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Fire in The City (Calibro 70 Soundtrack) by Dom Capuano
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Composer Domenico Mimmo Capuano
Italian composer/musician Domenico Mimmo Capuano has worked with such musicians as Toni Braxton, S Club 7, and Kool & the Gang, with his work appearing on over 33 albums to date. His unique playing style on bass has won him much acclaim. He holds three platinum albums in the US, as well as 14 gold albums in the UK and abroad.
Q: How are you enjoying your time here in the US?
A: First of all Ciao to everybody! So, I’m in love with USA, I love Los Angeles and New York City, two different places but in my heart, both are magnificent.
Q: How do things here differ most from your homeland of Italy?
A: I think America is completely different. I’m more comfortable in the USA as a creative person and I think there is more professional role to assure the safety of any artist in the USA than in Italy. Also, is possible to work with more tranquility because around me in USA there are more professionals. There is a lot competition in US, but I feel better like that, I’m sure of my skill and capacity – what I can professionally and artistically offer.
Q: How has your life changed most since you earlier days?
A: Now I’m in transition but I have a good team to work with. I got sponsored into America by Jonathan Todd and ILona Europa. I love work with Ilona and Jonathan in the studio, they are very kind with me, they give to me a lot space and decision power, and also are very funny!
In the last 2 months I have composed the soundtrack for an Australian movie. It was a very hard but good experience, Jonathan, my manager, has helped me in this and I am grateful to him.
Q: What was it like to compose your fist song at the age of 10?
A: I composed my first piano song at 10 and that was the first time I felt the connection between myself, my mind and my piano…A very emotional moment… but it was a strangely personal and private thing. I would not like my parents to be able to watch me during this process. Composers will understand.
Q: You are also an orchestral conductor. How did you first learn to do that?
A:I decided to study conducting under the advice of my Maestro and some colleagues because they said maybe I could do that, considering my aptitude.
I learned how to conduct an orchestra with 2 incredible teachers: One is my Maestro, Enzo Ferraris, who I’d already been studying with, and the other is Lorenzo Turchi-Floris, my close friend in France. I’m always continuing learning. Composing gets better by conducting and the other way around. That is my secret.
Q: What does it feel like to direct fellow musicians?
A: The first time it was just incredible! Of course I was feeling insecure standing for the first time on the podium with all the orchestra staring at me. Up to that day, I had been staring from the orchestra up at the conductor. The point of view is very different! All the people are waiting for you, and is like like taking a leap into space, as I lift the baton and all felt like it was in slow motion.
Now that I have the comfort of lots of conducting, what it feels like to conduct more or less depends on what I’ m conducting: Beethoven? Well is incredible! Dominic Capuano compositions? well …
Q: You have a rather unique bass that you play, can you tell us a little about that?
A: I have 2 different basses, one is classic, the other is made by crafstman “Paolo Rabino” an incredible Italian violin maker. He lives in “Avigliana” which is near to Turin.
Technically this Double Bass is crafted of wood but looks very strange – it is completely lacquered in white. I don’ t have electronics inside, but I use an external pre-amplifier which takes the sound from the bridge with a piezo pick-up.
This provides very realistic tone due to the tension and natural string amplification to the “box” at the bridge and serves up a great sweet sound. I play this bass with the bow, in the French style, and this is unusual for the double bass which is usually plucked.
Q: Are there any little known facts about yourself that you’d not mind sharing?
A: My friends are telling me every time that I’ m a “Stakhanov-ite.” I love the story of Aleksej Stachanov (see Alexi Stachanov – a famous soviet miner who was known for his ridiculous productivity levels) I love what I do and the organization and the method are fundamental.
Q: What genre would you classify your work as?
A: I am plastic. I do work in the genre the job calls for. Another benefit of being a composer and conductor is knowing exactly “what is under the hood” and being able to call on classical training roots to deliver any style required.
Q: Do you enjoy having the chance to interact with your fans?
