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Dani Siciliano Interview


Dani Siciliano

Dani Siciliano


Dani: Sure. It opens up the possibilities for music. I mean I think that there are quite a few people that use this kind of idea. They adhere to quite a bit more ethos around what they do. The sound sources are related to the message in their music. And some of that’s true with my music. But, you know, some people get right into the kind of core of that idea and how you’d really represent the idea or theme behind the music.

Emm: You sing on the album as well. Are you classically trained in vocals?
Dani: No. I’ve done some training for vocals and worked with a vocal coach in London. You know, before, I did some really very rudimentary stuff for warming up and what have you. But not the heavy, heavy training. Once you start doing it for a while, you get kind of a sense for what’s going on.

Emm: So how did you get started singing?
Dani: I’d been doing it since I was a kid. I started playing the clarinet at the age of seven, so music’s always been around. And after that, when I was at the University in Richmond, I was in a jazz quartet, a kind of trio sometimes quartet. We would just gig around the cities in jazz cafés, what have you. Then with San Francisco I was DJing. So it’s like there's never been a time when I haven't been doing something related to music. So when Matt asked if I sing, I was like "yes". I'd like to say I can sing a tune. You know, I think once you’ve worked in the kind of jazz environment, certainly if it’s a live setting, it kind of breaks you in as far as performing. Because once you’ve actually missed coming in on a cue or something that’s when it’s like OK, now I understand. Now, I’ve done that and I’m not afraid of that anymore.

Emm: I haven't seen the artwork for the album cover, but I know there's an interesting story about that.
Dani: Yes, I commissioned the piece from this man by the name of John Patrick McKenzie. He’s part of this workshop called Creativity Explored. It’s a fantastic place in San Francisco that's been around for about twenty, twenty-five years. It’s set up for people with severe physical and learning disabilities and metal disabilities. It’s not like art therapy; it’s not to help them work through stuff, you know, it’s just a creative outlet for people. John’s been with them for a long time, and I’ve been an avid fan of his work for a few years. So I called them up and spoke to the art director, this woman by the name of Amy Tabal and asked her if she thought John would like to do a piece. John’s autistic, and his work is built on a lot of word repetition which I quite like as well. His pieces are kind of stream of consciousness, like the phrases that he uses all start with " so-and-so likes" or "so-and-so dislikes". He’ll kind of have a general header for stuff and then the tailend of the sentences will be different. And he pretty much created the font that he uses, it’s amazing. He'll write on wood and also on glass, it’s just really amazing. So, I sent over some music, and he took with the idea and he did a piece for me. I sent him some ideas as to what I like, you know. Like about five things I like, and he ran with it. He just wrote down this entire piece, it’s like on a circle, it’s about two feet in diameter and it has like thirty-five – forty sayings that all started with Dani Siciliano Likes". That’s actually how I got the title.

Emm: Are you going on tour?
Dani: I haven't started rehearsing with my band as of now, but my first gig is the 5th of December. I haven’t actually played a gig yet, but it will probably be quite a busy year in 2004. Hopefully I’d like it to be busy, I’d love to do live shows, you know. So, yes I have every intention of doing as many live shows as possible. That’s really important to me.

Emm: Do you think you’ll be able to come over to the States?
Dani: Yes, I hope so, I mean I think I might be in New York. I've gotten a couple of offers, but there’s nothing solid yet. And then there’s the possibility that I might be playing in Austin, Texas, but I’m not sure of that yet.

Emm: Alright, and your album is due out in late January?
Dani: Yes, late January.

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