Interview with Mistheria about Vivaldi Metal Project.com (2016)

(c) by Vivaldi Metal Project, used with kind permission

Short Introduction
The all-metal-stars VIVALDI METAL PROJECT involves 70+ world-famous musicians from all around the globe such as

Rick Wakeman (YES), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire / Angra), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Dani Loeble (Helloween), Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Chris Caffery (Trans Siberian Orchestra / Savatage), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine, G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive / Toto)

The Project will make a Metal version of Antonio Vivaldi's legendary masterpiece “THE FOUR SEASONS”. Moreover, the project features the "Sinfonietta Consonus Symphonic Orchestra" conducted by Szymon Morus and the "Academic Choir Manolov" conducted by Darena Popova. Here you can hear a short trailer:

The international Vivaldi Metal Project was launched at the end of 2013 by keyboardist, composer and producer Mistheria (solo artist who also worked with such top artists as Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, RoyZ among others) together with his co-producer, bassist/composer Alberto Rigoni (solo artist,TwinSpirits).
The album release is set on 2016. More names will be unveiled soon!

In the meantime, The Vivaldi Metal Project launched a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMusic with the album pre-sales (will be available as mp3 for digital download or USB key and on CD) and various additional exclusive options such as autographed CDs, CD boxes, Skype interviews, online lessons and shows. A part of donations will be used for charity purposes. More information is available at this location: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/vivaldi-metal
The campaign is up and running so there's still a chance of picking up one of the exclusive offers.

Heavy Metal Underdogs was very curious when we first heard about the project. Happily we had the chance to talk to one of the masterminds behind the project (Mistheria). Find out how it's like to be when the production of such a massive project lies in your hands, the current status of the ongoing recording process and get to know about the further future plans in this interview. 

Heavy Metal Underdogs: Who had the initial idea to the project?

Mistheria: Hi Joern! I've started thinking to a symphonic-metal remake of the Vivaldi's "The Four Season" several years ago, then on 2013 I made a demo to check how it would have sounded, I liked the idea and moved ahead...

Why did you pick the four seasons suite?

M: I've been listening to this masterwork thousand of times during my life, simply I love it! Then I found a Piano reduction score (quite rare music sheet) and played it time by time for my personal enjoyment, but then the vigorous rhythmic, the wonderful melodies and metal-oriented harmonies convinced me to arrange them mixing my two favorite genres, Classical and Metal.

Is Vivaldi amongst your favorites / influences that made you start with music?

M: Definitely yes! I was a kid, and I found a Classical collection in the newsstand and asked to my parents to buy the first issue, it was dedicated to Bach, Handel and Vivaldi ...

Why did you decide to split up all the several parts to various musicians instead of sticking to only a few?

M: Because I think to Classical music and Vivaldi are an "universal world of music" that artists must live and enjoy together and give, each one, his/her own contribution, like in the real world each of us make possible the other people living through his/her own job and activity, in the same way each artist should contribute creating this metal-opera adding personal talent, musicality, feel and love.

Mistheria in the studio, (c) by Mistheria, used with kind permission

Can you please give a little overview on the steps that were necessary to build up such a massive project? I know at least that it needed around two years of preparation before the project could start into the recording phase.

M: The basic idea was that I'd have arranged the full opera and give the parts to the various artists, something I do for my solo albums. So I made couple arrangements but then I felt that it would have been a new album of mine instead to be a real “project”. So, one day I submitted my idea to involve other arrangers to my co-producer Alberto Rigoni, he loved the idea as well. So, I've started calling some friends that, I knew, they would have loved work on it as arranger and afterward we launched some contests to engage new arrangers. This took some months since I had to collect demos, listen and analyze them, give directions, suggesting changes, etc. Meanwhile, artists were invited as performers and we've started receiving lot of requests from any artists to participate (still arriving in our inbox as we talk...). A lot of material for me to check and sort out... We started recordings after year and half since the project has been launched.

Can you already give a little insight on who will exactly play which part of the suite or should it be kept as a surprise until the release of the record?

M: Well, time by time we post on our social networks about recordings progress and the most of time we also mention the songs that they have worked on... the exact lineup of each song is not complete yet so we cannot give it out, several artists are still recording, some parts can be switched among artists for production needs, etc. However, following us on www.facebook.com/vivaldimetalproject anyone can try to collect the info and for some songs maybe already get the final picture.. ;-)

Is the list of musicians contributing to the project already complete or can people who would be interested in joining the project still get in touch with you?

M: Let's say that the 90% of lineup is complete. We have a “waiting list” quite long of musicians (many of time very excellent artists) which already sent their request time ago, but, you know, it's pretty impossible to give a spot to everybody at the moment, because we're looking now to fill some very specific parts which require very specific requirements. Sometime I give a look back to the guest-list and pick some artist which I think can complete some parts still unassigned, etc. Some artists have been recalled after one year … sometime it is not a nice job to do for me and especially I hate to say no to someone which would have loved to participate, I thank always for understanding.

Mistheria and Alberto Rigoni, (c) by Mistheria and Alberto Rigoni, used with kind permission
How did you find the best fitting musician for each part of the suite?

M: As said, I needed and still need hours per day to analyze artists' skills, a proper study on their works and musical attitudes (of course except the well known artists which I've already worked with or that I simply know from their past albums). Then I write down some memos and immediately assign them to a song, although not as a definitive choice. Then, days after I'm back to that assignment, checking if I was right or maybe need to change it, etc. A long process, sometime choices are hard to make and at risk, but that's my job here...

Will the finished product also include parts of modern metal music (use of harsh effects, brutal production, low tuned guitars etc.) or do you prefer a more classic attempt on the songwriting?

M: I love some intersection of genres although keeping always tightly the final goal. I've required some harsh parts, low tuned guitars, etc. during the recordings, and during the mix we'll tune and add them even more.

Do you think their will be live-performances of the album with at  least some of the musicians that contributed to the project in the future?

M: There is already an idea about it and we've already got some interesting and nice proposals for live shows. I cannot focus on it right now, since my main job at the moment is to complete the recordings and mix the album. Several artists which recorded on the album have already given their availability for live performances. There are already some collaborators and agencies working on it, we'd really love the Vivaldi Metal Project live on stage!

Do you see the chance of putting together a DVD one day that shows the making of the recordings in detail?

M: This could be a very nice idea although it's the first time someone asks me about. Well, sure it'd be interesting as a “bonus” material and we've definitely to consider it, I'll pass your idea to my staff... thanks for such a great suggestion! ;-)

All the best and have a great rockin' weekend :)

M: Thanks to you Joern and to all Heavy Metal Underdogs readers! Please, keep following the Vivaldi Metal Project on www.vivaldimetalproject.com

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