Acqua Fragile | Interview | Bernardo Lanzetti

Uncategorized June 25, 2024

Acqua Fragile | Interview | Bernardo Lanzetti

Acqua Fragile, the renowned Italian progressive band, celebrates fifty years since their debut album with the release of ‘Moving Fragments,’ a dynamic collection featuring their trademark vocal harmonies, complex rhythms, and emotive lyrical themes.

Led by original members Piero Canavera, Franz Dondi, and Bernardo Lanzetti, joined by Stefano Pantaleoni and Claudio Tuma, the album blends new elements with their classic style, enriched by collaborations with international musicians. Tracks like ‘White Horse On Dope,’ featuring Stef Burns on guitar, showcase their evolution into territories of hard rock fused with intricate time signatures, while ‘Black Drone’ incorporates the atmospheric textures of David Jackson’s saxophone and flute, elevating their sound to new heights of progressive experimentation.

“Each of us leads a fragmented life”

It’s lovely to have you again, this time focusing more on ‘Moving Fragments’ by Acqua Fragile. How much time and preparation went into it?

Bernardo Lanzetti: Once again, thank you for the opportunity.

After the album ‘A New Chant,’ Acqua Fragile underwent a lineup change to facilitate live performances. Piero Franz and Bernardo were joined by keyboardist Stefano Pantaleoni, vocalist Rossela Volta, and guitarist Michelangelo Ferilli. Following a promising set in December 2018, Stefano and I began working on new material. Unfortunately, about a year later, Michelangelo left the band due to family issues, prompting another search for a guitarist. To cut a long story short, once Claudio Tuma joined on guitar, we faced another setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to these circumstances, completing the album took a significant amount of time.

What can you say about the concept behind it? How did you approach songwriting?

‘Moving Fragments’ is the last piece I wrote for the album, so it was influenced by what we had previously recorded. It revealed a hidden concept…

It’s plain to see that in these times, each of us leads a fragmented life. Images, pictures, and videos, short written sentences, broken language idioms, scattered memories of the past, and bits of future projections move around us and intertwine with other fragments too.

On this album, the band agreed to include a few songs in Italian, as I had ideas that made it feasible. I’m proud of the themes we explored and many of the lines that Rossella and I sang.

Stefano Pantaleoni has a classical background and speaks eloquently about music, with a full vocabulary, so it was rewarding to collaborate with him on a few tracks. He would suggest musical environments, chords, and instrumental lines, and I would develop melodies and lyrics.

How pleased were you with the sound of the album?

The band and I are very pleased with the sound that producer Dario Mazzoli helped us achieve.

In the ’70s, especially when completing their first album, all members of the group wanted to hang around the studio and anxiously look over the producer’s shoulder at the mixing board, where the sound engineer appeared to be in total control. We soon found out that the process could get very… boring, so only the most motivated person would be chosen to represent the band.

As recording went digital, everyone involved could check out the mixing or parts of it in a smart work mode.

We also had fun during mastering. Today, most sound engineers are not used to dynamics in prog music, but they ended up loving it.

As we are only at the beginning of 2024, what are some further plans for the future?

I wish I could find time to write an essay on ‘The Twilight of Rock Prog.’ It could explore how the twilight of music is apparent in our global economy, where DISTRIBUTION has taken precedence over CREATING MUSIC. Nonetheless, artists, each in their own field, can only do what they feel…

For the future, Stefano Pantaleoni and I have just completed a Radio Drama, which we hope to perform live in a few months as a one-off event. Later, the band Acqua Fragile could continue with more live events, although the style of this opera, based on the book ‘Donna Giovanna’ by Italian poet Menotti Lerro, which develops the myth of Don Juan/Don Giovanni, leans more towards minimalistic avant-garde rather than classical Prog.

On my side, I have been asked to create a “map” for my vocals. This endeavor has led me to explore new areas such as overtones and M3 whistle. I am still working on it.

Acqua Fragile

Let’s end this interview with some of your favorite albums. Have you found something new lately that you would like to recommend to our readers?

Sorry, lately I haven’t been listening to much music—not because I am a snob, but because I really don’t have all that much time, and I don’t enjoy music merely as background noise.

What I find myself enjoying is investigating to discover Prog elements in albums by unexpected bands from the past.

For example, try isolating some sections recorded by Little Feat, or imagine Lowell George singing ’21st Century Schizoid Man’…

Klemen Breznikar

Bernardo Lanzetti Official Website / Facebook / Spotify / iTunes / Amazon

Premiata Forneria Marconi and Acqua Fragile Vocal Legend Bernardo Lanzetti Releases Solo Album ‘Horizontal Rain’ | Interview

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *