Rino De Patre about "Sound Of The Rainbow" – "I recorded new music in three days"

He recorded a brand new material in three days, but we had to wait for the new album for more than a decade. Rino De Patre, Italian jazz guitarist, describes the creative process behind the "Sound Of The Rainbow" – exclusively for Czynniki Pierwsze. "I like to compare this creative activity, which is not easy to explain, to a kaleidoscope that captures light rays, transforming them into infinite compositions of shapes and colors" De Patre said. We also talked about the details of his collaboration with Dominic Miller. 

Marcin Obłoza: Do you remember your first music experiences? 

Rino De Patre: I remember that the first time I heard the sound of a classical guitar was at my uncle’s place. I was 8 years old, and I have immediately been attracted to this instrument, both for its particular shape and sound. My uncle, seeing me so interested, started to teach me the chords in the first position. From that time, I never stopped playing guitar. I had my first live experiences playing in church during the religious ceremonies. Then I started to play in a garage with a drummer, a friend of mine. Later, I made up a band and I began to play at the dance halls, in the square parties, in pubs and so on… 

In 2010 you recorded "The Dawn From My Heart". Why did you decide to make a solo guitar album, without any other musicians?

Recording an album in total solitude was natural, a kind of necessity for me, as I needed this dimension, this sound, to express my emotions. I like that kind of sound – so intimate and personal, resulting from the use of solo guitar, without the input of other instruments, with the addition – if necessary – of overdubs recorded with the same guitar. Even using open tunings for broadening the sound spectrum or simply for adding depth to the composition and make it closer to what my heart suggests to me. 

How the process of making a composition looks like in your case? What begins works on tune? Is it a distinctive guitar motif, the idea of a particular mood, or maybe something that you experienced or saw?

Inspiration may happen to me at any place or time. I often conceive my compositions while, in any venue, I am simply unconsciously playing something abstract, with my eyes closed, without thinking too much and entering to a semi-trance zone. When my rational part encodes a melody or a theme my eyes open again going back to reality. A wonderful thing is happening, which significantly changes my mood, my day, literally making me happy. A new tune is being born, so I try to get "conscious". I record it immediately with a smartphone or a small portable recorder, in order to fix the idea that I will later develop and arrange harmoniously and at structural level. I like to compare this creative activity, which is not easy to explain, to a kaleidoscope that captures light rays, transforming them into infinite compositions of shapes and colors. 

How about the titles? It’s always quite a challenge to find an appropriate title for an instrumental. Are the titles of your songs the result of your inspirations?

The titles are the result of my inspirations, melodies that are translated into words. It's not always easy. Sometimes I let a person with particular musical empathy listen to the "newborn" songs, in order to let someone be inspired for suggesting me the title. 

After more than a decade, in 2021, you presented a new album, "Sound Of The Rainbow". How the creative process of writing new music looked like? 

Actually, I never stopped writing music. The ideas I wrote after the release of my first album, is the natural evolution of my creative streak. Composing music is like a gift. For me, it is also a need – like the air I breathe. After the first album, I became aware of having a natural ability to compose. Day after day I arrange the songs I compose, focusing on what I feel as I perform them. All this is the result, the fruit of my new album, "Sound of The Rainbow". 

Did you record the whole material in short time (like few months) or did you collect the recorded pieces from the whole, past decade? 

Although ten years have passed since the release of my first album, I wrote the music for "Sound of The Rainbow" within a few years. Then, once it was possible to proceed with the recording, I recorded the entire new album in three days. 

Why did you decide to play new music with the band? 

I really like the kind of sound I was able to achieve with my great band. I wrote some of the songs with the idea of playing them with my travel mates who, would add new colors, grooves, percussion with their own instruments. The sound coding that made the tunes sound exactly as I had them in my mind. Examples are: Il Cerchio, La Tarantella, Il Sogno and finally the piece Sound of The Rainbow, as the closing of the album of the same name. 

Two of the new compositions – La Strada and Cave Of Crystal – are the duets with Dominic Miller, acknowledged guitarist, popular for the works with Sting. Why did you decide to ask Dominic for cooperation? 

I met Dominic Miller in 2008, during one of my solo gig, at a guitar festival close to Milan. I was unaware he was among the audience and, at the end of my gig, he approached me, congratulating for my performance. He asked if I wrote the compositions which I played. I said that all my repertoire was written by me, and he told me that he would have been happy to be in touch with me, for collaborating and for playing a gig together. He asked me also to send him further compositions I wrote. Afterwards, we met several times, and then he offered me to collaborate on some tunes of my new album. Therefore, we scheduled a recording session in studio, where Dominic played in duet with me, and we recorded the tunes La Strada and Cave of Crystal. About one year after we recorded the tracks of my album, Dominic invited me to play with him a tune in two dates of his Italian tour. We played as in duet, as well as with his band, the tune Do You Want Me, taken from his album “First Touch”. It was an amazing experience, which I will remember for the rest of my life. I really hope in future to have another chance to play again with Dominic, because we both found a natural harmony in playing together and a good connection. 

One of your composition from the new album is called La tarantella. Is it inspired by the Italian folk dance? 

The song La Tarantella, as suggested by its name, but also from the very first notes and the unstoppable rhythm, is certainly the most Italian composition of the album. Even this piece was conceived in a natural, spontaneous way without pushing myself to write a “tarantella” – the inspiration simply came to me. I included it among the compositions of the album, as an important piece also to pay homage to the famous Italian folk dance that is in my blood. 

How would you describe the music from your new album? 

I conceive my music to make people feel good, and I express a message of hope through it, given also the times we are living. I prefer to describe my music by playing it live, rather than in words. However, it would rather be interesting to have it described by the listeners through the various media and during my performances. In this regard, I'm collecting the several messages, thoughts, feelings and feedbacks that the people who have listened to the music of "Sound of The Rainbow" expressed. Exactly one year after the release of the album, I will publish what my fans have written to me about "Sound of the Rainbow". 

You use the same model of the guitar as mentioned Dominic Miller. Why did you choose this distinctive model with smaller soundbox? Is it connected with the particular sound you wanted to achieve? 

I played for years a traditional classical guitar, which was not very comfortable. Then I listened the Yairi “Torres” model played by Dominic Miller and I have been captured by its sound and by its very comfortable size to play. I was looking for it for a while, until I found it in a guitar shop in Milan. I decided to buy it. I choose it as a main instrument for its ease to play and – most of all – for its peculiar sound timbre. This specific model is not pretty easy to find out in Europe, therefore I have been lucky to find it in Milan. I had also the chance to know the Yairi distributor for the French market, Mr. Robert Harvey, who is a very professional guy, and he has an outstanding knowledge of Yairi guitars. You may find his page on Reverb website, through the following link: https://reverb.com/fr/shop/k-yairi-guitar-specialist

For the end, a small report about Italian music. Do you have some recommendations from Italian jazz scene?

I think that in Italy has always been a great ferment of interesting musicians and original music. It would be unfair and embarrassing to name just a few or give some examples. However, sometimes the right structures, needed to bring out new talents and to let them express, through their compositions and their performances, are lacking. Without going around it, in Italy being a musician is often not considered as a job. To build a future in this field, without a second profession other than music (such as teaching, for instance), is pretty difficult. Nevertheless, I am optimistic. Indeed, thanks to the technology that all of us nowadays may use, including myself, together with the perseverance and a bit of luck, we may address our music to every corner of the world.

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