Classical guitarist with academic training in London and Bologna. I love contemporary music as much as I love the classical repertoire, I recently started composing for theatre shows and I have been part of creative-practice based ensemble Zephyros for 11 years, developing a very personal approach to my instrument.
Recently graduated at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London under Professor Graham Anthony Devine, Francesco is an Italian guitarist born in Padova in 1990.
He graduated with full marks at the Bologna Conservatoire in the class of Walter Zanetti, where he joins INCROCI Lab with Maurizio Pisati and ZEROCREDITI with Francesco La Licata. He attended the Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone with Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano Del Sal.
He has participated in Masterclasses with eminent musicians such as Leo Brouwer, Oscar Ghiglia, Fred Frith, Carlo Marchione, Marcin Dylla, Luciano Contini (lute), Alberto Rodriguez (flamenco guitar) and many others. Francesco distinguished himself in guitar competitions such as Alison Stephens’ (UK, 1st prize), Concorso Internazionale Giovani Musicisti “Antonio Salieri”(Italy, 2nd prize), Concorso di Esecuzione Musicale “Città Piove di Sacco” (Italy, 3rd Prize). Francesco is founder, producer and guitarist of Zephyros, world music ensemble described as ‘a quartet who dialogues with the past and explores the future’ (Blogfoolk - 2019).
His versatile approach to guitar led him to perform in a wide range of ensembles, exploring Tango, Contemporary, Popular and Traditional Music.
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Interview with Francesco Rocco
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am starting the recording of my solo EP focused on South American guitar music. It will feature works by Brouwer, Guastavino, Saboya and others. I am also planning to record the compositions that Annamaria Moro and me wrote for two theatre shows produced by Teatro Boxer and Inaf. The shows talk about the future of space exploration, space travels and our planet. For the occasion I have the privilege of playing and singing together with this wonderful cellist, singer and composer and great friend Annamaria.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: If you need a Clarinet or ethnic wind instruments recording, I cannot recommend enough Francesco Ganassin, one of the most intelligent and refined musician I ever heard.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Seriousness, organisation, and a special attention to every job.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I like to go straight to the point: what do you need the most? But after clarifying that, ask me how I can bring a personal touch to your idea if you want! I put myself in every single note of each project I believe in and share with other humans.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My concert guitar, handcrafted in Germany in 2004. That's all I need. But to fill in the remaining 4 places I'd pick microphones, soundcard, laptop, and a lot of imagination.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Classical repertoire keeps me busy every day, as much as world music. I work on my compositions and on works by great composers from a variety of ages and countries.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Each song is unique. No matter how simple or complex, dense or spaced, upbeat or chilled. My goal is to bring a touch of my sensitivity to every piece of music I have the luck of working on.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listening. And understanding the client's requests deeply. I always love to deeply discuss all the aspects of the work and organize every aspect of it. Planning is the most consistent part of the first phase of each work, followed of course by a lot of practice and reflection. I normally record during the 'work in progress' phase, to improve the strengths and correct the weaknesses of my playing, in order to always deliver works I am proud of.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work in my home studio. The setup is essential, I work with few distractions: my concert guitars, Oktava microphones, Steinberg sound card and my mac. But I always have ready with me my Fender Strato and Arturia Keylab Mk2 if I want to explore different soundscapes.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Ralph Towner is possibly the guitarist that inspires me the most. A brilliant combination of refined classical guitar techniques with a creative approach to composition and improvisation. I greatly appreciate musicians who can express their unique voice through the six strings, Vicente Amigo, Dominic Miller, Yamandu Costa and Egberto Gismonti to name a few.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording nylon string guitar is my speciality. I work across many genres, using my instrument to accompany singers or other instruments, transcribing and filming breakdowns of guitar parts or creating unique solo/ensemble compositions and arrangements for my clients.