Andrea Giommi, with all his music projects, has been often under our radar; lately, seen the debut of his brilliant The Emerald Leaves, I could not but making a chat with him to know more what's going on now.
komakino: The Emerald Leaves, such a romantic name for a band, I think. What were the alternative?
komakino: This record by The Emerald Leaves comes after Leg Leg's one and several releases with Edible Woman, - where, at first sight, the common denominator is you (Andrea Giommi) and Mattia Coletti (musician and sound engineer): what this new music sound like? Is it really new, or it was hidden in a drawer 'till now? Or just hidden inside some of Edible Woman's tunes?
Andrea Giommi: The story is way more complicated but I'll try not to be redundant; the common denominators in Edible Woman are Nicola Romani and me, he is the drummer and the booking agent for the band, we have been in Edible Woman from day 0 and are the only original members of the band. We met Mattia Coletti when he was playing with Sedia (what a band) and he became our sound engineer; we have toured with him several times during the years and have become great friends, that's when Mattia and I thought of starting Leg Leg, a project that has had a quite short life, but we had an astounding live set. So much fun! The Emerald Leaves is an act of love towards Giacomo Governatori, the first guitarist in Edible Woman, who now plays the guitar in The Emerald Leaves. I originally thought of this as a solo project towards tribal and minimalistic music; however, I have gotten in touch with Giacomo again two or three years ago, so it was tempting to shape new sounds together. This is the unexpectedly mellow result. Being surprised by music is a great achievement!
komakino: so, Edible Woman are still alive and kicking, arent' they?
Andrea Giommi: They are! We are! I can enlist the issues with Edible Woman: Lorenzo Stecconi (Lento – bass player for EW) is recording a few works for Alos and Ufomammut if I am not wrong, and he is the sound engineer for ZU tour now, so he is busy like hell. Nicola is working like crazy at DNA concerti and I live in the UK now, I am touring with the Emeralds and so on. Despite this, we are working on an album, I hope it will be ready soon. We played our last show at the Bloody Sound Fucktory ten years anniversary festival back in June, we can't wait to be back playing live. I miss touring with the guys!
komakino: How long did it take to finish these recordings? What was the songwriting process behind?
Andrea Giommi: Alessandro Gobbi (our drummer) recorded the album. It took us at least one year to write the songs and I would say one year from the first day in studio to having the final record in our hands. We are slow, in these times where albums are constantly released, this is some sort of political attitude isn't it?
komakino: So you're in London. Where do the others live?
Andrea Giommi: Giacomo just moved to Trento and Alessandro lives in Fano. We write separately now, we meet for rehearsing before shows, we load the van and we go for it.
komakino: A debut release on cassette tape and digital.. a stylistic choice, or a mere lack of economic confidence for CD and Vinyl?
Andrea Giommi: Lack of cash! The label – Jus de Balles records, small DIY label form Brussels – only prints cassettes, and they gave us the possibility to release the album, which was great stuff for us. Our next release will be cd or vinyl and we may decide to reprint this one in CD as well.
komakino: That's good. - The press kit says Philippe Petit was involved with your recordings.. how? And how did you meet him? We're big fans of him, downhere.
Andrea Giommi: He is an Edible Woman fan, I am a Strings of Consciousness fan. My idea at the beginning was to try and prepare a live set of The Emerald Leaves + Philippe Petit, after he recorded some sonic intervention on our songs (there a few on ‘The Lord' ‘Send peace' ‘They go' especially) but we did not agree on the final result. He felt he was not completely represented in our work. These things happen, but they are painful.
komakino: Your first live gig as The Emerald Leaves was in last August, right? Did you have fun? Are you planning to schedule more?
Andrea Giommi: We have been playing concerts sporadically for more than one year now, but we have intensified the live activity in the last months, since June to be more precise. We will be playing shows here and there in the next year or so, before releasing new material. When playing live the Steve Reich – psychedelic component of our sound is much more evident. It's true bliss for us!
komakino: You use synth and keys on most of your track; so, how do you manage to play all these instruments live, being a three piece band?
