The first era of Pigmento Music brought me so many countless good events.
Nikki Sudden once said: “never give up on your dreams. They won’t give up on you”.
One of my biggest dreams was to play a gig. I did several shows.
Here are some of the best stories I recollect, from the debut at CSC Schio with Sarah Schuster to the Berlin performances, from the outdoor concerts to the final gig of the first Pigment Music era.
All the songs were arranged live as a duo, in the Openland Radio Sessions folk style, except for the times I went solo in Berlin.
The first gig. On the bill were my friends Daniela and Eleonora and their band Sarah Schuster.
My legs were shaking and I was quite worried. When I reached the stage all the tension left my body.
I enjoyed the moment I’ve always been waiting for.
Arcanoa Bar Berlin
Arcanoa Bar is a pretty nice place in the vibrant Berlin, in the Kreuzberg Bezirk. I lived in the area many years before, one of the most meaningful times of my life.
I was so happy to perform there. In a way, I felt like coming back to those days, when I explored the city to find places like Arcanoa Bar.
What I liked the most about Arcanoa Bar was its non-stop schedule. It hosts concerts 7 days a week, from evening till night.
It was approximately midnight on a Monday night when I came to the stage and played my songs.
I did not expect many people but when I entered the stage I was surprised to see so many people in front of me.
I played a short set, including some new stuff, later included on my album White Night Walks. I was going solo, but I accepted the help of the resident band.
They joined me on stage and they were great.
Without even knowing a single note of my songs before, they followed me in such an inspiring way.
They made my performance strong and vivid.
I have wonderful memories of these days. I enjoyed so much cycling around the city with my dear friends Alessandro and Aphrodite.
I met Hans of Grizzly Bird and we busked in a corner of Golgotha Bar.
I reached and left Berlin by train. A real slow journey.
I can remember little about this private secret concert I made up on the amazing Euganean Hills except for the fact it was a nice atmosphere.
La Frassina, Caorle
Twice a year Italian wine cellars open their doors to the public making Cantine Aperte the major wine event of the country.
Some wine cellars host music events and that was my case. I was immediately impressed with the welcoming staff.
While I was playing people kept on coming and going, all of them with their glass of wine in their hands.
Zapayasos meet every year next to the Lake Garda, in a small and beautiful village upon the hills in Marano di Valpolicella to attend a solidarity lunch.
Zapayasos is a humoristic theatre collective aiming to put a smile back on people living in poor conditions due to political repressions in Latin America, especially Mexico.
You can imagine how happy I felt when I realized that I was going to play under cherry tree terraces with amazing views over Garda. Maria joined too and she played violin on Sleepless and Consider This.
The island of Certosa is situated next to Venice. It’s there that I went on a Sunday evening to play at Festambiente, the first International Festival of Ecology and Solidarity.
The festival was held in two locations, the main stage and a restaurant stage, where I tried my best not to make people’s digestion hard.
At the end of the concert, all the musicians were taken back to Venice by the topo boat. Topo is literally the mouse, a special boat meant for transporting domestic furniture, boxes, luggage, food, and in our case musicians and their instruments.
The topo was so big it could bring all the bands who took part at the festival back to Venice.
The night cruise in Venice was an unforgettable experience itself.
Spazio Aereo, Venezia
Spazio Aereo used to be well known for being a sort of the point of reference for electronic music in the area.
At times they opened their doors for acoustic music events.
On that occasion, my dear friend Davide joined me on stage. He played vibraphone on Ellipse and Lines.
It sounded very special.
Bei Ernst, Berlin
Back to Berlin for a solo gig to introduce some new songs: among them Torres Miradores and Le Sentinelle. Torres Miradores is about searching far and wide without getting close to the point you decide whether to stay in a place or continue to go.
Le sentinelle is about the bounded and reassuring horizons of childhood. As a child, the small piece of land behind the country house looked so big, almost infinite.
As you get older you go beyond this horizon, you leave the reassuring imaginary sentinels, the nature that protects you.
Ca’ Sana, Padova
I can’t really remember much about my first appearence at Ca’ Sana, a vegetarian restaurant welcoming musicians from time to time.
It was the final warm summer day of the year and I played few songs in their garden outside
Ca’ Sana, Padova
Two months later, same place but the stage was inside. Songs sounded easier. There was a relaxed atmosphere and I enjoyed the show.
Spazio Aereo, Venezia
The traditional Christmas session at Spazio Aereo found me very confident, even if I missed some groove. It was one of the final sessions there before changing management and type of music events.
Ca’ Sana, Padova
January 2016 was a very bad month for me. I lost my job and I was feeling pretty depressed.
The concert came as a great relief. It wasn’t a great performance, but it came at the right time.
Villa Menini, Padova
I broke my hand in March, compound fracture was the doctor’s verdict. Plaster wrapping my hand before and after the operation at the hospital.
I spent three months without even touching the guitar. When the medical team removed the plaster cast I finally thought it was over.
But it wasn’t. I had to wait to regain confidence. At villa Menini I played a lot of songs, including a funny version of Chris Isaak’s most iconic song.
Ca Sana, Padova
One month later, it was time for the fourth and last time at Ca’ Sana. I included Mi Primer Viaje on the setlist. This is an old song, written in 2009. Like most of my songs, it stays in limbo for years before getting a proper release.
The audience that night was not only local. There were also Erasmus students. It was nice to talk with them at the end of the show.
Perlage winery, farra di soligo
I played in a winery again in november 2017. I was asked to play during a wine and food tasting dinner.
The event was a sort of multi-sensory dining and it was definitely a nice night, although I had the feeling that for many Pigmento Music was nothing but a piece of background music that night.
A Little festival in a pub and a very appreciative crowd. The gig was very well attended.
I was pleasantly surprised with the show. I was not expecting much because the venue was new to host concerts. Everything went well. I was in very good spirits.
Soon after this show, I began working on new material.
There were some circumstances that were at the point to destabilize me. I was being thrown off-center.
After this concert, the relationship with the old mate and collaborator collapsed. I could not play nor record again with someone who was losing interest in the music I was making with him. But it wasn’t only that. There were a number of other serious issues that I won’t publicly say. The First Pigmento era ended in the late spring of 2018.
I wrote about it on social media.
“Out of the door, Pigmento Music will go on. It never crossed my mind to end it anyway.
Can you put an end to something that makes you alive?
Can you put an end to something that gives you hope and motivation, something that brings you joy?
No you can’t.
Circumstances can destabilize, yes, they can even throw you off-center, but the sea is immense and you only have to be right at the ship’s wheel to spin.
Making songs, recording, and publishing them can sound easy.
Invest some time and some money and you make it. It’s not that simple.
The first album I made, The Grid line, is what it is because of the path my music mates and I were able to make.
It was a matter of friendship and uninterested support.
Every song is a story. It is not just a melody to fill the music.
It does not work that way for me. Once you start the music, you are aware that it could bring you to different places you thought before the beginning.
That is the part I like the most. Every song has a world. This includes musicians, friends, inspiring places, or pieces of music.
Once things have been disregarded by someone close, then the path is broken. The door shut tight.
It’s uncomfortable after many years.
Out of the door. Pigmento Music will go on”.
It was time to move on and look for new collaborations. I started to work with Franz and Fien. New horizons were coming into view.