We spoke to the classical/rock pianist, composer and arranger, Alberto Giurioli about his start in music, what drew him to the piano, and how feelings and being yourself are the most important factors of being a great musician.
KNEWYU: HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC? DO YOU COME FROM A MUSICAL FAMILY?
ALBERTO: Playing an instrument all happened that one day my Dad told me that my neighbour was going to a private music school to learn piano, and he told me ‘from today, you will start as well.’
K: WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING PIANO? WAS IT YOUR DREAM INSTRUMENT?
A: I started to play piano when I was 4 years old, and I was too little to understand which instrument I liked more. With the years I understood that I fancied the guitar as well, so I have started to learn too, but after many years. My Dad wasn’t so happy about that because he was thinking that I would leave the piano for the guitar, but this didn’t happen. I only learned another instrument to be added to my personal skill.
K: DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF MUSIC?
A: I have a lot of hobbies out of music, the most important for me are running, cooking, traveling, and also tattoos. In fact, I have 3 (all about music) and the biggest is the sheet paper of my first composition.
K: GOING ON FROM THE LAST QUESTION, WHAT IS A NORMAL DAY LIKE IN THE LIFE OF ALBERTO? WHAT DOES A TYPICAL RECORDING SESSION LOOK LIKE?
A: A normal day for Alberto is always different. I don’t have a real plan, I don’t like to always have a same day, so every day I am trying to change and always do something new so I can get more experience.
My recording session is composed by me, my piano, my Mac and a great cup of Italian coffee, it has helped me a lot of times. I am spending a lot of hours to try to find the right sounds with the right melody. I am always starting with the piano, but sometimes for finding new ideas I play bass and guitar. Depends on the mood of my day.
Actually, I came from a rock/metal world so a lot of riff and rhythmic. I want to transport that on the classical music, at the end the classical music is behind rock and metal.
K: I LIKE TO ASK MUSICIANS A FASHION QUESTION, SO WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GO-TO, FAIL-PROOF PERFORMANCE OUTFIT? WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS?
A: Honestly, I don’t have different clothes for when I am playing or going out in a normal day, I like to be always the same Alberto on the stage and when I’m with my friends. My favourite designers are brands like, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, All Saints. But I don’t want to focus too much on specifics as I like to see and change always. What I like, I get.
K: IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANY COMPOSER/SONGWRITER/ARTIST ETC. DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
A: This is a good questions that maybe my reply could be strange. I would like to work with Dave Growl, ex Nirvana’s Drummer and actual singer and guitarist of Foo Fighters. I would like to work with him from his point of view of the music. I think he is one of the last artists that is seeing the music as everyone should see it. He is a normal person in a world of people that they have forgot where he came from. I respect him for this and also for what he has done in his life. He played in two bands that have created part of music history. A sort of Steve Jobs of the music industry.
K: WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR MUSICAL CAREER SO FAR?
A: I have beautiful highlights about my career what I could list as a CV, but I consider highlights in the music as feelings and for me it was when casually, I stopped in St. Pancras Station in London to play the free pianos that you can find inside the stations and an old woman started to cry. She came to me and she told me, ‘thank you, the way you are playing reminds me of my husband when he was playing.’ That was one of the strongest feelings that I have ever felt. I felt happy because I gave something important to a person that was alone.
K: WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING PIANIST?
A: Studying a lot is important, but it is important to walk around where you are living and try to listen to the sounds around you. Then I say to play what they are like, to be themselves and not to change to be or look like someone else, because you are your music, your music is coming from what you are.
Thank you so much Alberto!