Projects

Collaboration with soprano saxophonist Harri Sjöström

Gianni and Harri (active member of the European Improvised music scene and member of the Cecil Taylor quintet) met in the late winter of 2009. Both devoted to the soprano saxophone and both pupils of the great Steve Lacy, they plan to start what Mimmo calls “mirroring duo” recording. In the June of the next year they record “Live at Bauchhund, Berlin 2010” a successful cd out for Amirani Records in 2010 that has been nominated a “Must have album” by AAJ-Italy.

Since then the duo has performed more than 35 concerts in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Finland and UK. The “Mirroring” formula makes possible a continuous shifting of the attention areas, with intervallic/oblique narrative lines and corrosive contrappunto strategies. Their playing is double-faced: sometimes we have parallel lines, sometimes contrasts between a melodic and a textural attitude, sometimes terrific unison, chamber warmth and childish lullabies.

The collaboration between Gianni and Harri evolves too in conceiving larger ensembles with very unusual line-up in order to develop more complex multi- perspective music, non-linear systems and a multi-level generated events.
Their first ensemble is Quartetto Internazionale involving UK violinist Alison Blunt and German turn-tablist Ignaz Schick. The quartet plays in Germany and in a tour in Finland giving concerts in Helsinki and Turku in 2014.
In 2015 Gianni and Harri lead Sestetto Internazionale in an intense tour in Finland and Germany with concerts in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Lovisa, Berlin, Jena, Nordhausen, Bremen etc.
They play at the JAZZantì Festival Helsinki, Free Okapi ry Festival Lovisa, Zaum-fest Turku, Sound Scapes in Tampere.
The line-up is absolutely intriguing: Gianni Mimmo (I) on soprano sax, Harri Sjöström (SU) on soprano & sopranino saxes, Alison Blunt (UK) on violin, Achim Kaufmann(DE) on piano, Ignaz Schick on turntables, Veli Kujala on micro-tonal accordion. The ensemble explores action and re-action strategies, generative collisions, dissonance and turbulence of musical elements, timbre explorations, extended techniques, graphic scoring and conduction.
Sestetto Internazionale live concerts at Kanneltalo Theatre in Helsinki and at the Sibelius Museum in Turku have been recorded and will be released in 2017. Gianni Mimmo has been supported by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Helsinki for his cultural activity in Finland in 2015.

Collaboration with Uk violinist/composer Alison Blunt

The collaboration with brilliant violinist Alison Blunt starts in 2013 in London, UK. Both interested in deepening the chamber attitude of their style and in a neo-formal approach to improvisation, they decide to record a live concert in the challenging acoustic of St. Leonard Church in Shoreditch.

The concert is successful and becomes a celebrated album titled “Lasting Ephemerals” released on vinyl LP thanks to a co-production among Amirani Records, LongSong Records and Teriyaki records.
The album is for sure one of the best in Gianni’s discography and receives a huge amount of excellent reviews from magazines, being broadcasted in several avant- garde oriented radios in Europe and USA.

The duo has performed live more than 60 concerts together touring in UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Finland and in a three weeks tour in the United States, with concerts in Chicago (Create Festival), New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos), California (San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles) and New York.

The duo played in theatres, churches, little venues, clubs, house concerts, festivals, boats, gardens, streets, galleries and so on.
The duo has been invited at the International Society of Improvised Music annual Conference on New York in 2015 at the New York School of Music and has been invited to perform and to lecture in schools as well.

Mimmo-Blunt acoustic duo features a contemporary wild chamber attitude, improvising instant compositions, sound texture explorations and sudden lyrical flights.
Their improvisation, that has been defined "A Gentle Vertigo", freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos. Experimental flavours, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the extremely well balanced blend of this duo that strives for an improvisation where "things happen", able to face pulsing silences and airy architectures as elements of a sound sculpture. Relationship among inner voices, live attention to detail, lyrical declinations and violent assertive moments are on display in their performances:

"All you could ask for from an improvised performance”
Michael Holland, Nov 2013 Eyes4eyes.blogspot.it

"A wonderful collaboration. I spent half of their set in a semi conscious mystical state.
http: //thisplaceatthistime. blogspot. It

“The alert gracefulness and reciprocal regard through which Mimmo and Blunt explicit their intertwined instrumental togetherness convey the same sense of fulfilment that irradiates the most surprisingly revelatory instants of normality[...]
When the duty calls, the pair is willing and ready to show the listener how peace can be restored, nimbly sailing to calmer waters without apparent effort: a musician's thorough control of his/her means of expression is something that can be attained only by "living" the instrument day in, day out, a principle respected as The Word by authentic improvisers [...]”  
Massimo Ricci, www.TouchingExtremes.org

Conceptual Works

During his musical career Gianni Mimmo has unfolded his considerations the problematic relationship between composition and performance, partaking and fruition, social role of the artist in the society, through a body of work including: productions, writings, interviews, liners about works of other artists and original projects based on natural phenomena and their sublimation in music.

