Tag Archives: Ticino

A tribute to Claudio Taddei

On 9 August this year, singer-songwriter and painter Claudio Taddei passed away at the age of 52. Obituary by Rossana Taddei and Sara Ravarelli

A tribute to Claudio Taddei

Rossana and Claudio Taddei. (Photo: Alejandro Persichetti)

Born in Uruguay to parents from Ticino, Claudio grew up between Switzerland and South America, where he embarked on a glittering musical career that took him to the top of the South American charts. In 2002, at the height of his fame in Uruguay, Claudio was struck down by a serious illness that led him to return to Switzerland. Here he alternated periods of intense medical treatment with a busy schedule of concerts and artistic performances, quickly becoming a popular figure in Ticino – a renowned musician and celebratedpainter.

Claudio Taddei began indulging his passion for music in childhood, together with his sister Rossana, who has also enjoyed a successful musical career in Uruguay. A SUISA member for some years now, Rossana wanted to share with us her loving and personal memory of Claudio, as a brother and artist. (Sara Ravarelli)

Dear brother, friend and companion on a journey full of adventures and dreams

A sun, a giant star full of light.
You always loved to trace the path of the sun and to the sun you now return.
There is no farewell because you live on in all your songs, in every brush stroke, in your colours, in our hearts and minds.
Dear brother, friend and companion on a journey full of adventures and dreams, we shared an eternal bond, as if two twins.
Your bright, cheerful, curious eyes reflect the broad smile of your guiding heart. You sang and told your story, your joy, your sadness, your goodness.
Let your true hand now guide the way for all of us who loved you and want to start walking again, to move forward in accepting the pain and void of your absence.
I will miss you, we will miss you. I will fill the hole by singing and telling our story, our being brother and sister.
Creativity always saves us and has always saved us.
Creativity always unites us and has always united us.
It was the strongest thread in our bond and will always be what unites us.
Every image in my memory starts and ends with a heartfelt smile.

Intensely calm
Worryingly intense
Silently noisy
Untidily tidy
Passionately quiet
Quietly passionate
Stubbornly shy
Shyly exuberant
I know you inside out, brother, yet I do not know the depth and infiniteness that you were and continue to be.

Thank you for being a mentor. Life is a gift: you must know how to lead it for the gift to become light.

“Te toca la pena, también la alegría y el amor. No dejes que nada espere, la vida hace siempre lo que quiere, más vale echarle picante y hacer que las cosas se vivan bien pa’delante.”

Rossana Taddei

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On 9 August this year, singer-songwriter and painter Claudio Taddei passed away at the age of 52. Obituary by Rossana Taddei and Sara Ravarelli

A tribute to Claudio Taddei

Rossana and Claudio Taddei. (Photo: Alejandro Persichetti)

Born in Uruguay to parents from Ticino, Claudio grew up between Switzerland and South America, where he embarked on a glittering musical career that took him to the top of the South American charts. In 2002, at the height of his fame in Uruguay, Claudio was struck down by a serious illness that led him to return to Switzerland. Here he alternated periods of intense medical treatment with a busy schedule of concerts and artistic performances, quickly becoming a popular figure in Ticino – a renowned musician and celebratedpainter.

Claudio Taddei began indulging his passion for music in childhood, together with his sister...read more

Creating music in the era of contamination

A discussion on the deceptively simple theme of ‘contamination in music’ provided much food for thought, reaffirming the desire to talk about music and ideas, to try to understand one another better and more profoundly. Text by guest author Zeno Gabaglio

Jazz in Bess: Creating music in the era of contamination

Round table discussion on the theme of ‘Creating Music in the Era of Contamination’: (from left to right) Zeno Gabaglio, Nadir Vassena, Maurizio Chiaruttini (moderator), Gabriele Pezzoli and Carlo Piccardi. (Photo: Giorgio Tebaldi)

Writing a report on an event you’ve taken part in comes with one major problem: the conflict of interest. This most partial of creatures precludes any reasonable expectation of objectivity, so readers are warned that every aspect of the account from this point will be marked by the utmost subjectivity.

But let’s rewind: on 7 June 2019, a round table discussion on the theme of ‘Creating Music in the Era of Contamination’ took place in the convivial surroundings of Jazz in Bess in Lugano (the closest thing Ticino has to a Jazz club – but this magical venue deserves an article all of its own…). Four diverse exponents of Ticino’s music scene were invited to take part: Nadir Vassena (a composer, teacher and stalwart of the cultural scene for decades, and someone who has enjoyed considerable success across Europe), Gabriele Pezzoli (a jazz composer and pianist who has pursued a distinctly personal and varied creative path), Carlo Piccardi (a musicologist, director of Rete Due for many years, and one of the most devoted connoisseurs and defenders of Ticino’s musical heritage) and the writer Zeno Gabaglio.

It was an eclectic group – like the proverbial box of chocolates – and their mixed backgrounds alone suggested a range of ideas on music. This wealth of opinions emerged rapidly thanks to the moderation – and encouragement – of Maurizio Chiaruttini, a journalist and former producer at RSI.

Search for an own musical identity

‘Contamination seems to have become almost an imperative in every field of artistic expression: contamination between different genres, contamination between languages – cultural and popular, academic and commercial, acoustic and technological – contamination between cultural idioms of disparate origins. In a context such as this, what does it mean to search for your own musical identity, your own style, your own authentic means of expression?’

This was our starting point and, going against every dramatic rule there is, I can tell you right now that there was no arrival point – or at least, there wasn’t just one. Opinions diverged even on the meaning of the term ‘contamination’: some underlined the essentially negative connotations of the word (which, Vassena reminded us, shares the same root as ‘contagion’), while others agreed its distinctness from concepts such as ‘purity’ and ‘identity’. ‘Contaminated’ musicians, of course, cannot be pure; they inevitably lose a small part of their identity to take on something new.

Keeping the focus on terminology, Gabriele Pezzoli suggested a synonym – ‘hybridisation’ – which is less negatively connoted and more open to the variety of stimuli the modern world offers up, and with which Pezzoli identifies.

Masterpieces are often the result of a process

Carlo Piccardi then started off by reminding us that contamination is a broad historical phenomenon that dates back well before the present day. Major historical works – undisputed masterpieces that are universally recognised as uniform creations – were often the result of a process. But the processes required to create a work are hardly ever reported, and even more rarely remembered. It is in precisely these processes that, during the last two thousand years of European music, contamination has played a decisive role.

As mentioned earlier, we didn’t reach any one conclusion, but this discussion on the apparently simple and narrow theme of “contamination in music” led us to secondary themes and observations that – in an era when you might expect the opposite to be true – reaffirmed our desire to talk about music, to discuss ideas as well as sounds, and to try to understand one another better and more profoundly.

www.jazzinbess.ch

Guest author Zeno Gabaglio is a musician/composer and a SUISA Board member.

