to genius keyboard / piano virtuosos like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson,
the sound of classical music made a huge impact on rock fans who tuned
on to legends like ELP and Yes back around 1970. When his first CD
came out a couple years back, Italian piano / pipe organ virtuoso
Marco Lo Muscio was widely acclaimed by prog-rock legends such
as Steve Hackett and Rick Wakeman. Filled with classically inspired
instrumentals performed on grand piano and pipe organ, Marcos
first solo album, New Horizons was dedicated to the music of
Steve Hackett. On his 2009 CD Dark And Light, Marco
expands on his prog keyboard vision with a follow up CD featuring
fresh transcriptions of classic compositions by Steve Hackett, Anthony
Phillips, Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. With the first half performed
on grand piano and the second performed on pipe organ, Marcos
original compositions include tributes to Erik Satie and jazz piano
legend Bill Evans. Marcos multipart, 14+ minute opus, filled
with daring, grand piano extrapolations, The Book Of Gandalf
is a definite Dark And Light highlight. On both New Horizons
and Dark And Light, Marco Lo Muscio makes beautifully recorded,
classically inspired instrumental piano and organ music for rock fans
with an open mind towards the classics. Masterful, meditative instrumental
keyboard music at its finest, Dark And Light features
an excellent CD booklet filled with in depth liner notesin both
English and Italianalong with additional liner notes from guitar
legend Steve Hackett. www.DryCastle.com
MUSIC WEB EXPRESS 3000 PRESENTS AN INTERVIEW WITH
ITALIAN KEYBOARD GREAT MARCO LO MUSCIO
MWE3: Can you give us a little background the new Dark And Light
CD and how you feel it represents a progression from the your earlier
New Horizons CD?
MLM: New Horizons was my first project dedicated to progressive
music. This first project was totally dedicated to Steve Hackett.
Dark And Light contains different ideas: my original music
that take inspiration from Lord of The Rings, jazz, blues,
and progressive musicians and some transcriptions from Anthony Phillips,
Steve Hackett, Arturo Stàlteri and the best keyboardists, Rick
Wakeman and Keith Emerson. The Suite (Poem) Dark And Light -
The Book of Gandalf is the core of CD (15 minutes) with a powerful
middle part (Gandalf And Saruman: The Battle) with an
ostinato bass in Emerson's style.
MWE3: What is your musical background and how did you get started
on piano and organ? How about your interest in playing and can you
add something about your early musical influences Emerson, Jarrett
MLM: I began my musical studies at age 14. I remember that a friend
of my mother gave me a disk on Bach's organ music and from that moment
began my passion for the music. In subsequent years of study at the
conservatory and university I got three different degrees of music.
My musical influences come from: the medieval music, Bach, Debussy,
Ravel, Messiaen, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Arvo Pärt, Keith
Emerson, King Crimson, Genesis, etc...
MWE3: You are greatly influenced by masters like Wakeman and Emerson
and also guitarist Steve Hackett. How would you describe the influences
of these giants of progressive rock music on your playing? And how
did that lead to recording the New Horizons CD which features
your playing the music of Steve Hackett on organ and grand piano.
MLM: Of course Wakeman, Emerson and Hackett have had a great influence
on me. From Emerson and Wakeman I tried to take the virtuosity and
rhythmic and harmonic complexity. From Steve Hackett the poetry of
his music, which is really close to classical music. During the years
I have transcribed many pieces of Hackett, and finally I realized
that it was possible to dedicate to him a solo album. After the recording
of New Horizons I wrote to Camino Records and they have
been excited to distribute the CD on their web site.
MWE3: Can you provide some detail about the different keyboards you
play on the Dark And Light CD? And how about the recording
process? Your CDs are always so expertly recorded.
MLM: For the piano part I have played the Grand Piano Steinway D274
(the Ferrari of grand piano!). For the organ part I have played the
great organ Mascioni (three manuals) in the church of St. Paul that
is situated in the historical center of Rome. I have four excellent
sound engineers: Alessandro Riva, Greg Palusa, Alessandro Zenobi and
Tullio Forlenza! For the microphones, we have used the Neumann and
Bruel & Kjaer.
MWE3: Can you say something about the current music scene in Italy
and also talk a little about your record company, Drycastle Records?
Looks like theyve got some interesting releases on their label.
MLM: We have in Italy many good musicians and progressive bands like
Il Bacio della Medusa, Il Castello di Atlante, Lingalad, La Maschera
di cera, Giampaolo Di Rosa, Cesaro Picco, Alfio Costa, Stefano Bollani
and many others! Drycastle Records was founded 2005 in Arezzo
(Tuscany) by the great jazz bassist Maurizio "Bozorius"
Bozzi. This Italian label has many musical interests: classical and
contemporary music, progressive, jazz and fusion music.
MWE3: Marco, what are some of your upcoming musical plans for the
MLM: My next project will be the CD dedicated to Keith Emerson Fireworks
for the Common Man with my arrangements and transcriptions
for pipe organ of Keith Emerson's music. After this CD I want do a
DVD for grand piano with my music inspired from The Hobbit
and Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. Its possible also a
collaboration with Steve and John Hackett for some projects.
Thanks to Marco Lo Muscio @ www.MarcoLoMuscio.com
and to Drycastle Records @ www.Drycastle.com