Here following some examples:

Recorded in 2005 the music of “Kursk_Truth In The End” becomes a DVD produced for Amirani Records. The work is a dreamlike interpretation/re- consideration of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk tragedy occurred in 2000 in the cold waters of the Barents Sea. Starting from an extremely accurate recording of a performance by Gianni Mimmo, Angelo Contini and Xabier Iriondo in an italian ancient church and then working on the music as on a real storyboard, this is a thrilling, touching work about the tragically epic death of 118 sailors, a modern enigma between the truth and the powerful political arrogance.
Drama is explored in an imaginative creative way from launch to point of no return, Elda Papa’s photos and Agua Mimmo’s movie along with Xabier Iriondo’s sound treatments keep each tragedy step in its epic- metaphorical aspect.

In 2008 Mimmo produces an album titled “On War” on his Amirani Records asking many musicians, each one with their own project, to operate a conceptual investigation of the conflicted relationship among human beings.
All tracks have been originally composed for this album/goal.

 “Turbulent Flow” has been released in 2012 by a co-production of Amirani records and Teriyaki Records. It’s a recording of the duo with the brilliant NY cellist Daniel Levin. The duo has performed some successful concerts in Northern Italy, at Vision Festival (Art for Art/Evolving Music Serie 2012) in New York and at Douglas Street Music Collective in Brooklyin.
The concept of turbulence is really close to this music: elements, added or subtracted or transformed, are flowing in constant re-combining possibility and delivering new perspectives and developments.
The album, completed by a fantastic liner by Gilles Laheurte, received many extremely positive reviews.
Here the musical elements deal with expansion and compression of their dynamic weights in relation with the time, the texture and the melodic lines.
A deep complexity is crossed here with great concentration, and surrender at the same time, a surprising labyrinth of unlikely symmetries and poetics.

In the first part 2012 Gianni Mimmo presents a project based on a study of the sea tides systems: TIDAL-Amphidromic Cotidal.
Supported by Fondazione Pierluigi e Natalina Remotti whose Contemporary Museum in the beautiful Italian seaside town Camogli is also used as recording location and concert hall, the work has been released with the collaboration among Amirani Records, GRIM (Gruppo di Ricerca Improvvisazione Musicale), Teriyaki Records.
For this purpose Mimmo puts together a very peculiar wind quartet named “A Windy Season” featuring a chamber oriented instrumentation line-up:

Gianni Mimmo on soprano sax, Mirio Cosottini on trumpet and flugelhorn, Angelo Contini on trombone, didjeridoo, thunder drum, jew’s harp, seashell, Alessio Pisani on bassoon and contra-bassoon.
The elaborated concept focuses on transitions, stillness, recombination, collisions generation of the musical elements deriving from the observation of the tides cycles. A dance of elements, a fluid structure, solidly multi-centered, with live nerve-endings. A pulsing network responsive to environments, and to lateral inputs as well, but at the same time, conscious of the whole creative ongoing process”.

Film Live Soundtracking, Heraclitus-Luminosi Frammenti, Works for Dance

Beyond many works with video-makers two main live sound-tracking projects deserve to be mentioned:

“Mistaking Monks play on Sayat Nova”
Mistaking Monks is a trio with Xabier Iriondo on table guitars and Cristiano Calcagnile on percussions. The project is born to perform a live soundtrack on the visionary film Sayat Nova, by Georgian/Armenian director Serghei Paradjanov.
It has been performed in many situations: concert halls, cinemas, house concerts, social centres, film festival and venues.
The music recorded has been released in 2012 by PhonoMetak Labs on a cd titled “Mantic”.
Described by Federico Fellini “ One of the greatest cinema magicians ever”, by Michelangelo Antonioni “Among the best directors of the contemporary cinema, master of beauty and perfection”, by Tarkowsky “The man with a paradoxal poetic and freedom”, Serghei Pardajanov really embodies one of the highest results of poetic expression in filming.. Paradjanov has an extremely original intellectual angularity, a refined artistic skill, able of a perfect synthesis between theatre and mythology, image and narrative force, dream and premonition. His famous “Tableaux Vivants” with their formal perfection and pulsing symbolism make his filming incomparable and unmistakable.  “Sayat Nova”, also known as “Colour of the Pomegranate” is considered his highest masterpiece. Surprising in its symbolic modernity, this relationship between music and image can’t be didactic. The involvement is deeper and dramatic. We’re dealing here with a contemporary key re-reading of the film, a reciprocal and re-morphing relationship between the image and sound.
Strong, imaginative, spiritual images find in music a sort of translation, conduction, explication an another level.

