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Greenwall

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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 23 2011 at 14:29


Greenwall is a mostly keyboard-dominated Italian project whose two albums feature subtle, smooth, almost new-age like material. The band is the brainchild of keyboard player and vocalist Andrea Pavoni who. With the help of a couple of female vocalists and musicians who play acoustic and electric guitar, bass and drum plus, he had made some tapes in the early 90's that failed to attract a label. Mellow Records finally released the material on the band's first album, "Il Petalo del Fiore e le Altre Storie", in 1999. Fans of Camel and very smooth prog in general may want to check them out. Classical music buffs, especially those into minimalist styles such as Éric Satie will also appreciate.

I got in touch with the band and Andrea answered my questions.

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When, where and by whom was Greenwall started ?

The band "Greenwall" started in 1999. Lots of material as Andrea Pavoni was composed in the years before. Some of it was also yet recorded.

Did any of you, past and present Greenwall members, play in any other bands before joining up in Greenwall ?  

Of course yes. The first Greenwall line-up, which never ended-up in any official recording, included Andrea Moneta and Andrea Amici, who were part of the well-known italian prog band Leviathan. Me and Fabio Ciliberti were part of a Pink Floyd cover band called Pigs on the Wing and Massimo Leoni was part of a Genesis cover band.

Why did you choose that name ?

It is very simple: green is my favourite colour and the "wall" is a reference to Pink Floyd, which a sort of "underline companion" in our musical journey. Written this way, "Greenwall", is also a family name, so it can be used also as a pseudonym, as it was used in the first album. There's a lot of people in the world whose family name is Greenwall!

How was the music scene in your area when you started and why did you choose to play the type of music you play ?

The musical scene in Rome, Italy, and in Italy in general, seemed to be more stimulating in the last part of the nineties, when we were born. There was the opportunity to play live but most of all, there was a community of people who was deeply interested in what happened in the "progressive rock" genre in general, who followed the concerts and made comments, in the internet or even live, and there was a network of people we could interact with. It seems that level of interest is shared with other musical realities nowadays. Probably the majority of people is more near to "progressive-metal", which is more in tune which the musical tastes of our era.
For what concerns us, we are quite interested in metal, which is a musical phenomenon that deserves study and attention, but we are also intersted in many other musical styles as songwriting, jazz, folk, rock, classical... So this is the type of music we play, we are not interested in boundaries, we really think that "progressive" is a unicum, a way to interact between all styles we can observe and admire. In this sense, this is not a "choice", but a sort of obligation.



Over to your albums. Your debut album was Il Petalo Del Fiore E Le Altre Storie from 1999. Please tell us more about this album.

The Suite "Il Petalo del Fiore" was something I began writing at the lyceum, when I probably was 17... I completed it during the first years of University and then recorded by chance in 1989, when I was 20. I say "by chance" because I had some time left from a previuos recording of other pop material I was trying to promote at that time, and so I decided to record this "strange thing" I composed some years before. In 1989 the recording was ended, with the help of two or three friends who played guitars, bass or vocals somewhere. I recorded the rest of instruments and sang myself (which was not a good choice), anyway this had to remain a demo tape for personal use... I must admit that Franco De Lucia (the sound engineer) suggested that I should write to Musea Records and contact Bernard Gueffier to let him evaluate this product, but I wasn't enough convinced of this work so I didn't send it to him. Ten years later Mauro Moroni of Mellow Records heard the material and decided to publish it as it was, with me singing and playing ten years before... I added some later recordings, done with better quality ("Nonno", "Le Stanze", and a new version of "I bimbi e il burrone") and the album was ready. At that time I had no idea of forming a real band, so I choose Greenwall as a pseudonym. 



Your second album was Elektropuzzles from 2000. Please tell us more about this album.


In the following years, from 1989 to 1994 I obviously played and composed. So after the publishing of "Il Petalo del Fiore e altre storie" the tracks of Elektropuzzles was yet composed and partially recorded. Even in this case, I added some stuff here and there, and the album was ready. In those years I had experienced other genres of music, like New Age, Fusion, Classical orchestrations, Contemporary... All these things have a place in "Elektropuzzles", that can be seen more like an experimental CD than a progressive rock one. There is no "rock" in the proper sense, on "Elektropuzzles". Anyway it has been a very important step in my growth as musician and arranger. In 2000 the band "Greenwall" was born, infact the members are mentioned in the booklet even if no one of them played on the album, anyway the album was made and so Mellow Records issued it. Some of these tracks have become part of live performances, "La Nascita dei fiori", "Tappetti Persiani", "La frutta a pezzi", so the band had the opportunity to give them a contribution.


