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English - July 23, 2021

How to be a musician in a “falsely simple” world

The secret to success of the musician Gianni Rocci? Conviction, don't break down in the face of difficulties and love for his work.

Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph – Life & Reality“. I am Luna, and I thank you for being here with me. In the last episode, we talked about the role of the singer-songwriter in music, with Maurizio Pallotta.

Today, I’d like to talk more about music, analyzing the point of view of a musician. In fact, I would like to go into more detail. Today, we will discover the experiences of other people. I chose to speak to a man, completely immersed in the musical world. Gianni Rocci is a songwriter, musician and pianist. However, I’m really curious to know his story, let’s get to know him together!

Do you prefer to listen? There’s my podcast:

Me: Hi Gianni, it’s a pleasure to meet you!

A musician with a thousand interests

G: Hi Luna, I’m Gianni Rocci and I’m a musician, pianist and songwriter. I’m also interested in computer music and arrangement. So, everything related to technology, applied to music. I am the owner of Rod’s Garage. It’s a recording studio where we work on my projects, and also on behalf of third parties.

Me: You have so many interests, Gianni! I guess, it took a long time to get them all coordinated. This makes me think that, yours, is a passion born when you were a child! Correct me, if I’m wrong!

G: Actually, the passion for music has always been there. Although, in a different way. As a child, it was a more latent passion. The desire to make music came rather late. I was already adult, when I decided to make music a way to live.

Me: Personally, I’ve always been alone in my world. Before I could get out of there, I met some people who helped me understand.

I confronted with people, through the internet, on problems and beauties of the world. In the end, I chose to move on with my project. But, I’m really glad I talked to them, because they explained me so many things.

Where does a musician’s passion come from?

Me: There was a special moment, event or meeting for you, too? Something that made you realize that music was your way?

G: As I told you, I’ve always been passionate about music. As a kid, I loved singing and dancing. Also go to discos with friends. There was one thing that changed me, and made me want to enter this world.

My first concert. I was about sixteen. I went with some friends to see the rock concert of The Cult. It was the eighties and, on that occasion, I was really dazzled. I got the feeling that I’d have liked to be on the other side, on stage, and not in the audience.

Me: I understand your words very well. When you are at a concert, you experience a certain magic. What is created between the audience and the musician is incredible.

The obstacles in the path of a musician

Me: You approached music when you were already an adult. Did this give you any problems? Have you encountered closed doors and obstacles along your path?

G: No, I wouldn’t say. I’m not very old but, when I speak about my youth, I’m speaking of many years ago. Hence, of a completely different system.

In the town where I grew up, there was no chance to get close to music. Or rather, it wasn’t as easy as it might be today. There wasn’t, of course, the world of the internet, which opened up knowledge to anyone. At the time, the only option was to study music. In studying, the only option was classical music. So, I asked my parents about the possibility of being able to study the piano. Then, we started looking for an available teacher.

The fact that I was adult, penalized me a little. The teachers didn’t want to help me, even though they thought I was good. Some refused, because I was adult. So, having the chance to study, and find a teacher, forced me to travel in the early days. My father had to take me everywhere, because I still didn’t have a driving license.

But, it was very nice. It was a period that I remember with great affection and happiness.

Me: I guess there are great difficulties, in this world. Obstacles, closed doors, disappointments.

The differences with the past in the study of music

Me: Surely, among our listeners, there are many young people who want to get closer to the world of music. Someone who wants to become a musician. Sometimes, people encounters obstacles and disappointments, which cause the loss of hope. But, you haven’t given up on your dream to become a musician.

Times are changing, the approach to music too and, often, young people do not know how to move. Are there any tips you would like to give to these people that are thinking to give up?

G: Basically, today, the world of children has changed. The thing that doesn’t work is the fact that the young people think it’s all very simple. From music, to medicine, to engineering, to sport, anything.

When I was younger, I grew up with a completely different idea. I grew up with the idea that, doing things, and doing them well, was very difficult. So, having to study music, in order to get close to it, was already the first obstacle to overcome. Therefore, it was important to believe in yourself, in your own abilities.

Today, the world has become more fictional. Everyone thinks that it is enough to have a computer, to be able to make music, or record. Let’s say that, the side of discipline in the matter, is bypassed a little. This, because it requires a great deal of effort.

The important advice of a musician

G: I want to give advice to young people and the new generations. You don’t necessarily have to excel in everything. But, dedicate yourself to one thing. That is, try to understand what your talent is, and devote yourself entirely to it, with sacrifice and dedication. This will surely bring results. Then, of course, the difficulties will always meet.

And when you grow up, your ideas change too. Often, people start out thinking they want to be successful. Then, as you grow up, you realize that success is not just about becoming famous. Success, is also being able to make a passion your life. The one that allows you to eat and live. So, this is a big finish line.

