In January 2020, an old friend and former music partner, Gianluca Lo Presti, had recently lost his father. A new album dedicated to reflecting on their time together was in the works. The idea included a companion EP of remixes, done by friends and former collaborators. Gianluca asked Emilio Albertoni and I to choose a song to our liking and produce a remix together. We had complete creative freedom, and several months at our disposal. After listening, in isolation, to an early demo of the album, we selected the song Non so chi sei (“I don’t know you”).
Shortly after, Covid arrived. A few months and several chats later, Emilio started drafting ideas in Logic and sent them over. Seeing his direction, I’d decided how to interact with his production.
I’ve been collaborating with Gianluca for twenty years, somehow picking up Simone’s baton right after he left Ravenna in the mid-Nineties. When we met last year, in a foggy wintry night, we couldn’t possibly know that a global pandemic was around the corner, nor that we would have worked together remotely, despite ironically living so close. Emilio Albertoni
Loto studio, where Emilio and I used to work
The first draft, an instrumental, sounded drastically different from to the original, yet perfectly retaining its spirit. More than 90% of our demo material ended up in the final master.
I wrote my bass parts in a way that was coherent with Emilio’s tracked line, conveying the fractured feelings expressed in the song. I also added back a section of Gianluca’s vocals, cut to twist the meaning, thus creating a mirror of the original title. This is how we ended up re-titling our remix Non sai chi sono (“You don’t know me”).
We wanted to make it a dialogue, where the original song and our remix approached the father-son relationship from different point of views.
I played my fretless bass over and over against Emilio’s demo while I still was in the UK. It was a very stressful time: the pandemic was approaching its second peak in the country, while my wife and I wanted to leave as soon as we could. Simone Silvestroni
Once settled in my coastal Italian hometown, I’d managed to work on the production. After adding vocals and bass, I reorganised the samples, recorded a new rhythmic section in the chorus, and added an original Italian TV announcement about Nixon’s victory in 1968.
Arrigo Levi, announcing Nixon’s victory on Italian TV (1968)
The spoken words of Gianluca’s father — recorded on tape at the time — is featured all along, like a vocal journal of his preparations for a work trip in Iraq. At the beginning, tenderly speaking to his wife, he stated the date: one day before Nixon was announced as the new President of the United States.
We exchanged opinions about the rough mixes, efficiently collaborating to the editing until we both felt the song was complete. After starting the work in Logic, both the mix and the master were done in Pro Tools.
We strived to reach out to the core of the song — but also moving to a different territory — respectful of our different musical paths. Simone is outstanding at giving context to songs and laying down elegant and credible bass lines. He built rhythmic parts, strenghtening and tying together the tension that I created with my guitars and synth. Emilio Albertoni
- Emilio Albertoni
- guitars, synth, drums
- Simone Silvestroni
- bass, drums, sound effects
- Gianluca Lo Presti
- vocals, synth, sound effects
Produced by Emilio Albertoni and Simone Silvestroni / Mixed and mastered by Simone Silvestroni / © 2020 Gianluca Lo Presti / © 2021 Remix produced and arranged by Emilio Albertoni and Simone Silvestroni / ℗ 2019 Minutes to Midnight (sound recording copyright).