White Night Walks

White Night Walks

Whether love finds its way or not, it leaves you facing a long walk.
White Night Walks is a studio album, recorded at home and at Franz Suono. Mix and mastering at Franz Suono by Franz Fabiano.
I chose this name to pay homage to Saint Petersburg and the White Nights, a clear reference to the short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Night Walks are a great tonic for stressful days. So I took a walk, then I did it once again, and then I went on for 1 year.
8 songs, 8 ways to face what I have inside, 8 walks into the night.

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  1. White Night Walks
  2. Ink on Calendars
  3. Hire and Fire
  4. Dear City, You Quickly Forget
  5. Was Everything Really in my Hands?
  6. Come into View
  7. Cosmic Roulette
  8. Ellipse and Lines


Filippo Barizza – vocals, guitars, Bontempi b3, soundscapes
Maria Robaey – violin
Fien – vocals and ukulele
Daniela dal Zotto – vocals
Eleonora dal Zotto – electric guitar
Michela Gamba – vocals
Antonio Noventa – piano
Andrea Giacon – bass
Francesco Franz Fabiano –  programming
Bruno Barizza – cover and artwork

Background and Recording:

The Grid Line album was built on the imaginary lines of my first life’s atlas.
I knew I had to expand the map on the second album.
Soon after the release of the first album, I started to write new songs.
Come into View was not the first one I wrote. It was Ellipse and Lines.
The final version differs completely from the first one.
I found the perfect arrangement only years later.
I remember I first played the song at my solo gig in Berlin, in 2013.
I was really convinced to release an album including that song at the end of that year.
It did not go that way.
As usual, I already had the title of the album in mind.
Compared to how many musicians roll when they start to write songs for an album, you can consider me an unconventional guy
by having a title first before the album is finished.
My initial idea was Night Walks.
Then I chose to add White to pay homage to the city of Saint Petersburg
and to the short story by Fedor Dostoevsky titled White Nights.
Experiencing the white nights in Saint Petersburg was a brainwave.
As a tourist, I wanted to inhale the real spirit of the city.
The best way to do that is by taking long walks instead of exploring the city by public transportation.
I walked down Nevsky Prospekt for 5 km.
Light and Dark followed in a wonderful sequence of days and nights.
I had those contrasting images in mind: the white of the light and the dark of the night.
I was sure about the title of the album one hundred per cent.
Lyrics from Ellipse and Lines confirmed the contrasting feeling between white and blue.
So before starting to write the next song after Ellipse and Lines, I took a walk at home to think about the direction to give to the album.
I was asking myself how to write a collection of songs that could sound differently
but still with that acoustic label that marked my first steps on the music map.
I thought it was a good idea to replicate the formula of the first album and start with an instrumental: White Night Walks.
I knew it sounded like a safe choice, but I needed to start the best I could.
And soon I had more songs: 8 new songs, 8 walks in the night, 8 ways to face the dark.
The songs were all about trying to find a way after losing it.
While I was walking, I previewed the album, song by song, in the right sequence.
It was once again a concept: the initial song to dispel a cloud of doubts, the second song: Ink on Calendars Required patience,
while the third: Hire and Fire required effective response to hire and fire procedures.
Changing location appeared to be the right choice for the fourth song:
Dear City, You Quickly Forget, but even in the most stimulating cities,
you could be overwhelmed by loneliness.
Pieces of you could drop in the fifth song: Was Everything Really in My Hands, and you could really wonder
if they were really yours. You had to learn to trust someone, like in the sixth song: Come Into View.
You are not alone. We are all the same in this universe in the seventh song: Cosmic Roulette.
In the end, you were amazed by how small events in your life had the power to be fixed in the mind.
That was the final song: Ellipse and Lines.
White Night walks were shaping in my mind as slow walks.
They were slow because time is needed to gain balance through your feet.
They were not lonely walks.
A bunch of friends helped me shape this album and finally release it after 7 years after the previous one.
A long apprenticeship with strong confidence.
I could have simply done a terse album but the songs required a stronger framework.
They needed to rock more than the previous effort.
They needed to be firmly imprinted by bass and drums.
Sessions started at home. It was basically the same process as the Grid Line album.
I spent days and nights crafting the bulk of the music, making a first draft of the songs.
A distinctive chord sequence was followed by ideas of arrangement and vocal lines.
In retrospect, everything seemed so fast, faster than the Grid Line.
Once I really started, in the summer of 2018,
I rushed in a way I’ve never done. Some months later I had Antonio playing the piano in two songs,
the new bassist Andrea performing on all the songs, and Franz adding all the rest to fill the scene.
Maria came to play the violin on the first track, a symbolic handover.
Michela provided vocals for two tracks.
In November, Daniela and Eleonora provided a rock feel to the longest track to date.
They came to the studio on my birthday.
One of my best presents ever. Fien had her mark on Come into View.
As all the sessions came to the end, I had an almost religious conviction, shared also by all the other musicians involved, that I succeeded to achieve something special.
Although some guitar parts were reworked in the studio, the essence of the songs was the first home sessions.
Just like The Grid Line sessions but without any kind of pressure.
Franz treats everybody with respect, he is never judgemental and he does not lose time blaming others.
Once again it was a self-release. It’s just the way it is.
Being on a label could bring me a wider audience,
but I would probably lose full control over my creativity.
Once again the album’s length was not over 40 minutes, the typical length of an album in the seventies.