 “Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed” by Lotte Reiniger (1926) live soundtrack. Commissioned by the international film festival “Bergamo Film-Meeting” 2016 in collaboration with Bergamo Jazz 2016, this live soundtrack is completely built on a time score realized on the extraordinaire film by the seminal director Lotte Reiniger. The live soundtrack is played by Gianni Mimmo on soprano sax and electronics and has been acclaimed as a visionary re-reading of this pioneering film. The composition investigates different narratives aspects: linearity and subliminal suggestions.

“Heraclitus-Luminosi Frammenti” is one of the main works on text scores Gianni Mimmo wrote. The initial idea dates back in1986, after the reading of two different critical analysis about the remaining fragments of the greek philosopher Heraclitus. After few partial performances of the work in the past years, it finally has been entirely played in the church of Santa Maria degli Amalfitani in Monopoli in 2013 thanks to the support by the Cultural Association Talking Lands in its trio version with Gianni Mimmo on sax soprano, Gianni Lenoci on piano and electronics and Nicholas Isherwood bass-baritone singer. The score includes some theatrical gestures including fire-eating/spitting, ritual movements and collective lament.

Among the several dance works, the long-term collaboration with dancer Marcella Fanzaga deserves to be mentioned: with her Gianni performed in Italy and Switzerland in works like “MooooveMe” (2004-2009) and the Meeting Point experience involving dancers from all Europe.

Gianni is a part of the project “Swan, a poetic body” by the brilliant american dancer Martina L. Young. It has very successfully been performed in Italy and is set up to further develop in 2017

The collaboration with Austrian dancer Sebastian Prantl has been performed in the famous Colourscape in UK and Finland (2012-13)

The work “Panji- Archaetypal Dance” has been performed in different groups thanks to the collaboration with Javanese Court Dancer Mr. Norontako Bagus Kentus.
This last work has been performed in Switzerland and Italy also in May 2016 in a new version including Gianni Lenoci on piano/electronics and Los Angeles based wind player and composer Vinny Golia.

FMFG Quartet, Joe Fonda / Satoko Fujii / Gianni Mimmo / Emil Gross

The music of the FMFG collective draws its influences and its improvisational inspiration from the the whole of humanities musical continuum. In this quartet we have 4 musicians saturated with a collective musical knowledge unparalleled in the improvisational music Community. The result of there collaboration is a complete and unique musical experience.

http://joefonda.com/fonda-fujii-mimmo-gross.html

http://joefonda.com/
http://www.satokofujii.com/
http://www.emilgross.com/

Prossime Trascendenze

The project consists of a body of graphic scores compositions prepared for unusual lined up chamber quintet (soprano sax, French horn, English horn, percussion and violin) and sextet (trombone, C trumpet, soprano sax, basset horn, viola, double- bass). The idea is based on multi perspective interpretations of a given form, asking the involved musician to move along a sort of “constellation of possibilities”.

A multi-level event that is different every time, referring to an initial complex given composition, asking the musician to be open to sudden variations and permutations. The first version of “Prossime Trascendenze” composition for sextet includes two compositions, “Daphne” and “The Nestled Thought”, inspired by two paintings of Felice Casorati (1883-1963).

Other compositions have been written for quintet and include three pieces and two interludes.
Prossime Trascendenze will be released for Amirani Records in the end of 2016 and will premiered in Spring 2017.

Reciprocal Uncles

An absolutely successful duo with the extraordinaire pianist and composer Gianni Lenoci. The duo has delighted audiences in Italy, Germany, Uk, Belgium and in the USA in two different tours. Their first album released in 2009 for Amirani Records and LongSong Records is sold out and has been widely recognized by reviewers all over the planet and has been invited to perform at The International Society of Improvised Music 4th Festival/Conference in Santa Cruz, Ca in 2009. Contemporary flavoured, their improvisations have been defined by Freejazz blogger Stef Gjissels “Perfect match for each other: sensitive, lyrical and abstract, a rare combination”, and by AAJ-USA reviewer Gordon Marshall: “The dynamics throughout are fun and swinging. Their music offers resolutions - and revolutions - turning the tensions into forays of breath-taking complexity”. Reciprocal Uncles has been nominated among the Records of the Year by the Italian Magazine Jazz-it. Since 2013 tour the duo opened the circle to fruitful collaborations like the one with percussionist Cristiano Calcagnile (a remarkable musician with a lot of excellent collaborations in his already dense career, notably with Anthony Braxton, Rova Saxophone quartet a.o.), with the energetic bass-clarinetist Ove Volquartz, with US composer and marvellous wind player Vinny Golia, with the brilliant UK violinist Alison Blunt. The new album “Glance and Many Avenues” recorded live in Göttingen and out for Amirani Records is gathering enthusiastic reviews. The recording of Reciprocal Uncles second album as a duo is planned for the end of 2016.