Andrea Giommi: We have a Korg Synth live, but mostly we are a bass-guitar-drums trio. The guitar works with looping and stratifications, so that is the instrument that mostly generates harmony.
komakino: So, tell me about The Lord, your song, I mean, not the Mighty Lord. Actually, you can talk about both: 'Send peace', 'The New Order I pray to come'.. they sound pretty religious.. King Lone Star is about Texas? Just kidding, tell me more about your lyrics.
Andrea Giommi: I feel the necessity of god, I don't believe in it. This album reflects a lot about my personal dissatisfaction with what the world has become right now, also ‘Nation' of Edible Woman was a reflection on how suffocating the world has become, and the first symptom of the fact that the situation is pretty homogeneous and pretty fucked up is that we have the feeling we know the whole world now! We cannot envisage any space or future time where to ‘escape', we see the ruins of capitalism everywhere and or poor people fighting to fulfill a consumerist dream. Living in London now, thus being at the center of this spiritual devastation, I feel this even deeper. And I suddenly feel the urgency to pray. What else than pity and love are left?
komakino: Do you like reading? Is there's anything interesting you would suggest to pick?
Andrea Giommi: I read constantly. The last book I read is Dead souls by Nikolai Gogol, I am going to tackle a book by a Greek scholar now, Kostas Vlassopoulos a brilliant colleague of my lady, Unthinking the Greek Polis. Ancient Greek History Beyond Eurocentrism.
My favorite book among those I remember is Ada or Ardor by Nabokov. It makes me cry a river. It has to be read in English though.
not yet, probably nobody cares, or nobody cared enough to tell something. Also: nobody reads komakino.
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Colleen - The Weighing of the HeartReview
Helmet - Live @ Circolo degli Artisti, Roma, 16/10/2014Live report
Previously, on komakino fanzine, about 'The Emerald Leaves':
08/07 Valtournenche 13/07 La Magdeleine 14/07 La Magdeleine 15/07 La Magdeleine 16/07 Etroubles 18/07 Antey-Saint-André 19/07 Antey-Saint-André 20/07 Antey-Saint-André 21/07 Chamois 22/07 Chamois 23/07 Chamois
Sabato 8 Luglio h 21,00 – Valtournenche, Centro Congressi Carlone, Li Calzi, Righeira: ITALIANI Gian Luigi Carlone (voce, sax, flauto, elettronica), Giorgio Li Calzi (elettronica, tromba, vocoder), Johnson Righeira (voce, theremin); fuori dal palco: Massimo Violato (luci, visuals) Tino Paratore (suono)
Giovedì 13, Venerdì 14, Sabato 15 Luglio h 10/19 – La Magdeleine, Area Comunale Masterclass FARE CORO CON TUTTI, con Giorgio Guiot costo masterclass: €50 contributo per spese organizzative info & iscrizioni: firstname.lastname@example.org
Giovedì 13, Venerdì 14, Sabato 15 Luglio h 20,30/22,30 (sab 15, h 15,30, prova generale) – La Magdeleine, Area Comunale Cantare di Casa in Casa con Giorgio Guiot: Coro Popolare per tutte le età iscrizione gratuita – email@example.com
Sabato 15 Luglio h 18,00 – La Magdeleine, Area Comunale Concerto degli allievi Masterclass e Coro Popolare dirige il maestro Giorgio Guiot, con Fabio Gorlier (pianoforte), Diego Borotti (sassofono), Ruben Bellavia (batteria)
Domenica 16 Luglio h 15,30 – Etroubles, Borgo Medievale Passeggiata in Do con Marco Pozzi (guida naturalistica), Manuel Zigante (violoncello) e il compositore Giuseppe Gavazza (elettronica)
Martedì 18, Mercoledì 19, Giovedì 20 Luglio h 14,00-18,00 – Antey-Saint-André, Biblioteca Masterclass SCOTTISH WEST HIGHLAND TRADITIONAL MUSIC per strumenti ad arco e a corda condotta da: Iain MacFarlane (violino), Christine Hanson (violoncello), Ewan Robertson (chitarra) costo masterclass: €70 – contributo per spese organizzative info & iscrizioni: firstname.lastname@example.org
Giovedì 20 Luglio Antey-Saint-André, Sala Polivalente (c/o Centro Sportivo) h 19,30 – Apericena h 20,30 – Concerto degli allievi Masterclass h 21,00 – Concerto: Iain MacFarlane (violino), Christine Hanson (violoncello), Ewan Mackenzie Robertson (chitarra) (UK) Il concerto di Hanson, MacFarlane e Robertson è in esclusiva italiana.
