International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music
WHO: Luxembourg-born, Barcelona-based pianist and producer Francesco Tristano
STYLE: Big fancy virtuosic classical piano chops meet midi and techno flourishes; Debussy goes to Detroit
LATEST WORK: Body Vanquish EP (2015), Body Language Vol. 16 Mix (2015), Piano, Hats and Stabs EP (2014)
LABELS: Deutsche Grammophon, InFiné, Get Physical
MORE: On top of it all, he also plays clarinet
Tristano occupies a unique position along the musical space-time genre continuum: he dwells effortlessly in the traditional, classical yesterday and in the ever-evolving technological tomorrow – simultaneously. His records come out on esteemed 120-year-old German classical label Deutsche Grammophon and modern techno arbiter, Get Physical. While classical and electronic are not novel elements to cross anymore, Tristano’s trick is in seamlessly integrating his Juilliard training with revelations gleaned from far less formal studies in New York city clubs.
In 2005 he was already performing rousing piano versions of Derek May’s Detroit classic, “Strings of Life” – a track that ended up on his 2007 solo album Not for Piano, along with a version of “The Bells” by Jeff Mills and a complex interpretation of Autchere’s “Andover” – minimalist composer Murcof produced. Tristano has since performed with the legendary Moritz Von Oswald (Basic Channel, Chain Reaction) and a symphony orchestra, joined Carl Craig’s Innerzone Orchestra as a keyboardist and arranger, and travelled to Planet E studios in Detroit to record. His original compositions amalgamate virtuosity with enthusiasm for techno and electronic timbre, using synthesizers and drum machines to connect a whole universe of contemporary electronic music, some of which has barely been invented yet.
He still plays elegant classical concerts with orchestras and is lauded for his interpretations of the canon, but he’s also played at Berghain and a recent Boiler Room with Carl Craig. Tristano's charismatic performance on the Métropolis stage will fit right in with the evening’s big room techno plans.