SERGIO SORRENTINO promotes the classical guitar and electric guitar contemporary repertory.
As a composer and improviser his music is based on sonic research and combines elements of contemporary classical music, minimalism, avant-garde, ambient, experimental.
His CD Dream - American Music for Electric Guitar (Mode Records) contains works for electric guitar by John Cage, David Lang, Jack Vees, Elliott Sharp, Alvin Curran (a new piece especially written for this CD), Morton Feldman (world premiere recording on physical CD of "The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar"), Christian Wolff (complete works for solo electric guitar and the world premiere of "Going West"), Larry Polansky, Van Stiefel.
He plays with Gavin Bryars as a member of the Gavin Bryars Italian Ensemble and in duo with Elliott Sharp and John King. He studied with Francesco Langone, Angelo Gilardino, Mario Dell'Ara, Leo Brouwer, Mark White and composition with Marco Di Bari.
He has worked with Sylvano Bussotti, Azio Corghi, Bruno Canino, Alda Caiello, John Russell, Machinefabriek, Steven Mackey, Andrzej Bauer, Marco Angius, Giorgio Battistelli, Carlo Boccadoro, Mauro Bonifacio, I Solisti Aquilani. He plays in duo with Magnus Andersson and with the vibraphone player Antonio Caggiano. He has debuted many new guitar solo compositions. Alvin Curran, Mark Delpriora, Mauro Montalbetti, Stefano Taglietti, Gavin Bryars, Tom Armstrong have written special pieces just for him.
Tell us about Sylvano Bussoti, tell us a secret
It was a pleasure working with him on his great compositions… he is very kind and really a great composer. For the world premiere recording he gave me the manuscript of Popolaresca a very nice piece for solo guitar. I could tell you his secret… his profound and refined aesthetic sense, both as a composer and as a visual artist.
What have you found new in his work guitar compositions
I have found rare nuances, a unique guitar world,
a sort of well-defined theatrical character,
with original timbres and sounds
What relationship would you find between Morton Feldman and Jimi Hendrix?
Uh…great question! I think they have a common search for the transcendent and for sound experimentation. Even Feldman, like Hendrix, wanted to completely transform the electric guitar's soul and sound.
What is the role of the guitar in contemporary music?
Both of them -classical and electric guitar- play a fundamental role in today's music. They make their own particular timbres available to composers and allow the achievement of truly unique sound solutions...
Are there new searches in the contemporary sound field? In what way do they relate to the tradition of sound?
Sound experimentation is part of the deep soul of the guitar. All the new experiments, somehow, have their roots in musical traditions of the past, if only for the primitiveness and archaicity of the guitar sound.
The most interesting experiments refer to the electronic research and to the research on the overtones of the long sustained notes of the guitar...
What is possible in Music?
It is a magical art, as it is abstract.
So we can accomplish anything, even our wildest dreams.
How would you define your physical relationship with the guitar?
The sense of touch on the strings is fundamental for me,
as well as feeling its vibrations on my arms,
on my stomach,
on my legs...
What is the most interesting thing about collaborating with someone in your work, be it a composer, interpreter or any type of collaborator?
The most interesting thing is to be able to always learn something.
After finishing my studies, my most useful "master classes" were just being able to learn on the field, directly playing with great musicians and collaborating with great composers.
A composer and a why? A sonorous moment in your life and a why?
Philip Glass, because I love his music and I admire his professional career and his musical and entrepreneurial intuitions.
A sonorous moment…maybe a few years ago during a concert in my hometown.
I was playing in the wonderful convent that I frequented as a child.
I was playing my improvisation on the loop machine.
I felt in paradise, and I played thinking about my father and grandmother who are no longer here with us.
And I felt very deep, inexplicable sensations.
Where do you get the strength to continue?
I have a mission: To express myself with my music and to develop the contemporary guitar repertoire…and also… I’m workaholic 🙂
I always need to have more and more projects to work on ... often simultaneously 🙂
Where are you going?
I think I’m going in a new direction. I am writing and recording my compositions and improvisations more and more. But I will also continue to perform the pieces of other composers. I am going to release a new album of original compositions and I will continue my fantastic collaborations with Elliott Sharp, John King and many other great musicians.
Also, I would like to return to play live as soon as possible! I will do it in the summer, as a soloist and in duo with the great double bass player Daniele Roccato.
And I hope soon to be able to do the concerts in New York that were canceled last April due to the lockdown.