Interview with Davide Di Ienno (June 2016)

Davide Di Ienno

When did you start playing guitar and why? What did you study and what is your musical background? With that guitar do you play and with what you played?

I started playing the guitar at 7 years old as a natural consequence of the environment in which I lived. From newborn my parents took me to choir practice in which even today we sing. I listened to so much ancient polyphonic music while at home growing up with rock music and progressive ’60s and’ 70s. Growing up I always heard, in addition to the classical singer-songwriter music, rock and metal-progressive. I trained with Marco Salcombe, one of the greatest masters of the instrument, and then I studied with Aniello Desiderio, in particular the International Academy Koblenz in Germany. The most important guitars with whom I have played a Lovadina 1989 in Spruce and Philip Woodfield of 2012, with which I play now, with the Dolomites spruce and ebony strips and bottom.


How did start the idea of making Raffaele Bellafronte Guitar Works cd? Why the choice of the music of this composer?

I know the composer for a lifetime and I can definitely say that I grew up with his music. I always studied many Bellafronte’s compositions, so two years ago I felt the need to give more substance to what I was doing and to unify all these tracks into a single collection.

How did you choose the other musicians playing with you on the record?

The other musicians on the CD binds me a strong appreciation and with many of them also a deep friendship that has lasted for several years. They are extraordinary musicians I’ve met them thanks to Bellafronte composer and thanks to my studies.

What does improvisation in your music research? Can we go back to talking of improvisation in a repertoire so encoded as the classic or we’re forced to leave and turn to other repertoires, jazz, contemporary, etc?

Improvisation in the strict sense is certainly a practice bound to other genres. In contemporary music it’s easier to find with this eventuality, but also in classical music there are some songs, such as Night Serenade no. 6 in D major, K. 239 by Mozart, where there are times when the composer, placing of wreaths, grants to the various instruments to improvise a cadenza.

How does your music methodology is influence from the community of people (musicians or not) you work with? Do you change your approach in relation to the one who directly or indirectly receive from them? If you listen to a different interpretation of a song you already played and you want to perform keep account of this listening or do you prefer to proceed in complete independence?

I think I have a clear and strong musical personality, who like all leads to convince sometimes narcissistically their ideas. I must say that I grew up I learned to listen. I did plenty of classes not only for guitarists, with musicians to create a certain interpretative independence that goes beyond the instrument. I also learned so much from different guys I’ve met in the courses that I attended. And it’s fascinating to see how one song can have so many different personalities, all with great dignity and a clear and musical sense.


I sometimes feel that in our time the history of the music flow with no particular interest in its chronological course, in our disco-music library before and after, past and future become interchangeable elements, could this be a risk for an interpreter and a composer of a uniform vision? A sort of musical”globalization”?

I think for us today is very difficult to read our contemporary world and is therefore complicated historicize our present. And this’s certainly a matter that concerned all ages. It’s a task of those who come after giving a historical reading and catalog kinds and style or compositional styles that we are creating and using. I believe, however unhistorical some choices compositional styles that recall the past for example, many songs “neoclassical” passed off as “contemporary” music quality or interpretative choices now obsolete by the interpreters. We must be children of our times. This also means playing music of our days. In the past it has always done. Today, however, in the most prestigious theater programs are given a small space to contemporary music. Of course the causes are many, but I think on the one hand lack the curiosity to seek and study music may seem difficult to understand and therefore not immediate approach. On the other side of the border of the “contemporary” language allows you to write music that makes it much more difficult the bond that is to be created between the composer-performer-audience. Our task is a research task of what is deemed invalid and to disclose it.

Tell us about you five essential records, .. the classic five discs for the desert island ..

Mozart’s Requiem played by the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan, published by Deutsche Grammophon in 1987.
The Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould, published by Sony Classical in 1981.
Fabrizio De Andrè, impossible to choose one.
Pulse Pink Floyd, live albums published by Columbia in 1995.
Scenes from a Dream Theater memory.

Who would you like to play with and who would you like to play? What music do you usually listen to?

My dream is to play in a duo with Aniello Desiderio and it would be even more fantastic with an orchestra. I listen to a lot of Italian prog music like Le Orme, Area, PFM, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, progressive-rock and metal music, singer-songwriter music in particular Italian and plenty of Renaissance and Baroque music.

What are your next projects? What are you working on?

For my next project I will record an early music cd, a stylistic comparison between Dowland and Da Milano.