Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 - The FOUNDLAND interview with Alessandro Monti

photo: Luciano Fiori

(english translation)

1) What is the relationship between you and Masin & Pizzin; for example, from the viewpoint of each role and talent in studio (active or brain.) job / life / influence / respection etc.

Well, I think we originally started to work on new material for a follow up to 'Wind', the first GM album and we rehearsed some songs at home together as a duo before going to Bunker studio; the early sessions were released on his Sub Rosa Lp: we did not play as a trio but I remember we helped during recordings. Then we started quickly to develop a group project trying to catch a collective feeling, listening to each other as much as possible. We also wished to capture free improvisations on tape: some of those free moments are well documented on this new double edition. We didn't give credit to Alessandro Pizzin on the original vinyl version because of some misunderstanding about publishing/management at the time, but we decided that the new remaster should be credited to all 3 members of the group and produced by all 3 labels. Alessandro Pizzin's role as producer and arranger was crucial and he added brilliant ideas on every track: I knew him since high school, he was one of the few students who owned different records and we recorded together before The Wind Collector with previous bands. He's an amazing archivist and he kept all the original reference cassettes so he was the right person to compile the 2nd cd of unreleased music on this limited edition. Gigi was popular among music lovers for his radio shows and we decided to play together after a fantastic concert by Oregon in Padua. We all had different jobs and never went pro, but I remember that Alessandro was seriously working as a full-time producer in the same studio with different bands and musicians. Our musical influences were too many, we were all music fans: we loved jazz, electronic music, experimental, contemporary classical, early music, folk, new wave, krautrock, 80's dance and soul: I think that all those styles are somehow reflected in our work; the lyrics on "Almanac" for example were inspired by my favourite folk-prog bands (Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band and Art Bears) and placed totally out of context; I decided to follow that road years after with my Unfolk Collective. We included a selected discography in the booklet of the remaster to show the different directions the trio took after The Wind Collector.
2) Why the 'Wind project' ended in 1991?

For too many reasons and all kinds of issues... I remember I was disillusioned with the Italian scene and I went to the States in 1992 to produce Caveman Shoestore's first cd, a prog/grunge band: it was a financial disaster... last but not least we decided to release The Wind Collector on vinyl only while people was beginning to look for cds, not a good move in retrospect... but we couldn't afford to release both formats. I produced 1000 copies of the vinyl edition but cds were too expensive at the time. It was also a matter of bad luck: some distributors went bankrupt and returned boxes of records, there was no interest and we received no ecouragement for our music. So I stayed away from music for some years, because of personal and health problems and started my Unfolk project.
3) What's the meaning of 'Wind Collector' ?
The meaning of the title is obscure even to us... but in the process of listening to all the unreleased material, I discovered a rehearsal we did of a beautiful Terry Riley's tune: on the same T.R. album there was a song called "Dream Collector" or something... I remember it clicked and it sounded ok for a free improvisation. Later on we decided to call the entire album with that 'Wind' reference...I suppose you could find different meanings behind that title.
4) Gigi said that 'Wind' means 'Change'.

Well, it's a rather strange way to translate that word (even if change is always good in music and life in general), but for me it means 'sound'... I've always thought that Gigi's drawings were the actual score to help decoding sounds coming from a parallel inner universe. Today I got mixed feelings about the music on The Wind Collector: frankly I never felt it to be so special although there were some interesting moments... but history proved I was wrong. Sometimes musicians prefer to look onwards without going back too much. After selling the last copies of the original Lp last year, we had many requests for a cd reissue... and I must admit that this compact disc version has finally the best sound available with a complete collection of unreleased stuff.

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