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A discussion on the deceptively simple theme of ‘contamination in music’ provided much food for thought, reaffirming the desire to talk about music and ideas, to try to understand one another better and more profoundly. Text by guest author Zeno Gabaglio

Jazz in Bess: Creating music in the era of contamination

Round table discussion on the theme of ‘Creating Music in the Era of Contamination’: (from left to right) Zeno Gabaglio, Nadir Vassena, Maurizio Chiaruttini (moderator), Gabriele Pezzoli and Carlo Piccardi. (Photo: Giorgio Tebaldi)

Writing a report on an event you’ve taken part in comes with one major problem: the conflict of interest. This most partial of creatures precludes any reasonable expectation of objectivity, so readers are warned that every aspect of the account from this point will be marked by the utmost subjectivity.

But let’s rewind: on 7 June 2019, a round table...read more

20,000 Swiss Francs and an imaginary composition project

To discuss artistic creation is anything but simple. That’s why Swiss association Jazzy Jams and SUISA have come up with something special in the course of the Jazz Festival in Bess (Lugano). Composer Maria Bonzanigo, from Ticino, and composers Pietro Viviani and Damiano Merzari developed an imaginary composition project in front of the audience. The result was rather fascinating and took those present on a journey into the thought-world of authors. Guest contribution by Zeno Gabaglio

Jazz in Bess: 20,000 Swiss Francs and an imaginary composition project

Zeno Gabaglio (Co-moderator), Maria Bonzanigo, Pietro Viviani, Alessandro Zanoli (Moderator) and Damiano Merzari (in the picture from left to right) have discussed their most private creative processes as composers. (Photo: Erika Weibel

An entire evening focussing on the subject of musical creation can actually be rather boring. Especially because the topic itself creates a conundrum – comparable to the mysteries that surround each history of creation, or genesis. The explanation of musical creation usually leads to two unpleasant results: erring around aimlessly between contradictory philosophical beliefs or completely rejecting something that conflicts by nature with logical thinking and explanations.

Fully aware of this starting position, Swiss association Jazzy Jams and SUISA organised an evening dedicated to musical creation on Thursday, 25 January 2018 in the Swiss National Sound Archives in Lugano. Naturally, the question arose how you might map out such an evening without ‘dead-ending’ in the above mentioned, fateful cul-de-sac.

Spontaneous composing in front of the audience

The idea was to let three invited music authors directly dive into the subject matter; into a situation which is as practice-related as it is specific, so that there is neither room for philosophical palaver nor any moments of awkward silence.

But how? By sending each of them an invite by an imaginary committee. They got summoned to collaborate on a new project. The text that was only revealed at the beginning of the meeting was the following:

“Jazzy Jams wishes to inaugurate its new hall with a number of concerts and invites musicians from the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland to spontaneously conceive an artistic work. The event is about a performance in a modular-built and technically well-equipped room with a capacity of 400 seats. The composition budget amounts to CHF 5,000. For the actual implementation, CHF 15,000 is available. The time span from concept to implementation is nine months. There are no specifications regarding music styles or duration, and the composer shall have the entire evening to him/herself.”

The only condition for each author was to lay bare their very own creative process to the audience – in a kind of inner dialogue, but spoken out loud.

Maria Bonzanigo, Pietro Viviani and Damiano Merzari (members of the band The Pussywarmers) have generously made themselves available for this project by – in a rather unusual open brainstorming – revealed their generally most private creative processes.

Different music styles, different approaches

The result: captivating, electrifying, surprising and sometimes ironic. This was due to the fact that music genres (theatre and concert music in the case of Bonzanigo; jazz, soundtracks and concert music in the case of Viviani; independent rock in the case of Merzari) illustrated rather different ways to access the very same phenomenon which all of us – rather unimaginatively but proudly – refer to under the same term, “music”.

Certain doubts and questions arose in the course of the discussion – apart from solid technical and poetic certainties. And maybe they were the most interesting moments of the event. They revealed the creative process not only as an equation which can be solved with one single result, but also a part of your life map which you need to travel to, even though this entails the usual unavoidable surprises along the journey.

In the second part of the evening, the subject of the creation process moved a little bit into the background; the focus was rather on the question whether artistic creation can be taught. And if so, how?

Tamara Basaric of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Giorgio Meuwly and Marco Conti of the Scuola di Musica Moderna as well as Andrés Ortiz of the Scuola di Musica e di Arti Creative were the specialist mentors (as well as authors) and provided answers in both an expert and an exciting manner.

Links
Jazz in Bess
Maria Bonzanigo
Pietro Viviani
The Pussywarmers

Guest contributor Zeno Gabaglio is a SUISA Board member, composer and was the co-moderator of the Jazz in Bess.

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To discuss artistic creation is anything but simple. That’s why Swiss association Jazzy Jams and SUISA have come up with something special in the course of the Jazz Festival in Bess (Lugano). Composer Maria Bonzanigo, from Ticino, and composers Pietro Viviani and Damiano Merzari developed an imaginary composition project in front of the audience. The result was rather fascinating and took those present on a journey into the thought-world of authors. Guest contribution by Zeno Gabaglio

Jazz in Bess: 20,000 Swiss Francs and an imaginary composition project

Zeno Gabaglio (Co-moderator), Maria Bonzanigo, Pietro Viviani, Alessandro Zanoli (Moderator) and Damiano Merzari (in the picture from left to right) have discussed their most private creative processes as composers. (Photo: Erika Weibel

An entire evening focussing on the subject of musical creation can actually be rather boring. Especially because the topic itself creates a conundrum – comparable...read more

Schedler Music Summit 2018 with Romina Kalsi

The sixth recurrence of the Schedler Music Summit, an annual international songwriting camp which is organised by music publishing house Schedler Music, took place between 13 and 18 January 2018 in Lechtal, Austria. For five days, a team of 42 musicians from a variety of musical and geographic contexts with the task to compose a minimum of one song per day. Romina Kalsi, who has been a SUISA member since 2014, was selected by those in charge of the camp and the summit, Fiona Schedler and Alexander Schedler, as one of the nine summit participants from Switzerland. Text by Erika Weibel

Schedler Music Summit 2018 with Romina Kalsi

Romina Kalsi, a young singer and songwriter from Ticino was one of the participants of the Schedler Music Summit 2018. From her first experience in an international songwriting camp, Romina brings along three new songs and numerous new contacts to the international music scene. (Photo: Wolfgang Rudigier)

Romina Kalsi, a young singer and songwriter from Ticino, has become known over the last years due to the success of the band Rocky Wood. The frontwoman, singer and co-composer of the tracks has contributed significantly to the success and the creation of the first album “Shimmer” which was published by the band from Ticino in 2014. After that, Romina has selected a new solo path with her project Animor from which a digital EP named “Chasing Gold” emerged.

