Danny Thompson and I...(part 2) 

Well, it's impossible to quantify just how much I'm learning from working with Danny..A LOT!!... but as it often is with great experiences, I'm learning unexpected stuff... When you set out to work with (in my opinion) the best double bass player ever, one would be forgiven for brushing up on every scale and arpeggio known to man, for the sheer fear of just not being good enough... Songwriting-wise I started putting all the clever words I knew into each of the songs...

And then Danny made me understand I didn't really need any of that stuff... What counts is playing, singing and writing from the heart... how simple is that?!... How absolutely true!!... and yet something I had very rarely done.... Melody!... Emotion!... Simplicity!... Honesty!... and all of that even in improvisation. Life changing stuff, folks!

Anyhoo... the songs are now almost finished and I'm cuddling into my bass at each practice session to make them sound true, like they were written to be... still a bit daft, but I can't help that, that's me.... (the whole family really)...

Ok, I'm off to play at the Belladrum Festival now, bit of a drive.

Do please remember to come see me and Owen at Perth Theatre next month. Tickets here...https://www.horsecross.co.uk/whats-on/roberto-cassani-and-owen-nicholson-10402

PS - The photo is a publicity shot of Danny with John Martyn for the album Live In Leeds (which I adore). Danny sent me it: it's a fantastic photie isn't it... there is a great story attached to it, but it's not mine to tell....

Danny Thompson and I.... (part 1) 

Never meet your heroes they say... well, I completely disagree...

Danny Thompson, double bass legend, has been my musical hero for a long time. Thanks to some support from Creative Scotland, this year we are working together! And let me tell you, I am jubilant in having found that Danny is not only the legendarily sublime musician I knew he would be, but also one of the best people I know... Bizarrely, I knew that too: although I had never met Danny before this project, every note he has ever played tells you that he is a fantastic person: full of life, wise, funny, kind, with an amazing heart. 

So what are we doing? Danny is helping me coming up with a body of work which musically has the double bass at its centre, whilst thematically tells the story of my immigration from Italy to Scotland.... I’ve been through a few adventures for sure, all in the name of love.... The story may interest someone, be a nice document of integration, be a teeny wee bit inspiring even, and at least be a bit more dynamic that a biography book for my family to remind me by when I go doolally... 

Danny’s encyclopaedic knowledge is the North Star that keeps me on the straight and narrow during the songwriting. What has come out already, only a few weeks in the process, is the best work I’ve ever done. We have some great ideas and I am currently working like a bumblebee on it, which is why I’m not too busy out on the road. Still, if you are in Scotland, please come along to Perth Theatre 24th september for a catch up. I’ll be accompanied by my stupendous buddy Owen Nicholson and we’ll play some of the new stuff alongside some oldies. Tickets link is here . Ciao. Roberto


 

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