A: Yes, this is very important, I like to call them “followers” and not “fans”. I’m not a star. You can follow me on http://www.domcapuano.com and on all the social networks, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. I like to have this direct connection with all the people who are interested in me and my work. Maybe one of my followers will become my assistant, or a famous composer one day – and I know I have had influence on their art and career.
Q: What do you think it takes for a performer to convey to their audience that they are putting their hearts and souls into their craft?
A: Honesty, with himself and with the others, also… believe in it!!!
Q: Do you ever get stage fright? If so how do you deal with that?
A: In an earlier question I said I would not like my parents watch to me during my composition process …My parents were very worried about my feelings and possible stage fright with my future performances, but you know what happened?Nothing! I never had fright, I don’ t know why, maybe is the depth of my certainty in what I do.
Q: Why do you think music has always had such a timeless appeal?
A: Because the music is the voice and sound of our soul – both the writer, the performer, the conductor and the audience connecting souls. What could be more beautiful? More timeless? I’m thinking I’m sounding like an Italian again!
Q: What do you think you would be doing if not for music?
A: I’ m sorry, I can’ t think something like that! Maybe I would not exist… Maybe I would only exist as a note or a wav file?
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: I just finished the composition of the soundtrack of “The Sleeping Warrior” an Australian movie. I also did the sound editing – wow endless work! Now I’ m working on a song with ILONA EUROPA, my friend and a Billboard Charting singer/songwriter. I really like her song and her unique contralto vocals. I’m blessed to be working with her and the talent she develops. Check out ILona Europa on iTunes so you can know her and hear her. Also I’ m working on a documentary soundtrack and on a games soundtrack. As always when I have time, I have to finish my concerto … it is taking a lot of time and work…
Domenico Mimmo Capuano
An interview with the Italian composer/producer/musician
by Tina Hall
Editor’s Note: Domenico’s native language is Italian; however, the interview was conducted in English. His choice of words and phrases were charming and honest, so much so that to share this experience of really meeting “MeeMo,” as he likes to be called, his answers are in the way he spoke them.
Domenico Mimmo Capuano is an Italian musician, composer, and producer who won three platinum record awards in the US, 14 gold records in the UK, and from various other countries. He collaborated with several international artists such as Toni Braxton, Kool and the Gang, S Club 7, and more. Previously, he studied at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music in Turin, Italy. To date, Domenico’s work appears on 33 albums.
MaximumInk: Were you born and raised in Turin? How would you describe Italy to those of us who have never seen it?
Domenico Mimmo Capuano: First of all, Hello to all the person reading my interview, and I’ m sorry for my English. I was born in Italy in Turin, one of the most amazing city in Italy, the citizen of Turin was calling her “The Little Paris.” I love my country and also my city. Italy is the place where born the cultures, there was Rome Imperium, there is the Pope and Vatican. In Italy there is the sun and the snow. There are many awesome views: Tuscany with medieval Castile and Church, Venezia the city on the water, you know, I could stay here for hours to talk about my country, but Italy is the place where everything is possible, like USA, yes. I’m proud to be Italian.
MI: At what age did you first take an interest in music?
DMC: It’ s funny answer at this question. I begin young to sing before start to talk, and play during the dinner with the forks on the glasses. My parents were going crazy. I begin to play piano at five years old, and at ten I composed my first song.
MI: Can you tell us a little about the G. Verdi Conservatory? Do you think your training there was helpful in getting you to where you are in your career today?
DMC: In Italy it’s so hard enter in the conservatory. Not everybody can do that. [You] need a test. The conservatory G. Verdi, it’s amazing with the best concert hall in Europe. It’s little, but the acoustic, it’s perfect. You know, I study also in “Istituto Pareggiato dell Valle D’ Aosta.” In a little city in mountain one hour from Turin is a music conservatory connected with the G. Verdi in Turin. There I completed my study with the Double Bass. I’m sure my education help me in the composition and to understand the forms and the score. Often, I use the harmony theory to compose in particular for the orchestral parts.
MI: How does the music scene in the Italy differ most from the one here in the US?.
