Teodoro Anzellotti and his accordion
45 minutes of film only about an accordion - isn't that a bit boring?
No, we shot this film for almost 2 weeks and discovered something new every day. Nothing boring at all. This is due to the instrument itself, its aura, its breath, its unbelievable acoustic richness. An accordion was completely dismantled before our eyes – the complex mechanical apparatus which gives rise to such sounds discredits people who view the accordion as a mere popular instrument.
And is also due, of course, to the accordionist himself: Teodoro Anzellotti is simply the best, most virtuoso, advanced accordionist alive today. Which is not to say that he is satisfied with himself. It is the range of his knowledge and his ambition which, to be quite honest, has taken the accordion out of the stale, claustrophobic club atmosphere and the tango corner and made it what it is today: a mature, very flexible and sensitive solo concert instrument for primarily contemporary music for which more new literature has been composed recently than for any other instrument by far. It was highly overdue to make a film about it: About Anzellotti and about his accordion.
And why did you shot the film in Italy? After all, Anzellotti lives near Freiburg in Southern Germany!
Very simple: On the one hand because Anzellotti is of Italian birth and knows many people there, is among friends, so to speak, which gives the film a very warm atmosphere. There is much laughter, many jokes are made, and although it rained almost constantly throughout the shoot, one simply feels this special light which distinguishes Italy from all other countries.
On the other hand, Italy has the most beautiful theatres in the world, and we were able to record the concerts for the film in some of them. No photographer and no film maker would voluntarily pass up the chance to shoot in these marvellous locations, where this music blossoms out with an ease which is far from the bone-dry or better “beer-serious” (to coin a German phrase) attitude with which New Music is performed in Germany at the moment. We found our locations in Macerata, which has a "two-thirds-Scala" and in Panicale near Perugia, in a mini-Scala for no more than 100 spectators. I have never seen something like it.
We were striving for a film -- this may well be a typically German quality -- , that starts at the beginning, keeps going to the end and then stops but which nevertheless has a certain charm, allowing people to laugh and at the same time see that others can laugh about themselves. And this despite the fact that the film actually deals with contemporary music for the accordion. Piazzola, Globokar, Sciarrino, Berio and Satie - serious contemporary music, music that many people claim sounds terrible and cannot be understood. Not that one needs to understand everything when listening to this music. What has to be understood is imparted in a cheerful, natural way. The composers who took part in the film have helped us very much - and Teodoro Anzellotti himself, of course, who tells us that he was obsessed by his instrument from early childhood. These are human constellations which one cannot necessarily plan, they either happen or they don't, which is why this film is a documentary.
We have been pretty lucky this time, managed to meet the right people at the right time. This is not my first film on contemporary music; I know what I am talking about when I say that we have never had so much luck as this time. And in the end one will realise that this music doesn't sound so terrible after all. It is something quite natural to compose music like this for this instrument, and the worlds revealed to us through this instrument are completely wonderful.
The film is called: The Art of Seduction. Where does this title come from?
Actually, this question has already been answered .The first time I met Teodoro Anzellotti was at a concert in Berlin. I was astonished that only one musician, alone on stage, can unfold such gigantic rooms, rooms that are even bigger than those our eyes can see. And all this with a relatively small instrument. It was actually Teodoro Anzellotti who seduced me to want to crawl inside the instrument, into the innermost part of it, the place where the sounds evolve and into the inside of the sounds. This is why the film experiments with different rooms: large rooms which, related to the music, suddenly appear out of nothing and then disappear again. The idea is to perceive different states by totally devoting myself to music when listening to it. This is the art of Teodoro Anzellotti and also the topic of this film. And it is my homage to him, and my hope, that this experience can be conveyed to a larger audience.