Creation of the works by Romina Kalsi

Kalsi explains to us that composing one of her songs can sometimes be a long process which easily keeps her busy for three to four months. This is due to the fact that she does not always has the possibility to dedicate all of their time exclusively to songwriting. It’s also possible that the basic idea for a work simply needs to ripen over a certain period of time. She does not set herself a time limit when it comes to composing for herself.

Source of inspiration and starting point for her works are often life experiences which left a mark on her, or synergies which arise in the cooperation with other musicians who respectively trigger a creative process.

Songwriting camp: Three works in three days

The participation in the Schedler Summit is Romina Kalsi’s first experience in an international songwriting camp. Fiona Schedler explained that it was particularly Romina Kalsi’s particular timbre which stood out among more than fifty SUISA authors who had applied, which was, among others, a reason that she was selected to participate in the camp. The camp gained musical variety due to Kalsi’s participation.

Alexander Schedler, the artistic leader of the camp, asked her to compose a piece for her current solo project Animor as a first assignment. It was composed in collaboration with Finnish creator Tobias Grandbacka, Riccardo Bettiol of Switzerland and Ida Björg Leisin from Denmark in one day; it’s title is “Crumble Plastic”. The piece is a pop song which is characterised by reggae elements and whose lyrics have been inspired by a current topic. It is very important for Kalsi that her music contains a message. She is of the opinion that composer carry a major responsibility since they can reach straight for the hearts of the audience with their music.

Kalsi adds that “Crumble Plastic” is the result of a surprising agreement and incredible feeling which immediately arose among the involved musicians. It was nearly written in an organic process, in a long jam session which left enough space to each composer to be able to integrate their ideas into the song.

The other works that the summit representative from Ticino was involved in are “Big Shot”, a melancholic pop song and “At The End Of The World” whose genre is similar to a soundtrack.

The composition process was rather dissimilar to the one for “Crumble Plastic”. Both are the result of intensive communication between the involved composers. In this case, the starting point were the song lyrics, characterised by metaphoric images which were created via the exchange of feelings and personal experiences of various musicians. The result: two poetic sets of lyrics which served as a basis for a nearly mathematical composition of the melody. Each passage of lyrics and music is thus the result of acrimonious work of communicating and integrating experiences of the participating composers.

In the coming months, we will find out where and when “Big Shot” and “At The End Of The World” will be published.

Challenges and advantages of a songwriting camp

Deep and long lasting friendships can arise among the musicians who collaborate during a songwriting camp and exchange very personal experiences at this occasion in order to compose songs together. Sometimes it also happens that the spark among the participants does not jump immediately or that the topics allocated by the artistic leader do not correspond with the reality or nature of the musician.

The limited deadline prescribing that at least one song has to be written per day, the feeling between the musicians and the stress arising from unavoidable confrontation with other songs which are created in the camp, are some additional aspects which either hinder or kindle the composers’ creativity, and they sometimes spur them on to reach maximum performance. As a consequence, and despite the limited time, capturing songs are created in the camp, with which not only the composers of the works but also a broad audience can identify. Alexander Schedler, creative leader of the camp, confirms that Kalsi met these challenges with great enthusiasm and creativity.

From her first experience in an international songwriting camp, Romina does not only bring along three new songs but also numerous contacts to the international music scene. Thanks to the cooperation with rather different musicians, she can also draw from new composition approaches and styles and emerges from this experience with musical maturity. Romina tells us that she has already four projects in the pipeline where she is going to enter into new cooperations with the composers who she met in the songwriting camp. In the coming months, she is particularly focussing on the implementation of her project Animor.

Tracks composed by Romina Kalsi during the summit camp, with the participation of:

“Big Shot”
Romina Kalsi
Dillon Dixon
Phil Sunday
Ida Björg Leisin

“Crumble Plastic”
Romina Kalsi
Riccardo Bettiol
Ida Björg Leisin
Tobias Grandbacka

“At The End Of The World”
Romina Kalsi
Pele Loriano
Tobias Grandbacka

SUISA Sponsoring at the Schedler Summit:
SUISA was one of the sponsors of the Schedler Music Summit 2018. Schedler Music Publishing has been registered with SUISA since 2005 and is active via various sub-publishing agreements in nearly all Western and English-speaking countries. At the Summit 2018, a total of 61 songs were composed with the participation of 42 musicians from 9 countries.

www.animormusic.com
schedlermusicsummit.com
schedlermusic.com

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  1. Bill Kalsi says:

    I feel proud of my daughter.

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The sixth recurrence of the Schedler Music Summit, an annual international songwriting camp which is organised by music publishing house Schedler Music, took place between 13 and 18 January 2018 in Lechtal, Austria. For five days, a team of 42 musicians from a variety of musical and geographic contexts with the task to compose a minimum of one song per day. Romina Kalsi, who has been a SUISA member since 2014, was selected by those in charge of the camp and the summit, Fiona Schedler and Alexander Schedler, as one of the nine summit participants from Switzerland. Text by Erika Weibel

Schedler Music Summit 2018 with Romina Kalsi

Romina Kalsi, a young singer and songwriter from Ticino was one of the participants of the Schedler Music Summit 2018. From her first experience in an international songwriting camp, Romina brings...read more

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

Initiated by Ticino-based Board member Zeno Gabaglio, the Board of Directors of SUISA held its autumn meeting in Lugano this year. The agenda items for the meetings on 3 and 4 October 2017 were quite exhaustive. A selection of the topics under discussion are included in this report from the Board by Dora Zeller.

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

The current Board of SUISA in a photoshoot dating back to spring 2017. (Photo: Marc Latzel)

An important agenda point was the ratification of the business strategy. Management is looking ahead into the future with this strategy, defining which objectives it wishes to reach in a specified period of time. SUISA’s strategy usually covers a four-year period, currently 2016-2020. Due to the business events and plans it is subject to review several times a year. It is subdivided in four main areas:

  • Cost & growth (cultivate customer relations, maximise members’ incomes, support and challenge staff members)
  • Trust (members are ‘shareholders’)
  • Develop copyright
  • Align the business with new demands (online and offline)

For each of the main areas, facts are recorded; subsequently, the relevant measures are listed in terms of planning how to reach the strategic goals. For example, in the case of “members are our shareholders”, this means: Rethink and diversify services, standardise documentation and works registration, cultivate transparency and communication, guarantee domestic and international administration of members’ rights and assure quality via automation and process optimisation.

Increased competition in the licensing business requires measures

When it comes to the main area “align the business with new demands”, offline business was added as a new area. In the course of the last few years, there is now competition for music licences and there are new providers in the marketplace, too. These providers are no cooperative societies and do not belong to the authors as is the case for the majority of collective management organisations in Europe. They are profit-making private companies.

