Renzo Vitale on recording his music for the Steinway & Sons Spirio
I am a pianist, composer and acoustic engineer — and had the honor to perform my music on the Steinway & Sons Spirio and record some of the compositions I wrote while I was living in New York City.
This music is related to many emotional moments I went through in the past few years and the music attempts to capture all these fine and beautiful moments that I experienced. The pieces that I've recorded are all originally for solo piano; the recordings capture the music as it was conceived.
So the music that I recorded came from necessity of talking about special moment and special people. And at the beginning, they didn’t serve for moving images — but then people listened to them and started to associate the music with a cinematic environment. And so it happened that the music was used for several movies.
I recorded this music on a New York Steinway. The music that I recorded for the Steinway Spirio is part of my first album, Zero Space, an album for solo piano, recorded in New York City. I had spent several days at Steinway hall trying different Steinways, and selected a grand that I would use for the album
It was important to me to find a sound which could transmit the concept of sublime transcendence that is close to my music. And that's the reason why I spent many days searching for the perfect sound. And I remember also playing several Steinways and ultimately finding the very instrument I was seeking for my music. I'm really grateful and happy to have the chance now to have the music played by a Steinway. Because actually the music itself, in the genes of the music, there was a soul of a Steinway. And this is like the closing of a circle. It’s like the music comes home on the sonic space where it was conceived.
“The very first time that I listened to the music coming from the Spirio, I had goosebumps because it was like seeing the ghost of me and seeing myself within this instrument.”
The experience of recording with Spirio was absolutely fascinating and very new to me, because it was like talking to another person. I had the feeling that this is not an instrument anymore: it has a soul. I was able to speak to myself. And it does it with my very own language in the very moment that I record on it.
So at the beginning, I have to admit the very first time that I listened to the music coming from the Spirio, I had goosebumps because it was like seeing the ghost of me and seeing myself within this instrument. And it was overwhelming. And then, I started to get familiar to the response of the Steinway, to the way it was speaking to me — and that was a very special sensation. Every pianist, every composer wishes to play his own music personally for the people. Like close to them. And this is the very first opportunity that I have had, that many pianists will ever have, to get so close to people that otherwise they wouldn't be able to reach.
And that made the difference in the approach that I had during the recording session. Because whenever you are in the studio, you know that the music will be recording on a digital platform and someone will play it on different devices. Whereas with Spirio, they will listen to the music on the very instrument on which it was recorded. And that’s something unique, something you don’t have the opportunity to experience elsewhere.
So all these thoughts were part of the recording process and affected the way I recorded. And what I tried to do as I was recording was to literally picture myself in the room where I composed the music and to listen to how the music was coming back to me in that very moment. And to try and recreate that situation so as to ensure the people that will listen to the music — someday somewhere around the world — will experience that intimate space close to me.
It is authentic. It’s as close to the origin as possible. Also because in this way you represent the acoustic sound field that the piano is able to produce. And this is captured and it's preserved no matter where the instrument will be placed.