Spotlight: Francesco Tristano


starfrosch’s very own chrigu had the opportunity to interview Francesco Tristano before his gig at the Dachstock in Berne, Switzerland. Enjoy this short talk about internet and music, best pianos and Einsiedler beer.

chrigu: For starfrosch my interviews were mostly about the possibility of the internet.
How do you use it? Is it still useful, or more like a circling machine?

Francesco Tristano: You can’t escape the internet. The question is only how much
you use it. In the last fifteen years the whole music business has changed completely.
Today promotion work is mostly done by the artist himself. Either you place overkills in the web,
or you post once a day, or you don’t. You should keep your followers informed. Keep your output clean.

chrigu: Do you still use Facebook?

Francesco Tristano: I think Facebook is almost dead. I like Twitter, the structure and its velocity.
My own homepage is used a lot too. Two years ago The Wire published an article about the end of the internet.

Francesco Tristano Interview 1

chrigu: Would you publish some of your songs on a website for free?

Francesco Tristano: I have done so already. To sell records is much less important today. The main task is to generate publicity, so people are motivated to attend concerts.

chrigu: And what kind of website do you use for this?

Francesco Tristano: Soundcloud. Its a very good service for the presentation of your own music and to communicate with others in the same time. I put my unreleased music there, but copyright agents are fast in the web.

chrigu: Was there any moment when you decided to concentrate not only on classical music?

Francesco Tristano: Never. From the beginning I played my music, improvised and composed. Classical music started later. I gave my first piano recital age 13, both repertoire and my own compositions. I got into electronic music when I moved to NYC in 1998.

chrigu: Weren’t you too busy at Julliard School for doing much own music beside?

Francesco Tristano: Not at all. I practiced the piano during the day, and played around analog synths and sequencers at night.

chrigu: How is the ratio today in your work?

Francesco Tristano: I still practice a lot of piano. Discipline is necessary for the hands and the brain.

chrigu: On a Steinway?

Francesco Tristano: On a Yamaha. If you ask me, the best piano around. There are piano makers that produce the same piano for over hundred years, and there are the innovators.

Francesco Tristano Interview 2

chrigu: Boston and Essex?

Francesco Tristano: Basically a low cost Steinway.

chrigu: Any Classical recordings planed?

Francesco Tristano: Sure. I will do Goldberg Variations again. But this time in an Audio Visual context.
The project is called Goldberg City Variations (Iannis Xenakis inspired).

chrigu: Synaesthetics are very interesting… next time! Thank you very much!

Francesco Tristano: Welcome. I will get such a Einsiedler bottle I think…

chrigu: You should.

Some words about Swiss cheese (Bad Emmentaler International Management, Appenzeller Surchoix)

Francesco Tristano: I love the design of this Einsiedler bottle!

Photos: Sebastian Graf
Note: Someone should call Einsiedler beer and ask for a donation.