Your third and most recent album is From The Treasure Box from 2005. Please tell us more about this album.

When Greenwall born as a band, in 1999, I began submitting new and old material to the band in order to play it together and select tracks for a third album. We began performing "Pollicino" and "Il cunicolo" in 2000-2001, many years before they were recorded. We had a lot of changes in the line-up so when we ended the selection of the material, Silvia Ceccarelli (who was the lead singer at that time) decided to left, so all of our efforts seemed to be vanished. I decided to contact guest-singers, who could perform the tracks without being band members. In the end I contacted Sofia Baccini of Presence, who was enthusiastic of the material and performed three tracks. In that period (2002-2003) Michela Botti was chosen to be the lead singer of the band, and she performed the remaining tracks of the album. In the same I time I began collaborating with some important musicians who had an relevant role as guests on the album, such as Pieropaolo Ferroni, Pierpaolo Ranieri, Alessandro Tomei and others. The album was completed in 2003 but the label waited until 2005 to issue it. If you notice, half of the album is mainly performed by me + guests (the suite "Preludio...to the end") and half from the band.

You have also been involved in some other projects. Please tell us more about these projects and is those the reason why there has been no new studio album since 2005 ?

Oh yes, really many, and some other is still to come!
Kalevala, in 2002.
The Colossus of Rhodes, in 2004.
The Letters (Mellow Records tribute to King Crimson), in 2004 (we performed "Larks' Tongues In Aspic - part 1").
Tribute to Biglietto per L'Inferno (DVD) in 2005 (we performed "Il nevare" and "Solo ma vivo" plus our tracks "Abbiamo ragione" and "Là, dove").
Dante Alighieri's Inferno in 2007.
Dante Alighieri's Paradiso in 2010.

To be issued:
Family Snapshots (tribute to Genesis solo albums) in 2011 (we performed Banks' "The Lie/After the Lie")
Notes from the Edge (or other title, Yes tribute by Mellow Records) in 2011 ("Onward")
Pink Floyd tribute from Mellow Records (we don't even know the title) in 2011 ("Breathe")

If you consider all the minutes we recorded on these projects, we published other two albums in this period!

We will not take part in other projects until the album will be finished.
It is a very complex album, a CD and a DVD with video and bonus material.
13 tracks plus bonus tracks including a new version of "Il Petalo del fiore part 1-2b".
I decided to record this track again in the version I intended it to be. I consider the version issued today a sort of demotape so I rearranged recorded it again.

There is really very very much to say about our new album but I hope we will have the opportunity to talk about it after it will be issued.... we hope in 2011.



How is the creative processes in your band from coming up with an idea to submitting it onto an album ?

I usually don't submit "ideas" to the group, but definite tracks, with a detailed arrangement, which is very important for me. It helps me to understand how that particular track will really sound. 
After that moment, we discuss together the alternatives both in the arrangement and in the sections of the tracks. For instance, the gospel section of "Quel Mare al Qual Tutto si Move" (Dante Alighieri's Paradiso) has been deeply discussed in the group, and then changed (in better, I think) from my first version.
In the last years a new process of composing has begun, involving a more relevant role of Pierpaolo Cianca (our guitarist since 2007) and Michela.
Your music has been compared to Camel. But how would you describe you music and which bands would you compare yourself with ?

I always appreciated Camel's "Moonmadness" which I consider a wonderful album. We have a track actually, "La nascita dei fiori", which could be a Camel piece, but I suppose this was not a precise intention or reference. I like referring to some great prog groups like Yes or King Crimson, or to giants of composition and performance like Chick Corea or Dave Weckl. This doesn't mean we have their skills or potential, anyway these can be important references for us.
In particular, on the prog side, King Crimson has been a relevant source of inspiration and learning. I am also fascinated by Bill Bruford's style and career. These references are not so evident because we put melody above all, so everything seems more fluent and pleasant.  

What is your plans for this year and beyond ?

Our first goal now is to finish our new studio album! 

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

Yes, we are working hard also on another project. A theatre performance of the entire  "The Dark Side of the Moon", revisited and rearranged. On the second half of the show we would like to perform our "Il Petalo del fiore" in full version, with a special light show and coreography. It is really a hard task but we are trying to fulfill it!! 



Thank you to Andrea for this interview

Their PA profile is here and their homepage's here

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2011 at 19:34
I have their Treasure Box cd, very nice gatefold mini release for the melodic prog fan.  Lovely artwork in the lyrics booklet too.  Good stuffSmile
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