There are new developments in the “direct licensing” area for major concerts as well as for the collection of background music (piped music). The task at hand is to tackle the new licensing offers, to create SUISA’s own offers (tariffs) in a competitive manner, to search collaboration and to promote the legal framework conditions.

On the basis of the agreed strategy, management is now going to work on a roadmap. The latter will serve the purpose of splitting the measures into small, specific steps to which deadlines and responsibilities will be allocated.

Distribution: 8,126 members received CHF 11,093,520

SUISA distributes the majority of its tariffs on a quarterly basis. In September, collections for performances (Tariffs D, K; 1st quarter 2017), broadcasts SRG (Tariff A; 1st quarter 2017), “advertising windows” (2015) and reproduction (Tariffs PA, PI, PN, VI, 1st quarter 2017) were included in the distribution.

The remuneration was paid out to SUISA members (CHF 5,729,852.00) and to sister societies (CHF 5,363,669.00). Approx. CHF 1,229,425 were held back due to a lack of details, missing documentation etc. The reserved monies will be paid out in adjustment runs as soon as the necessary data for a correct distribution has been completed.

Collaboration between ProLitteris, SSA, SUISA, Suissimage and Swissperform

In 1993, the five Swiss collective management organisations signed the first written collaboration agreement. This was triggered by the expansion of copyright towards neighbouring rights back in the day. Before that, the societies had entertained informal exchanges and coordinated joint tariff negotiations.

In the coordination committee (KOAU) of the societies, the agreement was recently reviewed. The intention was to reflect the current situation and to simplify the collaboration in complex areas. New provisions include the process of passing resolutions as well as collection principles relating to collections on behalf of other societies. The SUISA Board has approved the revised collaboration agreement.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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Initiated by Ticino-based Board member Zeno Gabaglio, the Board of Directors of SUISA held its autumn meeting in Lugano this year. The agenda items for the meetings on 3 and 4 October 2017 were quite exhaustive. A selection of the topics under discussion are included in this report from the Board by Dora Zeller.

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

The current Board of SUISA in a photoshoot dating back to spring 2017. (Photo: Marc Latzel)

An important agenda point was the ratification of the business strategy. Management is looking ahead into the future with this strategy, defining which objectives it wishes to reach in a specified period of time. SUISA’s strategy usually covers a four-year period, currently 2016-2020. Due to the business events and plans it is subject to review several times a year. It is subdivided in...read more

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Over the Easter period, it’s not just the palm trees and nice weather that make the Ticino attractive: Over a three-day period, you can get a good impression of what the Indie-Pop-/Rock scene has on offer in the Ticino. Text by Erika Weibel

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Barbara Lehnhoff (left) and Aris Bassetti (right) are mainly music creators and known for their projects Peter Kernel and Camilla Sparksss. Apart from that, they have their own label, On the Camper Records, and organise the festival La Tessinoise. (Photo: Robert Huber)

Last year, Ticino label On the Camper Records celebrated its tenth anniversary with a festival. For the celebrations, label founders Aris Bassetti und Barbara Lehnhoff invited music professionals from across Europe and organised several concerts in the Lugano area. The festival and the get together of music business and artists proved to be so successful that the organisers decided to continue the event under the name “La Tessinoise”.

As a consequence, many bands will enter the stages at various event venues around Lugano again this year, between 14 and 16 April 2017. While music creation in the Ticino takes the ‘centre stage’ in terms of focus, acts from other Swiss regions and from abroad are also set to perform. One thing that distinguishes this festival is that all bands will play new repertoire. Every evening, the audience will thus be able to listen to the première of new songs.

If you wish to enjoy some Indie music in Switzerland’s ‘sunny parlour’ and also want to meet people from the music business from all across Europe on an informal basis, you will have an excellent opportunity to do so in Lugano.

Further information:
Concert programme, tickets etc.: www.latessinoise.com, festival website
Website of the On the Camper Records label: www.onthecamper.com

SUISA and FONDATION SUISA, SUISA’s foundation for music promotion, support the Festival La Tessinoise. On Saturday, 15 April 2017, at 10:30, SUISA holds a brunch during the festival – access is by invitation only.

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Camilla Sparksss: “A lovely Christmas present” | plus video A former monk’s hermitage serves as the birthplace for new songs by Camilla Sparksss. To this day, the view over the lake landscape from there seems rather idyllic. Looking more closely, however, you realise that the landscape is cut in half by the motorway’s north-south axis and the runway of the Lugano-Agno airport. The same applies to Camilla Sparksss: things are not all as they seem at first glance. Read more
“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland”“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland” SUISA has offices in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano and is thus represented in three language regions of Switzerland. In Lugano, four members of staff look after the Italian-speaking members and customers in Ticino. The new manager of the regional office in Ticino, Stefano Keller, has been in office for 100 days now. In this interview, he elaborates on topics such as why the Lugano office requires allrounders, how SUISA contributes to the promotion of creative performances in Ticino and which goals he has as a manager of the Ticino office. Read more
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Over the Easter period, it’s not just the palm trees and nice weather that make the Ticino attractive: Over a three-day period, you can get a good impression of what the Indie-Pop-/Rock scene has on offer in the Ticino. Text by Erika Weibel

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Barbara Lehnhoff (left) and Aris Bassetti (right) are mainly music creators and known for their projects Peter Kernel and Camilla Sparksss. Apart from that, they have their own label, On the Camper Records, and organise the festival La Tessinoise. (Photo: Robert Huber)

Last year, Ticino label On the Camper Records celebrated its tenth anniversary with a festival. For the celebrations, label founders Aris Bassetti und Barbara Lehnhoff invited music professionals from across Europe and organised several concerts in the Lugano area. The festival and the get together of music business...read more

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

A story of 50 years’ success: The only sustained career in Switzerland in relation to the “canzone italiana” – in all its dimensions. An undisputed, and undoubtedly significant fact about the singer songwriter Marco Zappa from Bellinzona, who has become the focal point of music culture in the Ticino again at the beginning of the year. This comes with the release of his new album “PuntEBarrier” which contains 18 unpublished songs, and a tour across Switzerland starting on 14 March 2017 in the Teatro Sociale Bellinzona. Interview/Text by Zeno Gabaglio – La versione italiana del testo si trova sotto.

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Interview with Marco Zappa in the studio MarcoZappaMusic in Sementina. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

50 years of music: This is a great opportunity to meet Marco and cast a look back into the past. We asked him to tell us how it all began and how his relationship with musical creativity developed; in the Ticino – an area which had never really stood out in terms of the “canzone italiana”, i.e. songs in Italian.

