Italian born music composer, pianist and visual artist Francesco Berta is someone whose work I’ve enjoyed admiringly since the early days of the blog. He was in fact one of the very first artists I had the pleasure of interviewing when the Duologues series was launched a little less than four years ago (read the interview here). In the intervening years, Francesco has continued to work passionately on short films, movies, and documentaries while at the same time releasing new material and even getting the opportunity to conduct his own music in the legendary Abbey Road Studios. The latest of his compositions is a beautifully orchestrated new piece called “The Rainy Road” which you can enjoy an early preview of in this exclusive premiere.
Besides being makers of music, the most compelling composers are also storytellers and “The Rainy Road” has certainly has the magic dust of an alluring narrative written all over it. By Francesco’s own account, it sums up feelings associated with all of the traveling, leaving, loneliness, and relocation that have been constants in his life over the past ten years. He constructed the track by overlaying a string quartet over & over again, a technique learned from studying the early recordings of Yann Tiersen and one which proved to be a clever solution to a problem posed by the pandemic – Francesco demands to personally conduct all of his own music and simply was not able to do so with a 40-piece string orchestra as he originally intended.
Everything revolves around a recurring melody that was sketched on a piece of paper while staying in an apartment in Kraków (Poland) last year and which proved be the catalyst.
A week before, a dear friend of mine had sent me a piece of music she really liked, hoping I would like it as well. The piece was called “Wyjazd z Polski” by the Polish composer Michał Lorenc, written for the movie Rózyczka (Little Rose – 2010). From the very first listen, the effect that piece of music had on me was very profound, to the point that it sparked my creativity and connected me to my inner desire to write meaningful music again, with drive and purpose.
In his comments reflecting on the journey of “The Rainy Road” from that moment in a Krakow apartment to the finished track, Francesco offers a keen observation that really resonates in a time where so many of us may feel physically, emotionally, or creatively stuck – a little something to ponder while getting lost in the beauty of the music.
Sometimes all it takes is listening to a new piece of music (or a new life experience), something that sparks a fire, something that makes us move forward in a meaningful way.
In addition to the new single, Francesco has also just released his very first piano collection called Selected Piano Works Vol. 1 which is now available for digital download and streaming.