(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 38: Roberto Ventimiglia

Roberto Ventimiglia

Roberto Ventimiglia is a songwriter with a rich and unpredictable personality, which we have already told you about on more than one occasion. Capable of ranging from psych-folk song of Drakeian delicacy to orchestral composition, in recent years Ventimiglia has refined his very personal creative spirit, happily communicative, open to contamination and never hermetically closed on himself.
A spirit that we can find as much in his “contemporary” creations as in the “light” repertoire. In the latter context, Roberto Ventimiglia’s most recent publication is the ep Look At Stars Tonite (A Lockdown Time Diary), digitally released in autumn 2020. The video clip of the single London was directed by Marco Bordignon.

Here you can listen to the beautiful Partita (for solo flute) composed by Roberto Ventimiglia and performed by Andy Findon, long-time collaborator among others of Hans Zimmer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennet as well as historical member of Michael Nyman Band (EMA Vinci Records, 2021)

His Mixtape:

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Pagan Baby

If I should create a chronological playlist according to the pieces that first reached my ears, then this would be the first one!
CCR are my dad’s favourite band ever, so I couldn’t list them but this way, as they are some sort of musical weaning to me. This powerful song is the opening track of the album “Pendulum”, a record I love so much in spite of some reviewers and music critics’ cold reactions to it. I find it brilliant and brave, a real kaleidoscope of moods: rock, a bit of progressive attitude, sonic experimentation, some R&B and awesome ballads!

Roberto Vecchioni – Samarcanda

In my family they say this is the very first song I ever liked and sung, possibly before learning to speak and walk properly. 
In those days I remember that the line “Oh oh cavallo” – meaning Oh oh horse – was utterly irresistible to me! 

The Doors – Yes, The River Knows

Undoubtedly, another important “food” linked to my “musical weaning” is all the music by The Doors. If I should sum up their work and its influence on me I’d choose this wonderful song, which is truly a compositional, technical, lyrical and emotional masterpiece. This song reaches peaks that are never too celebrated and rarely achieved at this level of proficiency by other bands I also love.

Lucio Dalla & Stadio – Lunedì Film

I love this piece as it’s been the first one that made me face the concept of “pure vocality” way before I discovered Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky”. It reminds me what our Italian popular music was capable of, how it could be surprising, kind of risky and, why not?, somehow “educational” while having a very great time!

Nirvana – About A Girl (versione Unplugged)

The very first Nirvana song I ever listened to, thanks to a schoolmate who used to share his musicassettes with me. 
Those opening chords and that “right” and repetitive melody sung by that pure, scratchy voice, are still fascinating to me. I think this could be the very sound of adolescence (at least mine).

Elliott Smith – A Passing Feeling

This gem is simply perfect, perfect to the utmost extent. It’s always been on my mind from the day I first listened to it. That’s not the first Elliott Smith song I knew him with, but surely the one that got stuck within me the most. 
Still today, it’s the song I think of when I happen to experience feelings I’d like to pass quickly.

Michael Nyman – Battleship Potemkin

Nyman is one of those great contemporary masters – and yet a great classic! – that means pure musical obsession to me along with Philip Glass. 
This piece – already existing and rearranged as the soundtrack for Ėjzenštejn’s Battleship Potemkin – really turns me into a yelling fan, something very close to those of the Beatlesmania era… 
I miss the point of writing about this one any further. I like it too much to be rational and impartial about it.

Paul McCartney – Temporary Secretary

A crazy piece off a crazy record, with a crazy sound and some kind of totally crazy bravery! Apart from that, I suppose that’s the sound of artistic freedom.
I discovered Macca’s solo music with this very track and every time it begins it’s like the first time, with the same reaction: “How f****** weird, but how f****** cool!”.
I believe I owe this piece my interest in the solitary home recording practice, even more than The Boss’s “Nebraska”.

Look At The Stars Tonite (A Lockdown Time Diary) is out now on Gusville Dischi. Look HERE for more information on Roberto Ventimiglia.

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