Marco Zappa: At the beginning of it all, there was my mother who regarded me as a pianist in the classical music sector. We lived in Bellinzona at the time, and I was still barely a child. I played the piano for two years – more or less ‘under duress’ – and I do recall that I really didn’t enjoy it: I had to practice every day, but had completely different things on my mind at that age. While I was a boy scout, I began playing the harmonica (mouth organ), an instrument which, unlike a piano, you can take with you and also share your music with others. My mother’s sister played the guitar. She had taught me my first view chords, exactly at the time when Adriano Celentano and the first “shouting singers” were all the rage in Italy. I was hooked right from the start and could immediately relate to that type of music. I founded a small band with my colleagues from the Gymnasium (grammar school) with which we performed at school parties.

Marco Zappa (l.) and Zeno Gabaglio.

Zeno Gabaglio: What kind of opportunities did those have who wanted to make music and share it – as much as possible – with others?
The desire effectively existed to meet up to make music, but it was mainly folk and traditional music. I have also spent a few years to sing and play la Verzaschina, il Boccalino and various other songs that nowadays would be called ‘folk’. When it comes to live music in the Ticino, there was quite a good supply of ensembles that performed light music, i.e. bands (even those with just 4-5 musicians) that performed a repertoire mix between jazz, swing and ‘Schlager’ [traditional German-language pop songs]. On my way home after school, I always stopped outside the bars of Locarno where they were playing in order to listen to their music. And I was totally enchanted and learned new chords.

But the music of such dance ensembles was “old” music, wasn’t it? How come that Marco Zappa found a more modern path to rock music?
It was the electric guitar. One evening where I performed with my band in the Oratorium in Minusio, the priest who had organised the meeting, played the song Apache by The Shadows, with those wonderful tunes at the beginning, played by a distorted electric guitar. It was love at first “sound”. And then there were, of course, the songs by the Beatles! …

New album “PuntEBarrier”.

The rock career of Marco Zappa thus goes back to a modern priest?
Yes, in a way: to an enlightened priest! But as we were – so suddenly – infected with the electric guitar virus, young people like us had a problem: How could we change our instruments so that we would manage to hit exactly that tone? A friend who was an electrical engineer told me that you would get a microphone if you unscrewed the lower part of a telephone receiver (i.e. the part into which you speak). So I did exactly that and mounted that piece onto my guitar, connected both wires to an amplifier of an old radio owned by my parents and voilà, I had my first electric guitar. I do remember how I rode through the city with the old radio, tied to the moped on my way to the rehearsals …

Shortly after, you began – with the Teenager Band – to create music, even though you would not reach the gravitational centre of your musical universe until a few years later, by changing from English to Italian. Could you explain to us what led to this important development?
I had grown up listening to English rock pieces on my turntable. I played singles a thousand times in order to practice the guitar solos and to learn the lyrics by heart. Even though our English wasn’t brilliant, we still wrote our songs and performed them in that language, as we mainly listened to English rock at the time. Strangely enough, I find myself criticising musicians of today a little when they – even though Italian is their mother tongue – sing in English only, and I do believe I have the right to do so, especially as that’s exactly how I started myself! Our first two albums were recorded in English and we were proud that EMI (the record label of the Beatles!) produced it; they would have never produced the albums with us in any other language than English.

“The words you choose are just like fingers on a guitar: You need to feel that they are your own. If this is not the case, then the musical result is not really authentic.” – Marco Zappa

So when did you change to Italian?
The transition to Italian took place in 1979. Musical tastes around us had changed, and so had certain connections to the concept of the “canzone italiana”; but it was mainly a case of a new awareness that had awakened in me. The language that you use is like the instrument which you need to own. The words you choose are just like fingers on a guitar: You need to feel that they are your own. If this is not the case, then the musical result is not really authentic. Since then, this is what has been happening: When I experience a story in my dialect, then I have to write it in my dialect, and if I experience it in Italian, I have to write it in Italian. The same applies to any other languages. That’s not a decision I have to take up front, it is the story itself that I want to tell which leads me onto an unavoidably expressive path.

And now, finally, for the music. What happened is that you have come off rather quickly from the young convention of the English language, and it was the same with your musical vision which had only been influenced by rock music. You thus went to look for less predictable and undoubtedly more daring solutions. What made you choose this direction?
Due to the change to Italian lyrics, I chose an unusual musical setup: a trio with flute and cello. Maybe, at the time, my subconscious told me to do something that even my mother would like. The setup of the band seemed to be classical, but the spirit was definitely committed to rock, even if many people were of the opinion at the time that you could only create rock music with a stratocaster with a distortion switch. Since then, I have always tried to be open to new musicians, instruments and ideas when it comes to musical collaboration. The principle is the same, as it also applies to the lyrics: The story that you wish to tell suggests different technical and poetic solutions – and sometimes it also provides them. If you use the same stones every time and also stack them in the same way, you’ll end up with the same wall, every time.

www.marcozappa.ch, official website


Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Cinquant’anni di carriera: l’unica duratura carriera della canzone svizzera che si sia svolta dentro (ma anche sopra, sotto e accanto) alla lingua italiana. Questo è il dato incontrovertibile – e incontrovertibilmente fondamentale – che riguarda Marco Zappa, e che ancora una volta in questo inizio di 2017 ripropone il cantautore bellinzonese al centro della cultura musicale della Terza Svizzera. Con un nuovo disco con 18 inediti – «PuntEBarrier» – e con un tour nazionale che inizierà il prossimo 14 marzo al Teatro Sociale di Bellinzona. Intervista/testo: Zeno Gabaglio

L’occasione è dunque imperdibile per incontrare Marco e fare qualche passo indietro, per farci raccontare com’è iniziato e come si è sviluppato il suo rapporto con la creatività musicale; in una regione – il Ticino – che dal punto di vista della canzone in lingua italiana non aveva mai offerto esempi illuminanti.

Marco Zappa: È iniziato tutto da mia madre, che mi vedeva come interprete-pianista in ambito classico. Abitavamo ancora a Bellinzona ed ero appena un bambino. Ho suonato due anni quasi per forza il pianoforte e mi ricordo che non mi piaceva: dovevo studiare ogni giorno ma avevo ben altre cose per la testa, a quell’età. Negli scout ho poi cominciato a suonare l’armonica a bocca, uno strumento che, a differenza del pianoforte, si poteva portare in giro e con cui si poteva condividere la musica. La sorella di mia madre suonava invece la chitarra, e fu lei a mostrarmi i primi accordi, proprio nel periodo in cui in Italia imperversavano Celentano e i primi “cantanti urlatori”. Mi sono subito appassionato e immedesimato, raccogliendo i miei compagni di ginnasio in un piccolo gruppo con cui suonavamo alle feste degli studenti.

Zeno Gabaglio: Che possibilità c’erano per chi voleva fare musica, e magari anche condividerla con gli altri?
Il bisogno di trovarsi attorno al fare musica effettivamente c’era, ma in genere si rivolgeva alla musica popolare. Anch’io ho passato diversi anni a cantare e suonare la Verzaschina, il Boccalino e le varie canzoni che oggi diremmo folk. Per la musica dal vivo in Ticino c’era però ancora una buona offerta di orchestre di musica leggera, cioè gruppi (di anche solo 4-5 elementi) che si esibivano in repertori tra il jazz, lo swing e la canzone; tornando a casa da scuola mi fermavo sempre ad ascoltarli davanti ai bar di Locarno in cui si esibivano, restando sempre affascinato dalla musica che facevano ed imparando accordi nuovi.

