Thursday, May 4, 2017

Antonella Chionna Meets Pat Battstone: Rylesonable (KARI-ON PRODUCTIONS) An Italian Collaboration Produces an Avant Garde Adventurism

Antonella Chionna Meets Pat Battstone: Rylesonable

Antonella Chionna born November 20, 1990
She’s an italian writer, improviser and singer. 

She has spent the first part of her life training as a classical dancer performing, at very young age, in theathers and developing a deep listening into classical music. She started singing, as a professional singer, at the age of seventeen, performing, recording and collaborating with many artists coming from all over the world.

She started training, as a professional musician, at the age of twelve influenced by opera, classical music and jazz, developing her vocal technique for over fiftheen years: earning a bachelor degree in “Jazz Voice” with the italian soprano Gianna Montecalvo, at the Conservatory “Nino Rota” in Monopoli (IT). During this period, she was also a student of one of the most influential educators in jazz, and a pioneer of vocal jazz education in Europe: Judy Niemack. On this path she released her debut album “Adiafora” (Koinè, Dodicilune) in 2013, at the age of twentytwo. On the same year, Antonella started to study improvisation, composition and repertoire with her mentor, the pianist and composer, Gianni Lenoci: achieving, in 2015, a master’s degree in “Jazz Music” with high onors. Her final master graduation work “Halfway to dawn – a song of Billy Strayhorn” was released the same year, as an exclusive monograph dedicated to the music of Billy Strayhorn in the year of his centenary, by the label Dodicilune and was positively reviewed, getting an entusiastic feedback from one of the leading musicologists of Strayhorn’s music: Walter van de Leur.

Many others Chionna’s vocal works are documented in the following musical anthologies: Hunger and Love – tribute to Billie Holiday (1915 -2015), Dodicilune (2015);  Music Live – I giovani per i giovani, Tips di Steve Lacy – feat. Gianni Lenoci – Vittorio Gallo, live recording - December 2015 at Casa del Jazz – Rome (IT); Ismez Onlus (2016) and now Rylesonable (2017)

Writer and poet, she followed a classical education at the base of her studies, combining highly specialized readings of the literary tradition in search of new forms of expressions: she achieved a high school degree in classical studies, in 2009. Fervent reader, she has carried out the study of contemporary literature as a self – thaught, meeting the prominent members of the Italian poetic literature: Maurizio Cucchi, Valerio Magrelli, Antonio Riccardi, Andrea Leone, Andrea Inglese, Franco Buffoni e Franco Loi. She has published two books of poetry, Epifanie Baritonali (Lupo, 2012) and Poghenos (Lietocolle, 2014).

Many others Chionna’s poetical works are documented and mentioned in the following literary anthologies: Quadernario – almanacco di poesia contemporanea by Maurizio Cucchi (Lietocolle, 2015); Le Gazze disattente by Francesco Paolo del Re (Secop edizioni, 2016).

Antonella Chionna started teaching modern singing at the age of eighteen. Teaching for many years as a vocal trainer, she develop a personal vision of the vocal instrument: strictly connected to her discography, to her work on stage and to her accademic and intellectual background. Showing how an excellent technique and the improvisative knowledges combined with a deep listening are the key to become a valuable artist.

"It’s very beautiful. I can feel the depth, sadness and beauty in it – I’m really looking forward to the release of the CD – as I said, I think it’s very beautiful and felt very affected by it.” -Marilyn Crispell 

Patrick Battstone began performing music professionally at the age of 14, playing in various rock, blues, and R&B bands in South Western Ohio. By the time he was 18, he had received lessons from Stan Kenton and Gary Burton, had been mentored by Oscar Treadwell (Oska T), and had played with James Brown’s recording sidemen as well as members of the musical “Hair.”

In 1973, he attended Berklee College of Music and soon after became a student of both Mme Chaloff and Charlie Banacos. One of his bands, which featured hometown friend Grover Mooney, opened the fabled 1369 Club in Cambridge in 1975. During the 80’s, Patrick studied the works of Scriabin under the renowned Serge Conus. In 1986, he returned to jazz, studying with Joanne Brackeen for a period of 6 years.

In the past 2 decades, he has been involved in various musical activities. Though his focus as an artist is creative improvisation, he certainly is skilled and experienced in any setting where jazz (no matter the style) or groove and R &B is needed. He is fluid in both solo appearances as well as leading ensembles; in both acoustic settings as well as electric. He leads an acoustic trio and quartet and has performed in numerous electric funk/rock groups.

Besides performing, he has been active in producing music, in teaching piano, and has managed and mentored numerous bands and venues. Lately, his main activity has been in the recording studio, having produced and released 10 CDs of his own and collaborated works. His last 4 CDs, Mystic Nights, The Last Taxi, Beyond the Horizon, and From Dream to Dream have all had excellent reviews and have charted into the mid-teens on the CMJ jazz charts. 

His latest adventures has been in collaboration with the musical circles in Puglia Italy, namely those of Gianna Montecalvo in Bari and Gianni Lenoci in Monopoli. Along with his Italian counterpart, Antonella Chionna, they have produced 2 CDs since June 2016 . The first, Rylesonable, is a quartet effort that features poetry, improvisation, quasi-standards and electronica. This is being released on the Italian label, Dodiciluna, in Feb, 2017. The second is a duet that features the poetry of Surrealist Robert Desnos. He is also a member of the TSK TSK orchestra which was recently audio and video recorded. That effort is being post processed into a DVD.

When not performing music, Patrick works as a rocket scientist at Draper Labs in Cambridge.