Dark And Light


Thanks 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, Marco’s 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, Marco’s original compositions include tributes to Erik Satie and jazz piano legend Bill Evans. Marco’s 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 it’s finest, Dark And Light features an excellent CD booklet filled with in depth liner notes—in both English and Italian—along with additional liner notes from guitar legend Steve Hackett.


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 and more...

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 they’ve 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 future?

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. It’s possible also a collaboration with Steve and John Hackett for some projects.

Thanks to Marco Lo Muscio @ and to Drycastle Records @


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