Ma quella delle orchestrine era comunque una musica «vecchia»! Cosa portò invece Marco Zappa sulla strada ben più moderna del rock?
La chitarra elettrica. Durante una serata in cui – con il mio gruppo – suonammo all’Oratorio di Minusio, il prete che organizzava l’incontro diffuse dall’impianto il brano Apache degli Shadows, con quei meravigliosi suoni iniziali di chitarra elettrica riverberata. Fu un colpo di fulmine, e poi, naturalmente, le canzoni dei Beatles! …

Quindi all’origine del percorso rock di Marco Zappa ci fu la modernità di un prete?
In un certo senso sì: di un prete illuminato! Ma contagiato così – all’improvviso – dal germe della chitarra elettrica, per noi giovanissimi rimaneva un problema: come trasformare i nostri strumenti per cercare di ottenere esattamente quel suono lì? Un amico elettrotecnico mi disse che dalla cornetta del telefono, svitando la parte inferiore (cioè quella in cui si parlava), si poteva ricavare un microfono. Così feci, togliendolo e incollandolo alla chitarra, collegai poi i due fili risultanti all’amplificatore della radio dei miei genitori e ottenni la mia prima chitarra elettrica. Ancora mi ricordo quando attraversavo la città con la vecchia radio legata sul motorino per andare a fare le prove …

Di lì a poco – con la band Teenagers – avresti cominciato a fare le cose decisamente sul serio, anche se il centro gravitazionale del tuo universo musicale lo avresti raggiunto qualche anno più tardi, passando dalla lingua inglese a quella italiana. Ci puoi spiegare questa tua fondamentale evoluzione?
Ero cresciuto ascoltando pezzi rock inglesi sul mio giradischi, ascoltando mille volte i 45 giri per imparare gli assoli di chitarra e memorizzare i testi. E se anche la conoscenza della lingua era per tutti approssimativa, si scriveva e si cantava in inglese proprio perché i nostri ascolti di quel periodo erano focalizzati sul rock britannico. Oggi paradossalmente critico un po’ quei musicisti che – pur essendo di lingua madre italiana – cantano solo in inglese, e credo di poterlo fare proprio perché anch’io, in fondo, ho cominciato così. I primi due LP li realizzammo in inglese, e l’orgoglio fu che a produrceli c’era la EMI (la casa discografica dei Beatles!) che senza l’inglese non ce li avrebbe mai prodotti.

«Le parole che scegli sono come le tue dita su una chitarra: devi sentirle tue, e se non è così il risultato musicale non sarà sincero.» – Marco Zappa

E l’italiano quando arrivò?
Il passaggio all’italiano è avvenuto nel 1979. Attorno a noi erano cambiati certi gusti musicali e certi rapporti con l’idea della canzone; ma soprattutto avevo maturato io una nuova consapevolezza: la lingua che usi è come uno strumento, che ti deve appartenere. Le parole che scegli sono come le tue dita su una chitarra: devi sentirle tue, e se non è così il risultato musicale non sarà sincero. Da allora se una storia la vivo in dialetto, non posso che scriverla in dialetto, e se la vivo in italiano, devo scriverla in italiano, e così per le altre lingue. Non si tratta di una scelta obbligatoria e a priori che mi impongo prima di scrivere qualcosa, ma è la stessa storia che voglio raccontare a portarmi sull’inevitabile strada linguistico-espressiva.

Infine la musica. Perché se è vero che ti sei presto allontanato dalla convenzione giovanilistica dell’inglese, altrettanto hai fatto da una visione musicale esclusivamente rock, andando a cercare soluzioni meno scontate e – indubbiamente – più ardite. Chi ti ha spinto in questa direzione?
Proprio per la svolta testuale in italiano scelsi una veste musicale inusitata: un trio con flauto e violoncello. Forse inconsciamente volevo fare qualcosa che piacesse anche a mia madre. La formazione sembrava classica, ma lo spirito era chiaramente rock, anche se per molti si poteva fare rock solo usando una Stratocaster con distorsione. Da allora ho sempre cercato di aprirmi a collaborazioni musicali con musicisti, strumenti e idee ogni volta diversi, e il principio è lo stesso che vale per il testo: è la storia da raccontare che suggerisce – a volte imponendole – soluzioni tecniche e poetiche differenti. Perché altrimenti se usi ogni volta gli stessi mattoni e ogni volta li sovrapponi allo stesso modo, il risultato sarà sempre lo stesso muro.

www.marcozappa.ch

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Camilla Sparksss: “A lovely Christmas present” | plus video A former monk’s hermitage serves as the birthplace for new songs by Camilla Sparksss. To this day, the view over the lake landscape from there seems rather idyllic. Looking more closely, however, you realise that the landscape is cut in half by the motorway’s north-south axis and the runway of the Lugano-Agno airport. The same applies to Camilla Sparksss: things are not all as they seem at first glance. Read more
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A story of 50 years’ success: The only sustained career in Switzerland in relation to the “canzone italiana” – in all its dimensions. An undisputed, and undoubtedly significant fact about the singer songwriter Marco Zappa from Bellinzona, who has become the focal point of music culture in the Ticino again at the beginning of the year. This comes with the release of his new album “PuntEBarrier” which contains 18 unpublished songs, and a tour across Switzerland starting on 14 March 2017 in the Teatro Sociale Bellinzona. Interview/Text by Zeno Gabaglio – La versione italiana del testo si trova sotto.

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Interview with Marco Zappa in the studio MarcoZappaMusic in Sementina. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

50 years of music: This is a great opportunity to meet Marco and cast a look back into the past. We asked...read more

Camilla Sparksss: “A lovely Christmas present” | plus video

A former monk’s hermitage serves as the birthplace for new songs by Camilla Sparksss. To this day, the view over the lake landscape from there seems rather idyllic. Looking more closely, however, you realise that the landscape is cut in half by the motorway’s north-south axis and the runway of the Lugano-Agno airport. The same applies to Camilla Sparksss: things are not all as they seem at first glance. Text: guest author Markus Ganz; Video: Manu Leuenberger

The musician, born in 1983, shows a mellow and affectionate side during the interview – not her wild side we know from her stage appearances. She grew up in Canada, and her real name is Barbara Lehnhoff. When she turned 17, she moved to Ticino, where her mother has her roots, in order to study. Soon, she got to know and love the Ticino rock guitarist and songwriter Aris Bassetti, and started to play music with him under the band name Peter Kernel. Due to the rather favourable development of their musical activities, she gave up her long-term position as a film-maker with the Ticino television in 2012 in order to fully concentrate on music.