Me: Thanks Gianni, you gave some very important advice. As you said, times have changed a lot.

The relationship between music and social media, seen by a musician

Me: I think the internet is having a big impact on this change. It is taking hold more and more in people’s lives. In fact, we often find ourselves looking at fictional lives, behind a screen. I imagine that, this way of life, will grow more and more.

Do you think there is a way, through music, to bring people back to love the world around them?

G: Music, certainly, has great power. Music could work wonders, as it did with me. The problem is with our system. How music is enjoyed today. Today, the art form itself is no longer given much importance. The younger are led to follow a character, through these social networks. They no longer care what the artistic value, of that particular character, is. The popularity of him simply counts.

Help from the system

G: Right now, then, the system should be helping.

Italy, certainly, does not value art in the right way. Once upon a time, it was much more difficult to study. It obviously required dedication. Now, our state has decided to change things. For example, the conservatory lasted 10 years in my day, now 3 are enough to get a degree.

This should change. The system should be able to give importance, to what is really important. It shouldn’t give the illusion, to anyone, that it can be anything. Also because young people, risk being faced with a devastating reality, in the future. Their skills, even “certified” by our system, will not be real skills. This will be a nice punch to the stomach.

So, I think it’s important to approach things, with great seriousness and dedication.

Me: If there is to be a change, it has to start right from the base. And, I believe that this change is necessary, for young people. Especially, because we are talking about their future.

A musician engaged in writing

Me: I would like to talk a little about your path, because I know you have many things to tell. At the beginning, you said that you are, in addition to a musician, also a songwriter. Do you write lyrics just for yourself or for other people too?

G: My passion for music starts from the fact that, as a boy, I wrote songs. I wasn’t studying music yet, I wasn’t able to play. I did, however, have a propensity for songwriting. Then, obviously, the path and the study became one. I mean, I studied classical music, but I kept writing pop rock songs for myself.

Over the years, it has simply happened to have requests from other people. They asked me to help them write songs, change the words of a text, the rhymes, the phrases. Even to tear down a structure. So, slowly, it also became a job.

Share and help the others

G: This is something that comes out pretty easy for me. I never dedicate myself to writing songs. In fact, I can’t say I’m a very prolific songwriter. However, I don’t have a huge production behind me, precisely because I never dedicate myself to writing. I mean, I don’t like putting myself there thinking I want to write a song. When it comes, it comes alone.

With other people it comes easier, because the idea is brought to me and submitted by a third person. I just have to work on that. For myself I struggle more, but it is something that comes easy enough for me.

Me: I find it interesting to be able to work with other artists. When multiple heads are put together, something incredible can be created.

A musician and his unforgettable experiences

Me: In terms of experience, Gianni, I think you have a nice full baggage. Is there any, that has remained more in your heart? Any concert, event or collaboration with others musicians?

G: You know, Luna, for sure, I have a lot of memories of this world. We can put on the scales how I have been repaid, emotionally and economically. What forces me to stay in this world, is the emotional side. For the economic one, let’s say, there are periods that really should be bypassed.

While, from the emotional and experience side, it certainly gave me a lot. The things I remember with great enthusiasm, surely, concern the period when I was younger. I spent years playing in clubs, in pubs. That was a really beautiful time. Fortunately, there has always been a great feeling with the public. I have always had excellent feedback.

Then, I went through another period in which, being an “expert” in technologies applied to music, I had the opportunity to work as a product specialist. As a representative of some products of companies. In particular, an American company, with which I worked for many years, and then other companies. A couple of British companies, produced very special technological products. Thanks to this work, I had the opportunity to work with major record productions. Also on tours and television programs.

Career and entertainment

G: In recent years, I have also had, more than once, the opportunity to go to Los Angeles. Where, in January, the presentation of a unique event in the world takes place. Here, all the new products dedicated to music are presented. And there are all the famous people. I had the opportunity to meet Dream Teather, the musicians of Toto, the great Alan Parsons, producer of “The dark side of the moon” by Pink Floyd. Or Stevie Wonder.

Then, I was someone who went there, not as a guest but as a representative of a company. So, I had the opportunity to speak with these people. To exchange ideas on that particular product, rather than on another. And then, after 7pm, it was a big party in the various hotels around the fair. With all these characters, we drank in bars, there were concerts. I mean, it was very nice.

But, I am always convinced that the best things are yet to come. So, despite my ripe old age, I’m looking to get back to live music again. Although the period is not exactly favorable to this type of events, I am preparing the new performances and the new concerts.

Me: I hope It! Gianni, I would be really curious to come and see one of your concerts.

Everything you have told me is truly incredible. You have a lot of luggage behind you! Fantastic memories, which I think you will always carry in your heart.