Solo

Gianni Mimmo started his solo performances on soprano sax in 2000.
The solo concert is considered by Mimmo: “Something special: something beautiful (because the possibility to match one’s sound with silence is a terrific opportunity to deal with chosen “areas to play on”, tools to work with, horizontalities and verticalities, dynamics weight and empty-full objects...) and terribly challenging (because those same silences are going to unveil your licks, your sudden lack of concentration, leaving you naked out there...)
A solo is a mirror asking for special concentration, responsibility and openness [willingness] to get lost...”.
He played solo concerts in UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Finland, France and USA

Two albums are been released featuring Gianni in solo:
The first is “One Way Ticket” (Amirani Records 2005) with pieces coming from composers like Lacy, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Anton Webern, Roscoe Mitchell and other original compositions by himself.                       The second solo album is “Further Consideration” (Tarzan Records 2015) on a limited edition vinyl LP produced by Andrea Dolcino and Fabrizio Testa.
The work is entirely inspired and dedicated to painters Piet Mondrian, Mario Sironi and to the late Gilles Laheurte (author, soprano sax player, architect, producer, inspirational figure and friend).

The use of extended techniques, the result of intense hard work on the instrument, is never “encyclopaedic”, but a function of an aesthetics that looks carefully at the relationship between monodic sound and silence.

Both the albums have been excellently reviewed.

Soprano Sax, Cello, Piano Trios

Gianni considers this lined-up combination as one of the most interesting to work on his “Instant Compositions” strategies because of the chamberish halo he feels when playing with the right musicians. In 2009 he founds The Shoreditch Trio together with brilliant piano player Nicola Guazzaloca and UK cellist/improviser Hannah Marshall. The trio is amazingly productive and releases two albums, both live recorded: in UK “The Shoreditch Concert” and in Belgium “Again - The Shoreditch Trio live at Air-Odeon studio in Bruxelles”.  The trio toured in Uk and Belgium giving really awesome performances, got great reviews and audience response.
 

Continuing his research on this line up, Gianni met the talented pianist and composer Elisabeth Harnik from Graz, Austria. Together they involved the Swiss powerful cellist Clementine Gasser and created the Wild Chamber Trio.
Their album “10.000 Leaves” has been recorded in Vienna and released by the Polish label Not Two Records thanks to the support of the Styrian Kultur Steiermark, Austria. The trio played in Italy, Austria, Romania in three different tours. Invited at Sibiu Jazz in 2013 and the important Taktlos festival in Zürich, Switzerland in 2014, Wild Chamber Trio is a contemporary combo that really delivers elegant, intense, perfectly balanced music.

Triad

An international constellation, a luminous tria-logue among very original voices of the new music: the dazzling inventiveness of Satoko Fujii on piano, the assertive solidity of Joe Fonda o double bass, the abstract lyricism of Gianni Mimmo on soprano saxophone.
A trio that works on intersections and parallel voices, evocative improvisations and careful sound investigation through dense and readable lines, tribal chamber lights and splendid shapes.

Last year, Fujii, bassist Joe Fonda, and Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo went into the studio to record Triad (May 25, 2018, Long Song Records) on Fujii’s 59th birthday.
Though they had only played together once, in concert the night before, the trio is remarkably confident and communicates on a deep level.
The music is unhurried and graceful, yet always challenging. 

Fujii and Fonda were planning a European tour in October 2017 and asked Long Song label owner Fabrizio Perissinotto, who released their 2016 album, Duet, if he knew of any opportunities to perform in Italy. Perissinotto talked with his good friend Mimmo and a concert and recording session were arranged. They had never heard Mimmo before, but “Joe and I listened to his music and we both had the feeling this would be great,” Fujii says. 
They were wise to trust their feelings; the album is consistently engaging.

The music they make transforms and flows effortlessly while always maintaining focus.
It evolves organically as the trio splits into different instrumental combinations and shifts between lyricism and abstraction, highly rhythmic passages and gently flowing ones.

Satoko Fujii exhibits a kind of boundless exploration that finds her often in new pairings or with new lineups, a never-ending pursuit of new sounds, new groups and collaborations.”
Lee Rice Epstein, The Free Jazz Collective

Joe Fonda is a real virtuoso and composer of the highest order.”
Anthony Braxton  


"Gianni Mimmo’s music . . . is based on balance. Not only the moment-to-moment balance of register, phrasing, dynamics, and articulation, but a larger, more fundamental balance of abstraction and direct lyricism.”
Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News

http://www.satokofujii.com/shortbio.html
http://joefonda.com/biography
http://www.giannimimmo.com/en/home