Questionnaire: Alessandro Bosetti (2007)
1. Have you got any formal musical training, and what do you draw from it now?
I had a pretty informal training as a jazz musician. I keep studying as much as I have time for it. I never came to feel really much ‘trained’ though.
2. What kind of equipment/instrument do you use, and what is you relationship towards it? What do you think lies behind your choice of the equipment/instrument?
At the present time I use a number of different instruments and devices. Most of the time I don’t own them but I find a way to have somebody lend me something for some days when I need it. I use a lot the laptop to organize and process my materials. It’s actually my main tool in performances. Recently I’ve been using my voice, many many voices and words from others, a shortwave radio, cello, electric piano, piano, different kind of cheap and less cheap guitars, electric organ, harmonioum, a bunch of many different objects (I’m composing a series of pieces where I play just one object for each piece, like a coffee machine, a bride dress, a jewel case, a tractor etc..). And there’s my soprano saxophone of course.
3. What is it that attracts you towards musical experimentation?
Nothing more than what attracts me towards music in general. I just love music and probably almost every kind of music making requires some sort of experimentation.
4. Why are you involved in improvisation, and how do you perceive it?
I’m less and less involved in improvisation. But i’m far away from stopping to improvise. It’s simply very hard for me to think about improvisation as a routine. It’s very tiring and I realize I have not enough energy to really ‘improvise’ every night the way I would like to.
5. How do you perceive the relation between planning and spontaneity in improvisation?
At this point I probably have said too much. I’ve long ago made a promise to the Virgin Mary that I would never again speak about the difference between improvisation and composition. Since I see we are getting there I’m just going to stop.
6. Do you “practise” for an improvisation, and what are your general thoughts on the idea of “practising” for improvisation?
When you improvise, do you use sounds that you’ve already “tried out”, and how much room is there for actual sound experimentation?
There’s both depending on what I wish to do. I mostly organize my work in a way where there’s no actual divide between composing and practicing.
7. How do you evaluate an improvisation? What is it, according to you, that makes one improvisation better than another?
If I like it or not makes is better or worse (just for me, of course).
8. When you are recording for a release, does the awareness of being recorded influence your playing, and in what way?
Yes. I’m used to thinking about the way it will sound once recorded. Recently i’ve been invited to take part in a recording where everybody was playing very soft, tiny sounds but there was just a kind of cheap stereo mic placed not so far away. I knew that mic since I own one like that myself therefore I had quite a clear idea about the sound of the recording already while playing. And it was clear to me that most of the sound material we where playing would be ‘lost in translation’. So why bother? Would have been better just to play and enjoy without recording. A lot of improv records are badly recorded and pay a very poor tribute to the originally played music. In other ways the mood of where and when and with whom influences me, of course.