The music of Italian cellist Francesco Guerri obliterates the line between contemporary classical music and free improvisation, sculpting spontaneous invention into startling, unpredictable compositions.
On his striking third album, Su Mimmi non si spara!, Guerri presents a dozen innovative pieces that span a wide range of stylistic approaches and technical challenges, invigorated by the physicality of his virtuosic playing and the deep emotional bond he maintains with his instrument.
Su Mimmi non si spara! contrasts moments of ethereal beauty with visceral aggression, aching lyricism with abstract noise, whisper-quiet minimalism with rock-inspired power. His expansive attack on the cello incorporates such disparate methods as alternative tunings, percussive bowing, exotic preparations and electronic distortions. At its core is the tension between the cerebral invention of Guerri’s boundary-stretching technique and the passionate expression he conveys to his audience.
“I think that my music should be understandable to a child. When you play solo the only other person involved is the listener, so I always try to be communicative to the audience.”Francesco Guerri
The major change in Guerri’s life came just after he graduated from the Conservatorio di Musica Bruno Maderna in his native Cesena, Italy. It was then that he attended a workshop led by improvising cellist Tristan Honsinger, whose collaborators include such pioneers as the ICP Orchestra, Cecil Taylor, Derek Bailey and Steve Lacy. Through Honsinger the young cellist discovered free improvisation and forever left behind the rigors of the traditional classical repertoire.
Since then Guerri has performed in a rich variety of other contexts, from electronica to avant-garde rock music and free jazz, working with such names as William Parker, Butch Morris, Silvia Bolognesi, Gianluca Petrella, Fabrizio Spera, Ches Smith and Vincenzo Vasi. He has collaborated extensively with Honsiger as well as Carla Bozulich, playing in her band Evangelista and touring with her as a duo. He also co-founded the duos Nagel (with Alberto Fiori) and Nestor Makhno (with Nicola Guazzaloca).
Guerri has also worked extensively in the avant-garde theater, including with Teatrino Clandestino, Teatrino Giullare, and most intensively with the actor-director Chiara Guidi of the Societas Raffaello Sanzio. With Guidi the cellist has undertaken an ongoing, multi-year exploration of Dante’s Divine Comedy, the characters of which inspired three of the pieces on Guerri’s new album: the tense, vivid “Ciacco,” the dramatic “Minosse,” and the stunning overture, “Lucy” (short for Dante’s Lucia – a name that means “bringer of light,” an apt descriptor of the opener).
Francesco Guerri : cello / prepared cello; electronics on My [ha]nd
Su Mimmi Non Si Spara
1. Lucy (overture)
2. Su Mimmi non si spara!
5. Your beginning
10. Mimmi resisti
11. My [ha]nd
All music written by Francesco Guerri
All music published by RareNoisePublishing (PRS)
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Andrea Scardovi at Duna Studio, Russi (Ravenna), except track 11 My[ha]nd recorded by Bruno Germano at Vacuum Studio, Bologna.
Artwork and concept by Federico Guerri | Luca Piovaccari
Design by Luca Piovaccari
Handwriting by Francesco Bocchini
Executive Producer for RareNoiseRecords: Giacomo Bruzzo
Many thanks to: Alice, Area Sismica, Chiara Guidi, Elisa Pieri, Enrico e Michele Guerri
© + ℗ RareNoiseRecords 2019
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