Luca D’Alberto is a classical composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist from the heart of Italy. His music is visceral with a life beyond itself, cinematic yet personal. With his innovative approach to how far a traditional instrument can take you, he makes intensely real music, pain-stakingly crafted to move you to another place: an antidote to the noise of modern life and a rare chance for reflection.
2017 sees the release of ‘Endless’, D’Alberto’s first recording for newly-formed, Berlin-based, neo-classical imprint 7K!. For D’Alberto this album is “the soundtrack of a movie. The timeless movie of our lives. A movie which speaks of the never-ending interaction between mankind and feelings”. At its heart it’s a blood and guts reimagining of what neo-classical can be, passionate and daring, music that jumps out from the shadows at you. While it is played - entirely by D’Alberto - on traditional instruments, it owes as much to Tricky as it does to Steve Reich. In fact, it was as a potential string arranger for Tricky (managed by !K7) that Luca D’Alberto was first introduced to the company; it was in his audition that his style and sensibility with the violin were showcased, in turn inspiring !K7’s owner to launch 7K! with the specific aim of releasing D’Alberto’s music.
D’Alberto graduated summa cum laude with a Ministerial Mention in Teramo, Abruzzo, where he was born and raised. Here he learned the make-up of the classical canon and subsequently was motivated to break apart what music could be, becoming emotionally as competent as he is technical. Shaking his classical training into new forms, his debut album is engineered by Martyn Heyne with additional production by Henrik Schwarz.
Film makers, dance companies and theatres have all seen this life in his music, with luminaries such as Wim Wenders, Donata Wenders, Fernando Arrabal, Peter Lindbergh, Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa and Manuel Huerta having all praised his stirring music and approach to his art. As a composer and performer, D’Alberto has also collaborated with numerous events and leading figures including the prestigious Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch for the Pina40 Festival, with Giorgio Albertazzi and Costanza Quatriglio on Sembra Mio Figlio, on 9X10 Novanta and Lampedusani with the writer Erri De Luca, and he has been a long time collaborator of important Italian actor and director Michele Placido. In 2015 the Jewish Museum in Berlin featured Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke’s film Obedience, a 15-room installation with music composed by D’Alberto. More recently and open until February 20th, Luca’s music is the soundtrack for the video installation Chtchoukine, Matisse, la Danse et la Musique (Direction by Saskia Boddeke, Script by Peter Greenaway) at the prestigious Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris.
Listening to ‘Endless’ reminds you again of the potential of music to energise you, to conjure imaginary landscapes that can turn on the end of a bow. A record which lures you in with its delicate attention to detail and then arrests you with its quiet intensity. This immersive feeling is encouraged by D’Alberto: “I would like the listener to get involved with the album in a very intimate way and to feel the music by feeling emotions which are often avoided, as they might make us feel weak or are difficult for us to remember. Not only sad emotions, they might be beautiful at the same time.” This immersive expression has been mirrored in the highly sensual videos made for the project. Each video is an invitation for the audience to engage with their forgotten senses, gentle reminders that we are sensory creatures.
It’s this idea of something being hidden and then uncovered that gives much of Luca’s music its resonance. This might stem from Luca’s introduction to music, with his mother hiding a music box around the house, thinking he would break it, only for Luca to seek it out again every time. “When I was 12, I learnt that the delicate music coming out of the carillon was composed by Nino Rota and it was in that moment that I decided, without fully realising it, to be a composer.”
D’Alberto sees music quite simply as a means of moving a person out of their everyday ennui. This is not purely classical music, for D’Alberto like many musicians before him it’s about instilling a feeling. Luca says it best himself; “Endless is a secret place, a place where we can be free to remember everything, without being afraid, without limits. A place where we can let go of ourselves, without thinking, where we can allow our bodies to rest peacefully and find the courage to live the noisy silence of our lives.”
Luca D’Alberto is currently rehearsing an ensemble in preparation for an extensive tour of Europe and the US. The live show will feature spectacular costumes designed by Japanese designer Hiromi Onodera. For him playing live is to “recreate the deep sensitivity of the music on stage and to share it with the audience.” His first show will be premiered at Berlin venue Silent Green in January, 2017.