An Interview with Italian film composer Andrea Farri

Andrea Farri, Photo Credit: Daniele Crucian
Spread the love

After my review of the wonderful movie , Io Capitano, I was offered the opportunity to Interview Italian film composer Andrea Farri, who did the beautiful score for the film.  I thought the music was an extremely important element of the powerful film.  As one of Italy’s most in-demand young composers with a distinctive approach to scoring. Traveling as a young child, his experiences on the road inspired him to start playing and writing music when he was only 9 years old, and soon after, he began composing for theatre and dance companies when he was just 17. Some of his past credits include Romulus (2022), The Hanging Sun (2022), and Marilyn’s Eyes (2021)  We are thrilled that Andrea Farri, generously agreed to an interview with Splash Magazines Worldwide. Read on to learn more.

Photo Credit: Mattia Alberani

Watching the film, Io Capitano, I was amazed by the way in which the music moved through so many locations and situations and carried the story forward. How did you prepare to compose this music? 

Io Capitano tells the story of a great adventure, so it was important that the music was epic, like a John Ford movie – but it is also a coming-of-age story, so a musical approach that was too classical couldn’t be used. The decision to blend electronic music with acoustic instruments aligns with the need for an epic yet contemporary musical atmosphere.

 How did you come to be selected to compose the score for Io Capitano?

I had already worked with Matteo Garrone in 2021 on his wordless short Le Château du Tarot (produced by DIOR), a 15-minute single symphony. 

Io Capitano was a very different experience, long and unforgettable! Matteo and I are very different, but the visionary dimension brings us closer. In this movie, Seydou is Ulysses and Pinocchio at the same time.

Photo Credit: Fiorenzo Niccoli

How long did it take you to complete the score for Io Capitano?

I started working with Garrone before he even started shooting the film. I began writing many ideas in different ways… but then, once the shooting was finished, in the editing room, it was the film itself that showed us the musical path to follow. The film was so powerful, so simple in its complexity, that it had its own voice. So, I tried to simplify everything in terms of themes and instrumentation.

As it’s done with sculptures, we dug away the excess marble and left the purest and most emotional music to tell the odyssey of Seydou.

We added four original modern songs (Baby, Senegal, Bayboyo (my father), Touki (travel)) performed by the two protagonists of the movie. One of these songs (Baby) is the one they write in the film. It represents their dream, their hope to come to Europe and become singers.

 I understand that the famed Italian actor Roberto Bernigni has a powerful influence on your life. Can you share more about this?

When I was twenty, I worked as an assistant director for a while, and I was lucky to work with Roberto Benigni on his film, “The Tiger and the Snow”. It was one of the fundamental meetings of my life. We spent 2 months filming in the desert, I lost 10 kilos, but we spent legendary evenings talking about art, Italy in the 70s, Hollywood…

Photo Credit: Daniele Cruciani

How is it that music became so important to you that at nine years old you were composing?

Nina Simone said: ”“Music is a gift and a burden. The decision was how to make the best use of it”. Music is a passion that I remember having since I can reach back into my childhood memories. Even before I started studying piano, I was already playing and composing on three different instruments. Certainly rather badly, but the beauty of music is that it is enough in itself. Charlie Parker said: “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom”.

I started loving cinema from a very young age too. Instead of going to school as a child, I went on tour (I come from a family of actors) and I used to watch a lot of movies with my parents. At the age of 5 they had already shown me all Hitchcock, Lubitsch, Wilder, Fellini, De Sica…

What is your favorite instrument? What instruments do you play?

I started from the piano to get to the synths. I really love programming sounds with analog synthesizers. Alex Ross said: “You are of a generation that grew up studying classical music in the morning, biting rock in the afternoon and dancing electronic music in the evening.” I was born in the 80s, I grew up in a historical moment in which all styles coexisted together, there were no prejudices: it was the ideal era for someone like me who has always listened to all musical genres.

 Have you had formal music training? 

I studied jazz with two inspiring teachers: the Sicilian pianist Andrea Alberti and the American composer Richard Trythall.

 What are you currently working on?

I’m working with Roland Emmerich on his “THOSE ABOUT TO DIE,” an amazing and powerful TV show that should be released in autumn.

Photo Credit: Fiorenzo Niccoli

 What are your plans, goals for the future?

No plans, no future (quoting the Sex Pistols). We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

 What do you enjoy doing when you are not composing music?

I love reading, watching old black-and-white films, and listening to Nina Simone, the greatest of all. 

 Is there any message you would like to leave with Splash Magazines Worldwide readers?

I’d like to end with a quote: 

When I was a child someone asked me: “What would you take with you if your house burned down?” I replied: “The fire!”

Thank you, Andrea Farri, for taking time to share your thoughts with our Splash readers.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.