Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Mattia Greggio

Today we’re gonna get to know the Italian composer and piano player Mattia Greggio a bit better!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I was born in Verona (Italy) and I’m living in Verona.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started playing the piano at the age of six at the Verona conservatory. At the moment I only play the piano. 

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
This is the question I love most because it is an important anecdote in my life. I can’t tell you why I wanted to play the piano, but I just wanted it.  Out of fear that my parents would say “no”, I invented a lie (a lie that a 6-year-old boy would invent to get something). I told my mom that a my classmate (my best friend of those years) was playing the piano and therefore I wanted to play it too. I didn’t know at all that my friend played the piano, for me it was a pure lie. My mom started asking my friend’s mom for information and I start losing hope and I was getting ready to be scolded. To my amazement, I suprised that my friend was really playing the piano. So it was that I began to venture on the white and black keys. 

How long have you been making piano music?
I have always composed my music as a teenager. But I decided to share my music from the autumn of 2017

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I started in the early teens, 13-14 years old, where the piano and solfeggio studies had become more “interesting”. I started by arranging famous pop / rock music on the piano, finding harmonies and melodies by ear. In these arrangements I started to insert more and more of my personal parts. Then slowly I started writing my first melodies.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
As for contemporary classical music, there are 3 artists who listen most: Ludovico Einaudi, Roberto Cacciapaglia and Yiruma. There are many many others that I love, I chose these 3 artists because they are the ones who listen the most.

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? 
Oh Yes! It’s my “warm up” after the stairs of course 🙂 . When I sit on the piano, I usually play 3 songs before starting anything else (study or composition): my own arrangement of the song “Piccola Stella Senza Cielo” by Luciano Ligabue. A stretch of the song “I Giorni” by Ludovico Einaudi and the song “May be” by Yiruma

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
All the rules (or almost)! When composing music it is important to try to put all the emotions you want to convey into the song, even if this forces us to “violate” all the rules. This does not mean that it is okay to make random music, harmony is a fundamental component to achieve those sounds that can represent the emotions you want to transmit.

How do you record your music?
I record my music on my own with my home recording station

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
The VST give a great help. It depends on the cases. If a person makes solo piano pieces and has a well tuned instrument, a good recording job can be done with a good microphone system. But this is already very expensive. A good sampler helps but it must be used very well, sometimes I struggle and I prefer to use the direct sound of my keyboard. When I make multi-instrumental or orchestral pieces I necessarily need samplers. This speech is valid at an amateur or semi-professional level. At a high professional level, however, the songs must be recorded directly from instruments with musicians. No samplers.

Anything else you want to share? 
Music is currently my biggest passion. I dedicate all my time to her from my main job. In every song of mine there is a part of me, a thought of mine, an emotion of mine, a memory of mine. I always try to create different songs from each other. Piano only, piano-ambient, piano-strings, orchestral pieces. I am getting small but great satisfaction for me and this gives me the strength to never give up.

The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 
Answer: It may seem obvious, but my songs are all born from within me. Very often I want to compose a song, but I don’t have the emotion to transmit, I don’t have the inspiration inside me and therefore I don’t leave anything in the music I’m composing. However, when there is strong emotion inside me, the right spirit, the song is already all in my head and I just have to write it, arrange it and record it.

Thank you very much for participating Mattia!

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