Franco Carrieri is a guitarist and composer of Gothic Classicism, an alternative and fresh form of Classical Rock which he describes as having "all the qualities of a new species of musical animal." He has just released on his own label Neoclassical Records Music Publishing his first three track CD 'Franco Carrieri Thrashes Vivaldi' for which he has reworked and rearranged for a rock band three of the movements from the 'TheSummer' from Antonio Vivaldi's famous 1725 violin concerto 'The Four Seasons'.

Classical Rock has been an established and popular discipline of music for many years now, and has involved both classical musicians and composers and also rock acts as diverse as The Nice ; Emerson, Lake and Palmer ; Jeff Beck ; Sky and Malcolm McLaren in its development. While most of the genre's music to date has been restricted simply to converting classical music into rock or vice versa, Carrieri's approach to it has been different to that of many of his contemporaries, and he believes that his "work can be distinguished from other music" in the field.

"I write rock music which is by the measures of 17th and 18th century composition, as melodically, harmonically and structurally sophisticated as the symphony or concerto of that time" he explains. Moreover some of my compositions use structures typical to those eras. In short, my work is original and serious neoclassical music, while also being original and- serious rock music."

Carrieri, who is forty and who is a music teacher in London, is classically trained and has also worked in rock bands, but his preferred method of working and composing is alone. He recorded 'Franco Carrieri Thrashes Vivaldi' in his own home studio at nights and weekends over a six month period and also played all the instruments on it, often working an additional forty hours a week on it. It has parts for four guitars, and using also a harpischord, a synthesiser and drums was recorded specifically ,as Carrieri describes it, for a "heavy metal ensemble". The three tracks on it are the second movement from 'The Summer', the third movement and the third movement played backwards.

"It has given rise to mixed feelings in the listener" Carrieri says about it. "Everyone is impressed but not everyone likes it. It seems to be the classical listeners, those already familar with Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons' and the mature rocker, that like it the best. Vivaldi doesn't always make for good music. The second movement isn't the most obvious rock track, but that is no problem if you don't want to see it as a rock track. The third movement for me meanwhile is a rare area of music where baroque and rock are synonymous. I have re-arranged this movement to swing like a piece of rock."

Carrieri is now working on his first full length album. It will feature more movements from 'The Four Seasons' and also his first original symphony which he has written, again using the same principles, once more for a heavy metal guitar ensemble. He hopes to release the album within the next six months.

"I don't want to sound haughty" Carrieri says about this forthcoming release "But only the musically mature are going to get anything out of this recording. That is, people who have a few years of listening under their belts or who are searching for something other than the established. It has to be said my work makes for cerebral listening. For example, it tends to take a theme and develop it as opposed to taking a riff and just matching it to a rhythm. My music doesn't fall into the verse and chorus structure. It will only ever appeal to a minority, but like myself, we do exist."

In acknowledgement of this, he has made 'Franco Carrieri Thrashes Vivaldi' an internet release only , making it available just through small and independent music sites. Carrieri intends to release the new album when it is ready in the same way.

"I have always known this stuff isn't going to chart" Carrieri explains "But I don't believe that that is criterion for assessing compositional merit. The internet can give life to minority musics where they otherwise wouldn't exist. I do think though that you have to take people by the hand and introduce them."

With the new album lined up for release at the end of the year, Carrieri will be spending the next few months recording it and also preparing to promote his new release. Both the independent rock and the classical music world will undoubtedly be hearing more of him and Gothic Classicism in the near future.

Further information about Franco Carrieri's musical perspective and work can be found at his website

Related Links:

Commenting On: Interview - Franco Carrieri

ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment

First Previous Next Last