The challenges to face

Me: I would like to know something else. You have a kind of disease, which is not very well known, but which many young people face. Many don’t know how to deal with it. Can you tell us more about this topic?

G: I always say that it is not a disease, it is a pathology. Illness, let’s say, are far more serious things.

This way of seeing things, too, has helped me, and helps me, to coexist peacefully with my pathology. It is called “focal dystonia”, or “musician’s dystonia”. This is a pathology that affects musicians very much.

It is classified as task specific, that is, of the movement. Whoever repeats the same movements for hours, days, weeks, months, years, for a lifetime, risks being affected by this pathology. Basically, it doesn’t make the brain recognize the right movement to do. So, in my case, I’d like to press a key and instead the finger moves in reverse. Unfortunately, that’s a big deal.

Currently, there is no cure, there is not much to do. When I first started having these problems, I turned to hand specialists. I traveled all over Italy, from Puglia to Trentino, passing through Rome, Florence, Bologna. I shot a lot and, at the beginning, absolutely nothing was known.

How to face the problems and get up again?

G: I have had surgey twice. Then, I found that it wouldn’t help, and I did all sorts of new therapies. Even botulinum injections, like what is also done to be more beautiful. So, it didn’t help, but I sure have a nice hand.

In the end, I found a doctor, I say it quietly, his name is Doctor Elmar Abram. I want to say it, because he is a person who has dedicated his life, trying to understand this type of pathology. I started with him, with a great deal of movement work and no surgery. Simply, trying to re-educate the brain to make the right movement.

There are a lot of people, I have known, who have the same pathology. Many try not to admit it, and always try to justify it differently. For example, with the carpal tunnel. This is because you don’t want to accept a really subtle pathology, which also leads to depression. Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people. From guitarists, saxophonists, even singers, who have this pathology.

I can say, even in this case, don’t give up. I tried not to give up. Obviously, you have to compromise. I can no longer play at the levels I used to play years ago. But I still manage to play and complete what interests me.

Me: Thank you for these words and for these advice. I think it is very important to listen to them, for those who are experiencing this thing. And thanks also for recommending a doctor. Maybe there are those who find themselves alone in this situation and need someone, help, advice. So, your words are sure to be of great use to our listeners.

Put your heart into your work

Me: I would like to conclude with a somewhat personal question. Is there, any song from your musician’s repertoire that has remained in your heart? What would you like to tell our audience about?

G: As I told you before, I’m not a very prolific songwriter. The songs I’ve written over the years are probably all related to something. Something that gave rise, for me, to the need to put that thought, that experience, that feeling to music.

To tell the truth, I don’t often listen to my songs again. However, when I listen to them again, each of them brings me back to a particular experience, of a certain period. I am very attached to “Tutto tranquillo” (in English, “All quiet”), which is a song that you can also find on YouTube on my channel: Rod’s Garage Music. Definitely, it’s a song that I wrote very young. It tells a sad love story, in a rather hidden way. It’s the story of a friend of mine, who unfortunately hasn’t been around for many years.

Let’s say, all the songs I’ve written bring back a pleasant veil of melancholy. So, listen to my songs, listen to the productions I’ve done and what’s to come.

We will see what sensations will arise in you. Let’s say that when I write a song, I never want to give a precise idea of ​​what it is about. I like to think that every listener can experience his personal story. And I hope to succeed in this.

Hope for the future

Me: Gianni, thank you very much for these explanations, they are lovely. After years, you speak of music as a great love, and this is incredible. An artist, a musician, who loves his work and never tires of doing it, despite the obstacles encountered along the way.

So, you said you’ll want to get back live soon!

G: Yes Luna. We hope to see you live soon! Let’s hope this summer too, who can say. Sure, it looked like something was starting up. While, now, it seems that we are moving towards restrictions again. I don’t know, we keep working. Sooner or later, the time will come as always.

Me: Definitely, Gianni! I thank you for the time you have given me, and for all the words you have said to me. This has been a great lesson for me. I learned a lot, thanks to your words. You’re a great musician! Maybe, in the future, we will find ourselves talking about something new in your career.

G: Thanks to you, Luna. For me, it was a real pleasure. Hope to meet up with new stories soon.

Rate and comment my podcast

Thanks also to those who listened to this new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph. Life & Reality”. I learned a lot thanks to the chat with the musician Gianni. I hope you enjoyed hearing all of his experiences. But, above all, did you find his advice interesting? Let me know what you think!

Leave me a good review on my web channels, to encourage me to continue this journey. Subscribe to my podcast and on Instagram and contact me on lunadolph.com for advice, criticism or just to get to know me. See you next Friday for a new episode! And don’t forget – live and enjoy the real world!