Last week finally the last mixes of my album were done. All I need to do now is clear a few samples and re-record some parts, but the bulk – and the sound – of the album is there, done, ready for mastering and printing. I named it Sensual Musicology.
The making of this album has been a long, strange journey. It started 10 years ago, almost to the day. I’ve been making music for most of my life, I have produced other people’s albums and made a couple of my own. I’ve done remixes and arrangements, soundtracks, installations and radio. But before that, I started in my teens as a guitar player, an acoustic guitar player. What happened 10 years ago is that I bought a guitar in Chicago in ’09, and after a little while I felt I wanted to try and make music in a different way: no longer computer based composition but putting the guitar at the center of the action. I’ve radically changed my workflow, buying a (cheap) 16 tracks digital multi-track and recording most of the music on it. Once guitar parts were in place, the computer came into play, for sequencing and the occasional MIDI part. Along the way I have also taught myself Bass, Ukulele and a little bit of Mandolin.
During these 10 years many things happened in my life: I moved (my home and the studio) four times, starting from Milan, then spending almost four years in Amsterdam (where the bulk of this album was written and recorded) and just about as many in hills of southern Lombardy, where I live now. I went through a lot of personal stuff too: a relationship, some deaths, a little brush with illness and even a Lectio Magistralis on my work about Porn in Mexico.
The mixing of Sensual Musicology happened in two phases. A first batch of tunes were mixed by Paolo Gozzetti, and the rest was done by Paolo Mauri. I was very fortunate, because they are not just incredible at making music shine, but they are both very dear friends to me. I’ll never stop thanking them for their care and dedication. This music is not so easy to mix, it looks deceptively simple (very few tracks with spare, interlocking sounds) and it takes an effort to make it sound right. I have to say I’m very impressed with the results: I know because I’ve heard the demos.
What does it sound like? Well, I can report three interesting comments. The first one is in Andrea Pomini’s review of my previous EP (dec. 2019) on Rumore (roughly translated from italian): “(Sergio Messina) made a lot of music in the past, but none like this. What does it sound like? Hard to say”. The second comment is from Paolo Mauri, on mixing the songs: “You look at the tracks and there seems to be very little, but then you turn them up and it makes sense”. The third is from Paolo Gozzetti. While we were mixing, I asked him (who’s been in the programming/mixing/producing business for many years, as well as being part of Sigmatibet, Italo Connection and more) what genre he thought my music was. He paused for a moment and then said: “It’s Blues, man. After all, this is Blues”.
Hopefully we’ll be able to clear the samples quickly, and Sensual Musicology should be coming your way soon (Vinyl, CD and digital). Special thanks to Marco Gallerani at Hell Yeah, who’s going to carry it with me once it’s out.