Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Domenico Quaceci

Today It’s Thursday! Horray! And today we’ll meet the composer and piano player Domenico Quaceci!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am Italian, from Sicily, and I live in Catania.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I have been studying piano since I was 10 years old, but I can say that I started “playing” it even earlier by going by ear discovering its sounds, key by key. I also play other instruments like guitar, bass and drums because of my strong interest into pop music.

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
As a child I started playing because of my curiousness about the piano and then my parents pushed me towards academic studies of piano and music in general.

How long have you been making piano music?
With the aim of escaping from the “boredom” of classical studies, I started varying the themes of Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin’s sonatas, or even exercises in pure technique. Then I moved on inventing new tunes. I can say that I have composed dozens and dozens of simple tunes, certainly not very mature to be called songs, but very funny for me anyway.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I used to play in a band and that’s where for the first time I recorded my “creations”. Together with the degree in piano and the musical studies I have faced over the years, this fact pushed me to write down my music for solo piano and start this career as a pianist and composer. Surely my musical maturation has just begun but I can finally say “I have something to say” by using my music.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
The artists who I cannot miss in their personal ranking are Ludovico Einaudi, Giovanni Allevi, Roberto Cacciapaglia, Max Ricther and also Yann Tiersen.

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? 
Well, there is a song that I play and play when I finish my day of studies, when I am bored because of the repertoire I study or when I want a moment of peace: yes, it is a composition of mine!

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
In my opinion you realize what are the rules to break only when you find yourself in front of something unusual, and you wonder if it is appropriate to insert it in the composition or not.

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I am fortunate to have a piano at home, excellent acoustics and to collaborate with a label. Therefore we prefer to “set up” a recording studio in my house and record with a real instrument which, in my opinion, is definitely the best for piano solo music. Unfortunately due to Covid I have to say that I had to resort to the use of keyboards.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
As I said before, if I have the choice I prefer a real piano, but there are some great samples that do their job very well (and I know something about it). I would definitely say that the samples are fine for music that is not only piano, but also with electronic instruments.

Anything else you want to share? 
I have already written and recorded an album that due to the covid it was published yet, so on my Socials and digital stores (spotify, youtube, apple music, etc …) you will find some single tracks that have been recorded by myself and mixed by my label’s stuff, as I really have a lot of music in my head and I don’t want it to remain locked up in my mind, for myself only!

And the question by the 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 
My songs come from images that I have in my head, these images can be like paintings or images of moments that can be associated with that song (just like a soundtrack). Sometimes I compose pieces starting from a chord or an arpeggio that I necessarily want to play on my composition and everything revolves around that gesture, that movement, those notes.

And the question by the 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 
My songs come from images that I have in my head, these images can be like paintings or images of moments that can be associated with that song (just like a soundtrack). Sometimes I compose pieces starting from a chord or an arpeggio that I necessarily want to play on my composition and everything revolves around that gesture, that movement, those notes.

Thank you very much for this!

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