Interview With Florencia Di Concilio

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On today’s show, Jason Drury interviews composer Florencia Di Concilio

Born in the midst of a South American dictatorship, Florencia Di Concilio grew up in a home full of dusty Italian opera records, hanging out at a young age in nightclubs and cabarets where her father used to play jazz and tango, and making her stage debuts in the underground scene as a punk rock bass player. Defying boundaries, she went on to become an accomplished classical pianist, earning degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston, winning international competitions and performing internationally as a concert pianist.

Through a mastery of classical musical language, and of electronic composition, Florencia Di Concilio has developed a trademark style that can be best described as an orchestration of everyday life. She uses real everyday noises and, through her personal sound processing technique, turns them into musical instruments, and orchestrates them into organic, complex, and architecturally imposing pieces of music. Her music is humanist: it uses a language to which we can immediately relate and which brings us back to what is artistically essential.

Recent soundtracks include AVA, prizewinner at the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Fortnight; PUSH, winner of the Audience Award at the 2019 CPHdox and River Phoenix’s posthumous opus DARK BLOOD, and Heddy Honigmann’s latest feature, BUDDY. She was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Original Score at the 2019 Aubagne International Film Festival for her score for the short feature BULLES D’AIR, which was screened at last year’s Director’s Fortnight, in Cannes.

Di Concilio has written major symphonic works as a composer-in-residence with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and two piano concertos that have been performed by both South American and North American symphony orchestras. She has created music for groundbreaking visual artists like Camille Henrot, in a commission from the Jeu de Paume National Gallery in Paris, and for contemporary dance companies such as the CobosMika Dance Company in Barcelona.

In March 2020, for Cinematic Sound Radio, Jason talked to Florencia Di Concilio via skype at her home in Paris

The main part of the interview was about her recent project, INFLUENCE, a feature documentary that follows the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious public relations and reputation management firm; Bell Pottinger.

With only two weeks to create the music for INFLUENCE, Florencia Di Concilio took advantage of the tight deadline to do her favourite thing; compose the film chronologically. Florencia’s conception of an original score is not only a collection of nice tunes but one long, well-structured piece.

Because of the limited timeframe, Florencia was discovering the film as she was scoring it, which provides almost like an organic “first impression” sound within the music. Also, since the subject matter is so disturbing, the directors and Florencia decided to bring a subtle sarcasm throughout the music of the film, sometimes caricaturing, but also sometimes very blunt. With no time to go to a studio and record, her mixed score is electronic yet “classical.”

Also, during the interview, Florencia also talks about her scoring techniques, how she came to work on the River Phoenix film Dark Blood, her love of organic sampling and highlight her immense enthusiasm for her work.

We will also be playing music from Florencia’s acclaimed score for INFLUENCE, as well as samples from the composer’s varied musical palette, from electronics to pure orchestral delight.

Enjoy!

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