“The beauty lies in small things”: whoever agrees with this saying might end up enchanted by what Fabio Bonelli has been creating for years as Musica da Cucina. As his nom de plume suggests, a wide array of kitchenware is all he needs – together with a clarinet and an electric guitar – to conceive a gentle and poetic world out of daily objects forced into an entirely different use. We met him to understand how he manages to create such magic.
Nick Cave once said: “Inspiration is not the sacred fire that comes down from the sky, but a need that must be nourished”. Do you feel the same?
I would say so, even if it is still a sacred fire that comes from heaven, from my very modest point of view. And it is so for those who create a song, but also for every action of everyday life that can be experienced as an inspiration and a creative act. Maybe this is why you usually feel grateful when somebody does something for you: some grace has been brought to your daily life. Yay. Then, for sure, comes some hard work made of skimming, research, and discipline.
How would you explain your creative process?
Almost every time, the first idea that comes up is the right one for me. Then it may take hours, days, weeks, years for it to fully bloom: this can happen only through lots of “office work” - a constant refinement of a sudden idea.
What are the ideal conditions for you to compose?
A dedicated physical space, where I can move things and tools around without having to account for my actions to anyone. Also, having more projects happening at once, and the possibility to jump from one to the next following only my instinct and discipline.
We can tell you are an omnivorous consumer of music, books and art at large: what's behind the imagery of your music, and especially of the album that you are completing?
Many different listens, lots of digging deeper (it’s never enough) and a lot of curiosity. I really love listening to sounds coming from real life. Walking and listening – even in my house, where often my stereo is silent. Sometimes some unexpected immersions can happen, or even some “sonic hallucinations”: two sounds in a street overlapping and creating a third one – unannounced, unrecognizable, mysterious.
What's your last fixation, in terms of sound? And how did you come across it?
Lately I have been struck by Nick Cave’s Ghosteen and from Spotify’s random selection: I find myself listening to anything from The Assassins to Cocteau Twins, to then go from Pat Metheny to GBH, then Erykah Badu and flautas de chino, alpine choirs, Italian songwriters and switzerdütsch trappers. It is exhilarating: you reach a point where you don’t feel borders anymore, and a pygmean song seems like a Fennesz piece, a song by Napalm Death merges into a Sonic Youth intro, a ballroom dancing band from Valtellina becomes Johnny Cash in some sort of audiophile nirvana. Everything blends into a unique sound made of billions of songs, choruses, verses, sonic fragments.