9 Complete Strangers

Well, almost. 

We've worked together for months before. I've met and hung out with Tommy (it started at our Joshua Tree expedition in March), I met Dimitri in Malibu a few months before, and I met Jonas briefly in Munich this past summer. The rest I knew only through email, and various incarnations of their works in progress. Its a bit unnerving knowing you'll be working closely and living with a bunch of people you have not known up to that point. What if we don't get along? We're stuck!! What if some are divas!

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We booked a large, beautiful looking house in the countryside, some 20-minute drive out of town. Little did we know (or expect) that the beautiful house is just the beginning. The house owner, Vito, and his cousin Tony, being the best part of it. 

 

A quick coffee meeting...

That's how it started out. I met Federico in August, at French Market Cafe, just off Abbott Kinney Boulevard. My dear friend Carlo Siliotto, a great Italian film composer, introduced us briefly a few days before.

 I've been already working with a number of composers on an album of tracks with a small string ensemble in mind, some percussion perhaps. Federico seemed interested to join the collaboration. We talked about possibilities and direction, I mentioned a recent trip to Joshua Tree with a couple of colleagues for a different project, and how fun and inspiring that was. He mentioned a small string ensemble he works with at his hometown of Matera, in Italy. 

He then showed me a photo:

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I was smitten. I mean, how beautiful is that. They don't make them like that anymore. One thing led to another, and we left it at 'let's explore the possibilities'. Three months later, 9 of us were on planes from our respective countries (Russia, Denmark, Germany, Austria, UK and USA, and Federico was already in Italy) to meet in this stunning place.