h 18,30 – Chamois, Piazza Sidsel Endresen, Stian Westerhus (Nor) Sidsel Endresen (voce), Stian Westerhus (chitarra). Il concerto di Sidsel Endresen e Stian Westerhus è in esclusiva italiana.
h 21,30 – Chamois, Hotel Bellevue Hanson, MacFarlane, Robertson (UK) Iain MacFarlane (violino), Christine Hanson (violoncello) Ewan Mackenzie Robertson (chitarra) Il concerto di Hanson, MacFarlane e Robertson è in esclusiva italiana.
Sabato 22 Luglio h 16,30 – Chamois, Piazza Pugile (It) Matteo Guerra (batteria), Elia Pellegrino (elettronica), Leo Leonardi (basso, voce e synth)
h 18,00 – Chamois, Piazza Oval (De) Markus Popp (elettronica) Il concerto di Oval è in esclusiva italiana.
h 19,30 – Chamois, Piazza Cena in piazza: la polentata
h 21,30 – Chamois, Bar Funivia Diego Borotti HYPER-BOP Jazz Trio (It) Diego Borotti (sax tenore), Alberto Gurrisi (organo hammond), Laura Klain (batteria).
Domenica 23 Luglio h 10,30 – Hotel Maison Cly, Sala conferenze Il Suono del Nord – La Norvegia protagonista della scena jazz Europea (Auditorium Edizioni) Magnetisk Musiker – Jon Balke e la Magnetic North Orchestra Presentazione del libro “il Suono del Nord”. Partecipano Jon Balke, Giorgio Li Calzi e l’autore Luca Vitali. A seguire proiezione del film/documentario “Magnetisk Musiker” – Jon Balke e la Magnetic North Orchestra.
h 17,00 – Chamois, Piazza Jon Balke SIWAN (Nor) Mona Boutchebak (voce), Derya Turkan Kemence (violino turco), Bjarte Eike (violino barocco), Jon Balke (tastiere, direzione), Pedram Khavarzamini Tumbak (percussioni), Helge Norbakken (percussioni) + Barokksolistene (ensemble d’archi barocco, 9 elementi) Il concerto di Jon Balke SIWAN è in esclusiva italiana.
h 21,30 – Chamois, Chez Pierina Diego Borotti HYPER-BOP Jazz Trio (It) Diego Borotti (sax tenore), Alberto Gurrisi (organo hammond), Laura Klein (batteria).
I concerti previsti a Chamois, in caso di maltempo, si svolgeranno alla stessa ora presso l’Hotel Maison Cly. L’ingresso ai concerti è gratuito. Corse straordinarie della Funivia per Chamois, alle h 00,00 nelle serate di Sabato 8, Giovedì 20, Venerdì 21, Sabato 22, Domenica 23. Campeggio libero durante i giorni del festival in area attrezzata messa a disposizione dal Rifugio Ermitage. Per prenotare lo spazio tenda telefonare al numero 0166.47140.
26/07 Milano @ Magnolia Estate
Earlybird a 10euro + d.p. /
Biglietto: 18euro + d.p. e 20euro in cassa.
27/07 Sesto Al Reghena (PN) @ Sexto'nplugged
Sesto Al Reghena (PN), Piazza Castello, 4
Biglietto: 20 Euro + d.p.
28/07 San Mauro Pascoli (FC) @ A Cielo Aperto
biglietto: 22 + dp e 25 euro alla cassa
29/11 torino 30/11 torino 01/12 torino 02/12 torino 03/12 torino
THUNDERCAT * / MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE / RONI SIZE ‘LIVE’: 20 YEARS OF NEW FORMS / CORY HENRY & THE FUNK APOSTLES / JAMES SENESE NAPOLI CENTRALE / NICKY SIANO / PEGGY GOU / AZYMUTH * / CHASSOL / JAMESZOO / LEFTO / BRADLEY ZERO / INDIAN WELLS / TECHNOIR / CAPOFORTUNA / e molti altri
Super Early Bird "Advance Ticket" // Festival + Previews // 45euro (Disponibilità limitata) Early Bird // Jazz:re:found Festival // 55 euro