DMC: I think in Italy there is a close music business, maybe for the language, but also because our culture in Italy is really old school. In Italy, the people are not ready for new sounds and new waves. We are known in the world for “Volare” of Modugno and for Opera. Also, [we are known] for the Dance music, and we are known for other things, pizza and others. For this last reason, dance opportunity, I decided at 18 year old to begin this adventure in the discography. I love electro and synthesizer mixed with acoustic and orchestral sounds. In USA there is more open mind and fast thinking, not prejudiced, and ready for new ideas in all category. I love this thinking and for this reason I’m here.
MI: Do you still play the piano from time to time? What instrument did you learn to play first?
DMC: I play piano like performer and for compose my songs. I begin with piano but I’m also Double Bass Player and Orchestra Conductor.
MI: Do you have any advice to offer those who might just be learning to play an instrument of any kind?
DMC: So, I think the piano is the best instrument for begin, and now with the new technology the piano and keyboards are in any platform and is usually to use those in any situation in the studio during the production. Piano is an instrument with key, and for this not required any technical training for start. Just push the key and it play. I think is the only one instrument where is possible that. In all the other you need some more training to start. Anyway any instrument, it’s difficult to play, seriously. So, the guitar is the perfect instrument for to go, example on the beach with the friends, is transportable. For these reason Piano [and] Guitar are the most popular instruments in the world.
MI: How does it feel to have three platinum awards in the US and 14 gold from various countries in the in and around Italy and the UK? Did you ever imagine you’d be able to say that?
DMC: I don’ t want sound arrogant with this answer. When I was teen, I was dream to do something, but now for me this is just a start point. Anyway I never thought to do that, and for me are not important the awards. Is important to straight ahead.
MI: How would you describe the sound of your music to those who have yet to hear it?
DMC: My music is an mix of some things, electronic sounds and acoustic orchestra, soft atmosphere and hard moments, rich of melody and straight percussion. I have many reference from the classic to the new age.
MI: You recently visited with Billboard Charting singer/songwriter Ilona Europa and NARIP & Grammy nominated Artist Manager Jonathan Todd during your last trip to the US. How did that go? What do you like to do most when you are in the states?
DMC: First of all, I would like to say thanks to Ilona and Jonathan. They are very kind with me. I’ll keep in mind them in forever. Also, when I’ll take my first Grammy, it’s a gratitude. So, I would like to grow my music experience in the Pop Music and Soundtracks, and do many success here in USA. This is my “job” and I need to do that. I’ m pumped full of motivation.
MI: What are some of your hobbies?
DMC: My hobby is the music. If the music would be a work for me, maybe I would not be here. I’m joking. My hobby is to read philosophy and communication book. Also, I like Chinese martial arts but just for myself not for fight. Also, I have a lot passion in new technology, and the music needs that.
MI: Are there any little known facts about yourself you are at liberty to share with our readers?
DMC: Yes, I would like to say that, maybe a producer is famous when get a big success, but I think a good producer is when he can keep this in the time. Every time upgrading his techniques. In the last three years I made three albums, and all of this go in the Hit charts in Italy. Maybe I’ m lucky but this is an example; I never left my attention on my “job.”
MI: What would you say is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
DMC: So, in this moment I can’t say the best moment. Maybe there was some great moments. My Third Position in UK as a songwriter, when I read my name under the name of Gallagher (OASIS). Maybe my First and Second in Germany with two different singles. Anyway it’s beautiful than any moment could be great because I think I’ m lucky to be musician and to have the opportunity to do that.
MI: What projects are you working on at the moment?
DMC: In this moment, I’m working on two different ways. I’m composing a piano concerto for piano and orchestra. This is a track of contemporary music. I would like to hear it played by an real orchestra. Also, I’ m working on some new soundtracks, and as always, I continue to compose songs: new harmony and new melody. You can hear some of my newest work soon on at IlonaEuropaCreative.com.
MI: Anything to say in closing?
DMC: Just say bye and I love USA. Thank you. Ciao.
original interview here.