Behind the piano: Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from the small, sunny, Mediterranean island of Malta, just below Italy!
How long have you been playing the piano?
I started playing piano when I was around 10 years old, and today I’m 19 years old (it feels like it’s been so much longer!)
Do you play other instruments as well?
I’ve picked up on a couple of other instruments, mainly the bass guitar. In fact I was the bassist for a band a few years back, but nowadays I’m exclusively focused on piano playing.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
It’s quite a funny story actually! It was my brother who started piano lessons before me, and I once was with him for a lesson just sitting quietly at the side and watching in awe. His piano teacher jokingly asked if I was interested in starting I immediately said yes! So a few weeks later I started and ever since I’ve never looked back.
How long have you been making piano music?
I’ve been writing my own solo music for quite a while now, but only got to actually producing and releasing it as of recently. Back in 2015 I wrote some piano music for a feature film and had a lot of leftover ideas which I never used, and since then I’ve been sort of trying to compile them into finished tracks. My first official release was ‘a song about loss (en sang om at miste)’, in December 2018.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
It’s quite a moment of epiphany, honestly. It’s a much bigger responsibility than it sounds to be able to write music and influence other people by it. You technically have the power of making (or ruining) someone’s day with your music, and that’s a big power which I try my best to use well. I strive to create music in which the listener can see a reflection of himself or his life, and that’s always been my philosophy.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
There are so many great artists, but to mention a few: Peter Broderick, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Frieder Nagel, Tigran Hamasyan, Philip Glass etc.
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
I’m an avid Bill Evans fan, so I always start with some of his jazz tunes when I sit at the piano.
How long is your shortest song?
Haha love this question! I’ve written a few interludes for my upcoming album which are no longer than a minute, but I’m not sure if they’ll make it into the album or not yet.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I think good music escapes rules, categories and other sort of linguistic definitions. As long as the artist isn’t lining up behind what’s cool and current but writing what’s honest, there’s a lot of value to a piece of music. Stray away and start your own line if need be.
And, as usual. The question from my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
Great question! Honestly, I’m not sure where they come from myself! I just sit back and let it happen.
And twelve points from Swedes goes to… MALTA! Thank you Aleandro for these wonderful answers!
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