CD ltd. 300 copies
the gradations of light
from sound to silence
"nocturnal" as a day release
as a necessary breath
between two sounds
in that moment of listening
which is possible
where the useless dissolves
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" - This saying has been around since decades. We debated a lot about who first mentioned that: wasn't it Elvis Costello? Or Thelonious Monk? Laurie Anderson maybe? Or rather was it Frank Zappa in an old interview? This matters little, I believe: whoever said it, wished to emphasize the uselessness of translating into words the musician's work. I'm convinced he was going after some music press being more and more focused on advertisers, whereas reporters and critics were unable to listen carefully to the music.
This saying returned to my mind when listening to Roberto Dani's new work "Nocturne". An atypical percussionist who dwells on silence and sound fragments rather than large blows and impact, Roberto resembles an expert mountaneering guide leading you on a hike: he teaches to appreciate the imperceptible sound of heartbeats and breathing, and the thin noises of wind, steps, stones and grass.
Creating sound on sound as if he was laying stones on stones, gesture after gesture, Roberto builds a cathedral of silence, embedding whispers and other almost unnoticeable noises with the rubbing of his fingers. He moves around his astonishing sound sculptures as if dancing in the dark.
"...in between pure composition and improvisation, Roberto Dani established himself as one of the most outstanding musicians, author of impressive performances that involve mind, body and sound..." (Carlo Boccadoro - composer, conductor)
Most of his work focus on the borders between real-time composition and written music. Since the beginning of his career, he pursued a very particular musical research on the druse. Starting from 2003, he performs as a soloist on his prepared drums, an instrumental set specifically created for his soundaction performances. Soundaction represents a personal investigation on sounds and gestures and their inner relationships, constantly developing in each performance.
For more than 25 years, he actively explored connections with other art forms languages: dance, multimedia, videoart, contemporary theatre and opera, as in "Duell(o)" based on a chess duel against a pianist played on an interactive chessboard; in the contemporary opera "Il sogno di una cosa" as a percussionist / performer, commissioned to composer M. Montalbetti and Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi conducted by Carlo Boccadoro; in contemporary theatre shows like "Luce nera" and "Non ricominciamo la guerra di Troia" (for six drums ensemble and actress Patricia Zanco), Stefano Benni's "Baldanders", "Oscillazioni" by Vitaliano Trevisan, and composed original music for some of Trevisan's theatre's works such as "Quattro stanze con bagno" and "Solo Rh"; movie soundtrack recording like "Torneranno i prati" by Italian director Ermanno Olmi (with Paolo Fresu and others). He also recorded ballet music for Teatro La Scala commissioned to composer Carlo Boccadoro.
After the early debut with progressive band "Devil Doll" which reached a high recognition all over, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for a period and began an intense concert activity in the main festivals and theatre programs all over: Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Republic of Slowakia, Denmark, Israel, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, norway, Holland, Estonia, Turkey, Qatar, UK, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, South America, USA, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.
He is one of the few drummers (together with Bill Bruford, Han Bennink and Roger Turner) to have shared the stage with american icon, the pianist / singer Annette Peacock with whom he performs since 2006.
Since 2007 he shares his sound research through "Forme sonore" workshop, an interdisciplinary laboratory that he created and conducted, dedicated to either instrumentalists or performers. "Forme sonore" has been hosted in various musical institutions in italy and all over europe such as the Orpheus Institute Gent in Belgium, the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Italian conservatories of music in Milano, Parma, Vicenza, and Cagliari. He teaches regularly at music conservatory of Trieste.
During his career he performed in the contemporary jazz scene with Louis Sclavis, Kenny Wheeler, Tim Berne, Dave Liebman, Paul Mc Candless, Norma Winstone, Michel Godard, Al Di Meola, Mick Goodrick, Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Drew Gress, Ben Monder, Erik Friedlander, Christy Doran, Hal Crook, Giorgio Gaslini, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi, Roberto Fabbriciani, Enea Salmeggia Chamber Orchestra and many others.
Nowadays he performs with Stefano battaglia Trio, with whom he recorded four CDs for the well known label ECM, "Mirrors" with accordionist / singer Evelina Petrova, "Ram" with M. Tadini on real time sampling, Roberto Bonati Trio, "Stagon" with artist Gianandrea Gazzola and his water drops installation "Nomos II".
His discography includes more than 90 titles.
As a leader:
"Images" (1999) with N. Winstone, G. Venier, H. Sieverts
"Interférences" (2002) with M. godard, K. Gregory
"Instants - Live at Teatro Olimpico" (2003) with L. Sclavis, V. Courtois, K. Gregory
"Drama" (solo drums) (2008)
"Lontano" (solo drums) (2011)