Sergio Cammariere: “I, an anarchist and a pacifist”

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Eleven songwriter albums, twenty film soundtracks, twelve international awards, collaborations with great names in Italian music, Tenco Award in 2002 and third place in Sanremo 2003: these are the most important stages of the artistic career of Sergio Cammariere, started almost 30 years ago, but with much more distant roots.

“I was only a few years old when my uncle gave me an electric train with a colorful vibraphone that played at the touch of the keys. Discovering the succession of notes and pauses, I composed fantastic melodies »thus the singer-songwriter recalls the first approaches to the world of music, peeked from an early age through a reel to reel recorder and the 45s bought by his father.

But to introduce him to what later became his ebony and ivory companion was a cousin who delighted in playing For Elisa by Beethoven on the piano. From there the infatuation and the debut in the choir in third grade. “I had no intention of conforming to the choir, when the maestro offered me traditional study, I ran away or made up an excuse. I liked breaking down and reassembling music. I already had a sensitive ear, I recognized the pitch of the notes even if I heard a bird singing “ tells the singer-songwriter and pianist from Crotone who has enclosed the anecdotes of his life and career in the pages of Free in the air, published by Rizzoli.

Libero is, in fact, his middle name, a sort of sign of destiny for an artist who has made freedom his leitmotif. “I have always won freedom alone, as an anarchist and a pacifist. I am proud to be able to make my revolution for freedom with my music. During concerts, my soul flies free with those who listen to me“. It could only be so for the dreamer born in Via Libertà, in Crotone, a sort of Via Gluck, where high-rise buildings buried his happy childhood, from which he left for Florence first and Rome later to chase the notes of the soul, but always comes back with great feeling.

To explain his improvisational nature, he starts from the mathematical structures of music discovered by Pythagoras, a Greek thinker who founded his school in Crotone: “I am self-taught, I delight in looking for variations on the same theme, but the boundaries of improvisation must remain within some numerical ratios “. “Hands go free, in fact every concert of mine is different, based on the piano, the climate, the emotions of the moment. There is evolution in improvisation, so my music is constantly evolving, unlike the current standardized one “he explains, referring to the evenings in clubs around Italy, in which he experimented with the sounds of exemplary masters such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, but also of great Italian songwriters such as De Andrè and Guccini, up to the Brazilian music discovered by exploring new worlds. «In Florence I played the piano but – he laughs – if I sang some songs during my evenings I was paid more. Initially, therefore, it was a choice made for subsistence, but then it became a great passion ».

To such an extent that he decided to collaborate with Roberto Kunstler, singer-songwriter and lyricist, with whom he made eleven albums and many songs entrusted to other Italian singers, including Ornella Vanoni, Samuele Bersani, Paola Turci. The strength of this partnership lies in the sharing of knowledge: Cammariere from the harmonic and melodic point of view, Kunstler as regards the metric composition. The result are songs that combine the adrenaline of rock, the melancholy of the blues, the magic of jazz and the complexity of Beethoven’s symphonies, thanks to the freedom of an artist who describes himself pianist of the Mediterranean. «Thanks to the sea I discovered the profound meaning of music; with its waves and its breeze it taught me time: it is the metaphor of life “ he continues focusing on the need to eliminate the barriers between the various genres, as music is brotherhood.

«Composing is for me a leap of faith; every day I record the songs with which I try to leave a spiritual imprint in a materialistic society. I live in isolation, embraced by music, and I enjoy my personal conception of freedom “he adds, proud of his compositions that do not follow market trends and logics, but sometimes linger for long years waiting for the right moment.

Right moment came unexpectedly, in 2002, for From the peace of the distant sea, which was awarded the Tenco Prize, and for All that a man ranked third in Sanremo 2003. A surprising astral conjunction, defines it Cammariere who, always riding the wave of freedom, after a period with the record company EMI, decided to become independent and produce his records, without being more harnessed in the dictates of the Italian majors. Thus he managed to cross the Italian borders, but above all to tune his music into cinematographic works, amplifying the sensations and winning international prizes.

At the threshold of thirty years of career, waiting to finally start again with live concerts (the tour starts on June 7 at the Petruzzelli in Bari ed) decided to publish Nude piano, a single piano album, with eighteen tracks including jazz, blues and classical music. “I felt the need to present my naked soul, stripping the music of the words, firmly convinced that listening to instrumental music leads to knowledge” he says, hinting at some significant title such as Lampedusa, in which he faces the tragedy of the Mediterranean with notes only, e Round dance for Greta, waltz dedicated to Greta Thunberg. The umpteenth confirmation of a music that comes from the depth of human experience and manages to become a social complaint, just as Rino Gaetano, cousin of Cammariere did decades ago, with whom, although unfortunately he has never known it, he shares the commitment civil and well-founded roots in “that Fellini circus that was Crotone”. Where, who knows, maybe he will come back next year for a concert in honor of his thirty years of career, with the new unreleased album he has been working on for some time.

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