my son…it just depends on the feeling.
How is it that you never fail to mesmerise your audience?
Brain on a Sofa is not the kind of project that is intellectual or aimed at a small segment of people. This music is for everyone to understand and have fun. Many a time people associate a solo saxophone concert to be boring. But with this music the audience doesn’t get bored, is what I can tell you.
Not everyone enjoys Jazz music. How do you connect with it?
Yes I know. One of my gurus said: “Jazz could be the best music in the worst scenario.” So basically it all depends on the quality of musicians. It’s good to experience Jazz music, as it could also change your life. It is a genre which has improvisation, of composition on the spur of the moment, just like Indian classical music. But the difference is that Jazz is the music that mixes different styles together. I fell in love with a saxophone player called Charlie Parker and everything started there. I can never stop talking about the goodness of Jazz music.
You have a wealth of experience in classical, electronic and rock music. How have you been able to give justice to each of these genres through your music?
Yes! It was difficult to mix all the genres together. But when you do it to your original music, especially in solo, you need to be honest to yourself. Then, everything comes naturally, and it’s a beautiful symphony of the very many experiences of other genres all mixed in one.
Is playing in clubs or at music festivals is a better option?
I like playing in small clubs because I can feel the energy better of the people inside the hall. I can look them in the eye, chat with them and of course click pictures with them after the concert. However, I also like the big sound and stages. The feeling of having one thousand people enjoying your music in front of you is a different feeling altogether. So to cut long things short…I enjoy both for different reasons.
What were some of the sacrifices you made to reach the position you are at?
I have sacrificed a lot. It is not that easy to take the path of becoming a professional musician. I have to practice almost everyday which is not paid for. Also, to succeed you need to love what you’re doing. Had I not become a musician I would have served people instead of entertaining them by being a doctor.
(The Italian Embassy Cultural Centre – New Delhi Mumbai presents Gianni Denitto: Brain on a Sofa”, Solo Sax Performance + Electronics on February 24 at 6.30 p.m. at Multipurpose Hall, Krishnadas Shama Library, Goa State Library, Patto, Panaji. It is organised by Italian Embassy Cultural Centre New Delhi – Mumbai, Vice Consulate of Italy for Goa, Directorate of Art & Culture, Circolo Italiano, Goa.)