“Evocative, accessible, avant-garde” | Interview with Giovanni Rotondo

Close your eyes and imagine you free-floating in space. Giovanni Rotondo introduces us to his project Exoplanets with the latest release Proxima B – The Nigh. An emotional piano solo that will make you orbit the galactic center.

Describe your sound in three words

Evocative, accessible, avant-garde

Tell us a few things about Proxima B – The Nigh and the upcoming series of pieces.

This piece is part of a larger project titled “Exoplanets”. That is a music anthology distributed weekly on all the major streaming platforms and featuring haunting piano solo pieces each describing a different exoplanet (a planet orbiting a star outside the solar system). The extensive scale of the project is giving me the opportunity to push the boundaries of my writing to new stylistic territories at the intersection of new objectivity, neoclassicism, impressionism and minimalism. Exoplanets are the perfect muse for this anthology as I can draw inspiration from their many different features and names. Besides I’ve always been captivated by anything space-related! Proxima B is the closest exoplanet to Earth, and one that shares its conformation. As such it represents the ideal beginning of my journey. When I composed it I concentrated on the sensations that one would feel when approaching a planet similar to Earth for the very first time. Something so familiar and yet so distant.

Neo Classical music has a wide audience nowadays. Do you think there is a compromise in the quality standards in order for this genre to become more accessible and popular?

In my opinion what is easy to grasp is not automatically low quality. So many great artists are able to convey a simple message without restricting the complexity of their vocabulary. This is in my opinion what neo classical composers should strive to achieve.

Favorite pianist?

Living: Vladimir Ashkenazy (although he now mainly conducts);
of all times: Sergei Rachmaninoff (how exciting that we have actual recordings of him playing).

You are based in London. What do you love/hate about the metropolitan city?

Most of all I love London’s brutalist architecture. What I don’t love: London’s weather (I know, how south-Italian of me…).

Your music has been featured on a Netflix show Dark Desire. What advice would you give to artists who dream for such a placement of their music?

Don’t compromise the quality of your output when writing for libraries. Also before committing with a specific library do some research, in particular double-check their network of sub-publishers around the world.

Is songwriting a talent or a skill?

I think the two things have to both be there in order for an artist to really shine. If you have talent you owe it to yourself to cultivate it and develop correlated skills.

If you could wake up and have a new skill, what would that be?

That’s a though one, so many come to mind! I guess I’ll keep it to the music realm (sorry taekwondo): I’d like to wake up a violin virtuoso!

Thank you!

Follow our Spotify Playlist “Metamorphosis” feat. Giovanni Rotondo


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