“Ticino, compared to Canada, is a really good strategic place to make music and go on tour”, Barbara Lehnhoff explains. “You don’t have to jump on a plane to get from A to B, as is the case in North America”. She also loves the considerably warmer climate which is important to her, not just for her physical comfort. “You can simply go outside at any time of the year and make a video or a photo-shooting.” Her old home country does, however, still influence her artistic vision to this day. “I grew up in a kind of Indian reserve, having a really strong contact with nature – rather different from Europe.”

Peter Kernel – electronic

It may sound confusing that Camilla Sparksss is “not so much a solo but rather a side project of Peter Kernel”. Barbara Lehnhoff emphasises that she co-composes the works for Camilla Sparksss together with Aris Bassetti. “We do everything together, 24 hours a day, and we also complement each other well when writing songs”. Aris follows a more melodic Italian style and is in charge of the arrangements. I’m more direct and my style is more punky”. This aspect can be felt more with Camilla Sparksss. The project was born out of the need to create some kind of an electronic version of Peter Kernel; not least in order to have to carry less equipment from concert to concert. “With Camilla Sparksss, the music is more playful and more fun-oriented. If we have an idea, we can immediately try it out on the computer.”

The source of a song is usually within Aris Bassetti’s guitar play, if he is looking for a melody. “We only decide during the songwriting process, for which project we will use the piece. If it is for Camilla Sparksss, we transpose it into an electronic song.” As soon as they want to try out any arrangements, they switch their apartment for a nearby rehearsal room. “We can make a lot of noise there, as it is in the basement”, Barbara Lehnhoff laughs. “When we write the vocal parts, we must be able to scream.” She describes the Camilla Sparksss style as hyper pop. “With regards to melodies and arrangements, these songs can be counted among pop. But to push the envelope like we do, that’s hyper – and that’s part of our punk approach.”

Girl power on stage

The songs really come into their own during their concerts. “The live performance is the reason for everything we do with the two projects. It’s only live on stage where our artistic performance can be fully achieved.” Camilla Sparksss offers a real performance which reminds you of a shrill show by a girl power project. Barbara Lehnhoff sings at the top of her voice and plays synthesizers to the rhythms of a drum machine while another woman dances to the beats. “The dancer represents the physical aspect of the drum machine – and is therefore sweating just like a drummer.”

Not least because of the many concerts Barbara Lehnhoff and Aris Bassetti have been able to live from their music since 2012. For some of their tours which led them as far as Canada and North America, they received support from the FONDATION SUISA. “It’s still tough to live off music”, Barbara Lehnhoff adds rather dryly. “And it’s really only possible because we do everything ourselves: videos, graphics, management, and our label On The Camper Records.” Since the two musicians don’t make pop in the commercial sense, they don’t get a lot of airplay and therefore don’t get a lot of money. “The SUISA settlements are usually like a lovely Christmas present to us”, says Barbara Lehnhoff with a smile.

www.camillasparksss.com, official website

“Where the music is new”

The value of the ideas of music creators is the centrepiece of SUISA’s work. For the brochure “Where the music is new”, five personalities and bands from various musical genres and Swiss language regions provide insights into their artistic creation process and their musical activities. Apart from Barbara Lehnhoff aka Camilla Sparksss, Carrousel and Marcel Oetiker have already been presented on the SUISAblog.ch (plus videos) and in in the brochure, edition 2015 (PDF, 8.17 MB). Barbara Lehnhoff and Aris Bassetti were, as the duo Peter Kernel, among the nominees for the Swiss Music Prize 2016.

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A former monk’s hermitage serves as the birthplace for new songs by Camilla Sparksss. To this day, the view over the lake landscape from there seems rather idyllic. Looking more closely, however, you realise that the landscape is cut in half by the motorway’s north-south axis and the runway of the Lugano-Agno airport. The same applies to Camilla Sparksss: things are not all as they seem at first glance. Text: guest author Markus Ganz; Video: Manu Leuenberger

The musician, born in 1983, shows a mellow and affectionate side during the interview – not her wild side we know from her stage appearances. She grew up in Canada, and her real name is Barbara Lehnhoff. When she turned 17, she moved to Ticino, where her mother has her roots, in order to study....read more

«La SUISA a Lugano – un punto di riferimento per la scena musicale nella Svizzera italiana»

Con sedi a Zurigo, Losanna e Lugano la SUISA è rappresentata nelle tre regioni linguistiche della Svizzera. La succursale di Lugano, che conta con la collaborazione di quattro persone, si occupa delle richieste formulate dai soci italofoni e di tutti i clienti della Svizzera italiana. Il nuovo responsabile della succursale ticinese, Stefano Keller, è nel frattempo in carica da circa 100 giorni. Nell’intervista ci illustrerà tra l’altro, perché presso la sede di Lugano sono richieste delle particolari competenze da Allrounder, come la SUISA contribuisce alla promozione della vita culturale in Ticino e quali obbiettivi persegue quale nuovo responsabile della sede ticinese. Testo/intervista: Michael Welti – Please find the English text below.

Stefano-Keller

Da 100 giorni in carica: Stefano Keller, il nuovo responsabile della succursale di Lugano della SUISA. (Fotografia: Francesco Fumagalli)

Perché la SUISA ha una sede a Lugano? Le sedi di Zurigo o Losanna non potrebbero occuparsi dei soci e dei clienti italofoni?
Stefano Keller: per i nostri soci e per la nostra clientela è estremamente importante che la SUISA sia presente nelle tre regioni linguistiche e che quindi ci possa essere un rapporto di prossimità. La presenza di SUISA Lugano rende possibile a tutti gli agenti italofoni che si occupano di musica di poter formulare le proprie richieste e di ricevere una consulenza nella loro lingua madre. Inoltre, ritengo importante che in Svizzera vi sia uno scambio costante tra le diverse regioni linguistiche. Per queste ragioni la SUISA ha deciso di istituire nel 2002 una succursale a Lugano. Nel frattempo, grazie alla competenza e alla disponibilità dei suoi collaboratori, la sede di Lugano è diventata un punto di riferimento importante per la scena musicale della Svizzera italiana.

Qual è la sfera di competenza dei collaboratori di SUISA Lugano?
I nostri compiti spaziano tra tutte le richieste e domande formulate dai nostri soci italofoni (nuove iscrizioni, autoproduzioni, deposito di opere, notifiche di ingaggi, conteggi indennità, rendite, …) al licenziare le più disparate forme di utilizzi musicali, dalla musica di sottofondo fino ai concerti e alla diffusione su radio e TV. Presso la sede SUISA di Lugano lavorano quattro persone; essendo un piccolo team è quindi di fondamentale importanza essere degli Allrounder e poter avere una prospettiva multidisciplinare sulla SUISA, questo particolare aspetto può senz’altro fornire un interessante arricchimento della nostra cultura aziendale.