1. White Night Walks

The first walk is ideally connected to the last track of my album The Grid Line.
Both are immersed in eternal nights awake, both feature the soundscapes of the violin by Maria Robaey.
I walked until I was tired. I stopped for a moment. The light on the other side of the river was so powerful I could not help but admire it. And I could feel the life on the other bright side, the laughs and the music, the warmness.

2. Ink on Calendars

The second walk is about the importance of reading and how it can really push you far, and save you from pitfalls and unloving.
If your heart is broken and needs direction, try to read escape route signs before you fall.
Keep the confidence, read the lines, and find escape route signs before you face pitfalls and indifference.
Featuring Michela Gamba on vocals.

3. Hire and Fire

The third walk is the longest song I have ever recorded (to date): more than 7 minutes in the limbo between my dreams and my fears.
Markets streams flow with wage theft, precarity, unfair exploitation, and overwork at constant rates.
You can only flow like a river.
The nervous song. Again, a song of mine with a job in the background. They make you feel you are unique and can’t be replaced. You are part of a great team.
Then suddenly you are out. Anxiety and isolation feelings are there with you. Small talks and platitudes. You were not meant to be irreplaceable.
Landart (Daniela and Eleonora) joined me on this trip.

4. Dear City, You Quickly Forget

The fourth walk is about feeling lonely in stimulating cities, wishing to lean towards each other like molecule men.
Ending up writing on another social messaging app, while the holes of the molecules are scattered and dispersed over the city.
When I wrote it I had a certain feeling in mind, that kind of loneliness you can feel when you are an ex-pat in a new country, in a new big city. Even in overstimulated cities (one is in my mind but I will not mention which one), full of activities, possibilities, new friends, or lovers, you can feel the silence.
You attract us with promises of brightness, endless leisure, fulfilling life. We are waves in your sea. You don’t care about our feelings, you gave us connections, and then it is up to us. Next up.

5. Was Everything Really in my Hands?

The fifth walk is about a guilt trip.
Guilt-tripping is a powerful tool in the hands of some manipulative people.
Pieces of you dropping down.
But are they really yours?
We all face situations when someone else is almost owning our feelings and making us feel guilty.
Guilt trippers can be good people, friends, lovers… They may not harm knowingly.
The point is that the guilt trips test us.
Stop being an easy mark or they will bite every time you get involved.
Understand all the tactics.
Get your feelings back and pull the plug!
Featuring Michela Gamba on vocals.

6. Come into View

YouTube video

The sixth walk is a song that has gone through a hell of a lot of trouble in the past two years.
I started with a collaborator who did not care much.
I ended up with the fantastic collaboration of Fien (vocals and ukulele).
The piano was played by Antonio Noventa.
Come into View is about the fundamental presence in our lives.
Those ones who barely touch us, who are in any case close.
The song is about shifting towards the awareness of being able to feel the presence of someone who may not be totally aligned but remain close no matter how messy it can be. Heraclitus said that The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.
I say: we move on in an instant, we collect experiences, and we change, but next to our close connections we still come into view.

7. Cosmic Roulette

The seventh walk is about the universe within us.
Increasing ego, self-reference, and selfishness. Why humans don’t understand that the universe is within us and we are great just like the smallest living being?
How much ego do we have? Do we even know we have it? We simply believe we are big and important and all the other human beings are less than us.
But our ego can be easily dismantled. We think we are in charge of everything, but we are not. bacterias and microbes are in charge.
So we are like all the other people and the universe is here, moving within us.
Thanks to Franz and Neil de Grasse Tyson.

8. Ellipse and Lines

The eighth and final walk is about the feeling you have when you realize you are living a moment that you know will stay in your head forever.
Your memory will record it, you are sure of that.
Suddenly everything around you (the people rushing into the train station, the clouds in the sky, the wind in your face), everything looks like part of a great drawing you make.
The power of dreams can match ellipses and lines.
Thanks to Antonio Noventa and his piano
Open your eyes and draw the sky above you. Like in dreams.