Alessandro Martire @ The Isabel Bader Theatre
Italian composer and performer Alessandro Martire, whose work has incorporated naturalistic themes of the great outdoors and the beauty of our world, has been on a natural kick recently. Despite the venue being devoid of any rough terrain or luscious springs, he nonetheless delivered a performance that encompassed the elements of nature on November 18th. Kicking off his tour with support act Darya, the duo elevated the elegance of the Isabel Bader Theatre on the heart of Toronto’s premier academic institution, the University of Toronto.
As for the visual look of the show, it was quite modest. There was coloured lighting, but only two or three solid colours would be lighting the stage simultaneously. The focus is on Martire and his piano stage (unfortunately, not his signature ‘Wave’ piano). This is all to say that the only sense you needed in the show was your sense of sight. It was all about the music, and to say it was evocative would be an understatement.
The show began with the projection screen rising and Martire entering from stage left. He didn’t waste any time getting into things as fast as possible! He played for about an hour and a half—only interrupted when Darya came out to accompany him for three songs in the middle of the show.
Alessandro Martire composes music that is so singularly focused that I find it incredible. The goal of expressing nature and being at one with the outdoors is present in every composition. While listening to his music, it’s hard not to imagine yourself in vast, beautiful fields or walking through a snow-covered, small town street. Martire can pull you into his world and hold you there for as long as he likes. Additionally, his song’s length, often over 6 minutes each, gives you enough time to get lost in your own imagination and flow into a different world.
A performance so simple and yet so profound often leaves you wanting more. Luckily for us, we caught up with Martire after the performance and were able to ask some questions!
Demo: How are you feeling about your performance?
AM: Very good, it’s an amazing experience to perform in this place and in a different part of the world.
Demo: We’ve noticed you don’t have your signature ‘Wave’ piano?
AM: Well yes, we’ve designed a piano recently. It’s my entity and an inspiration. We’ve created this piano to perform in nature.
Demo: So it’s only for nature performances?
AM: It’s a custom piano so it’s delicate and dangerous to have moved. It’s not here but of course I play it in Italy.
Demo: I’ve read that it was made by local craftsman, what was the process like to get that built?
AM: So it’s like a normal Piano but just with the design changed. The idea wa that it was a piano with different legs, sort of twisted. My music is all inspired by nature so the piano is also inspired.
Demo: Does the piano inspire you also when you sit down to play?
AM: Yes, exactly.
Demo: So you’ve played before in Canada?
AM: When I was a child.
Demo: In Windsor!
AM: Yes, I had some friends and cousins there. When I was 15 I visited in the summer and played just as a performance at a party.
Demo: So recently you’ve had a sort of Spotify hit with a remix of one of your songs?
AM: It was more of a streaming, Spotify and Apple Music. I also give my music often to producers who will do electronic versions and it’s always exciting.
Demo: How did the collaboration come about? Did Mathame, the duo, approach you first and request to remix your song?
AM: They approached me and had songs in mind and I let them do what they wanted to do.
Demo: is this form of music something we will see more of from you in the future?
AM: Yeah, going forward we want to do more symphonic music with piano and accompaniment but also working with producers for more electronic things.
Demo: going forward for your music will you be continuing a nature theme?
AM: Nature is alway present and will always be an influence but moving forward with more collaborations we will see what happens. I really love experimenting and we will se what happens.
Demo: How soon should we be expecting new music?
AM: Maybe soon, I don't know. We will see.