Come contribuisce la SUISA alla vita culturale in Ticino?
Oltre al fatto di essere divenuti un importante punto di riferimento per la scena musicale nella Svizzera italiana, SUISA Lugano è presente a diversi eventi pubblici quali: il Film Festival di Locarno e MusicNet. Organizza e promuove con regolarità cene e aperitivi d’incontro per i nostri soci ed editori, creando così dei momenti privilegiati di scambio e di messa in rete di esperienze estremamente eterogenee. A partire da questi incontri sono già nate delle interessanti collaborazioni per delle produzioni artistiche.

Cosa fa la SUISA di Lugano per la promozione dei musicisti in Ticino?
La sede di Lugano sostiene attivamente i musicisti in Ticino fornendo loro una consulenza attiva che permette di coprire tutto lo spettro dei servizi offerti dalla SUISA. Detto in altre parole, quando un musicista italofono si rivolge alla SUISA di Lugano attraverso i canali classici (e-mail, telefono, lettera) o recandosi personalmente presso il nostro sportello di accoglienza riceve una consulenza a 360 gradi sulla sua attività.

Lei è in carica quale nuovo responsabile della sede di Lugano da circa 100 giorni, quali sono i suoi obbiettivi?
Personalmente vorrei sottolineare ancora una volta quanto sia importante, per la forma e la tipologia del lavoro svolto a Lugano, poter contare su un team affiatato e competente in grado di essere il più efficace possibile. Ogni collaboratore deve essere in grado di lavorare in forma indipendente e allo stesso tempo complementare con l’altro. Uno degli obiettivi per il breve-medio periodo è sicuramente quello di fornire ai nostri principali clienti così come ai nostri soci più importanti un servizio personalizzato e di qualità ineccepibile, valorizzandone così l’operato.

Veniamo quindi a una domanda personale, quali generi musicali o bands dal Ticino può consigliarci in questo momento?
La scena musicale ticinese ha vissuto in questi anni, dal 2002 ad oggi, diversi avvicendamenti tra generi musicali molto diversi tra loro. Se agli inizi di SUISA Lugano la maggior parte delle bands venivano dalla scena Hard Rock e Metal, attorno al 2005 la scena ticinese si focalizzava molto sull’Hip Hop e sul Rap. In questi anni sembra invece andare per la maggiore il New Folk (Sebalter/Make Plain), l’Indie Rock (On The Camper Records/Francesca Lago) o il «classico» Pop Rock (Sinplus/Charlie Roe).


“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland”

SUISA has offices in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano and is thus represented in three language regions of Switzerland. In Lugano, four members of staff look after the Italian-speaking members and customers in Ticino. The new manager of the regional office in Ticino, Stefano Keller, has been in office for 100 days now. In this interview, he elaborates on topics such as why the Lugano office requires allrounders, how SUISA contributes to the promotion of creative performances in Ticino and which goals he has as a manager of the Ticino office. Text/Interview: Michael Welti

“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland”

In office for 100 days: Stefano Keller, new manager of the SUISA regional office in Lugano. (Photo: Francesco Fumagalli)

Why does SUISA have a regional office in Lugano? Could members and customers based in Ticino not receive their services from the Zurich or Lausanne offices?
Stefano Keller: It is important to our members and our customers that SUISA is represented in the three language regions and therefore is as close to them as possible. SUISA’s presence in Lugano enables Italian-speaking creators and those active in the music sector to ask questions and get advice in their mother tongue. It is also important that there is an exchange between the various linguistic regions of Switzerland. For that reason, SUISA had decided in 2002, to found the regional office in Lugano. In the meantime, the regional office Lugano has, thanks to the competence and engagement of its employees, become a significant point of reference for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.

Which kinds of tasks do the members of staff in Lugano carry out?
Our tasks comprise nearly all the services we offer to our members: new registrations, own productions, work registrations, payments and pension schemes. We cover nearly the entire licensing service spectrum for our customers, too: i.e. background music, concerts as well as radio and TV broadcasts. There are four members of staff in our Ticino regional office: We all have to be allrounders in such a small team and provide a multi-disciplinary service perspective of SUISA. This speciality has got to be an enrichment for SUISA’s enterprise culture.

What can SUISA contribute to the cultural life in Ticino?
Apart from the role as an important reference point for the Ticino music sector, SUISA is also present at various public events such as the Locarno film festival or the MusicNet in Lugano. We also organise networking events for authors and publishers and offer them the possibility to network. Interesting projects have already emerged from such events between artists who had previously hardly known each other.

What does SUISA offer in Lugano in terms of promoting music creators in Ticino?
The regional office in Lugano supports musicians in Ticino, especially by means of the advice it provides. The advice covers the entire range of SUISA services. In other words: If Italian-speaking musicians contact SUISA in Lugano via e-mail, phone or a letter, or comes by in person, they will receive a 360-degree advisory service in relation to their activities.

You have been manager of SUISA’s regional office in Lugano for 100 days. What are your goals?
SUISA Lugano should be a well matched and competent team of allrounders who carry out their duties as effectively as possible. Each member of staff has to be able to work independently and at the same time support its colleagues. It is my aim, among other things, to offer our bigger customers as well as our most important members a more personal and qualitatively flawless service.

Now for a personal question: Which musicians or bands from Ticino can you currently recommend?
The Ticino music scene has seen a great development over the last ten to twenty years and therefore provides a lot of diversity in the various genres. In the early years of SUISA Lugano, the majority of bands came from the hard rock and metal scene. From 2005 onwards, a hip hop and rap scene started to develop, and further artists from other genres emerged in the last few years. In New Folk there are, for example, Sebalter or Make Plain; in Indie Rock, there are the artists of the Ticino label On The Camper Records or Francesca Lago. There are also musicians from classical pop/rock such as Sinplus or Charlie Roe.

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Con sedi a Zurigo, Losanna e Lugano la SUISA è rappresentata nelle tre regioni linguistiche della Svizzera. La succursale di Lugano, che conta con la collaborazione di quattro persone, si occupa delle richieste formulate dai soci italofoni e di tutti i clienti della Svizzera italiana. Il nuovo responsabile della succursale ticinese, Stefano Keller, è nel frattempo in carica da circa 100 giorni. Nell’intervista ci illustrerà tra l’altro, perché presso la sede di Lugano sono richieste delle particolari competenze da Allrounder, come la SUISA contribuisce alla promozione della vita culturale in Ticino e quali obbiettivi persegue quale nuovo responsabile della sede ticinese. Testo/intervista: Michael Welti – Please find the English text below.

Stefano-Keller

Da 100 giorni in carica: Stefano Keller, il nuovo responsabile della succursale di Lugano della SUISA. (Fotografia: Francesco Fumagalli)

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