The collaboration with Roberto Roversi

roberto-roversiI met Roberto in the fall of 1991 when I was working on my own album project that I would have recorded the following summer for Polygram. I remember I went to see him at his library ‘Palma Verde’ in the center of Bologna, a place where books were stealing space from the walls. I left him a demo cassette with lyrics in rough English (a common practice back then) just to give him an idea about the methric and the athmosphere of the tunes. This is the way our collaboration began. After almost twenty years from the never released CD, Sergio Lattuada put Maxophone back together and we were all ready to embark in new musical adventures. So, in september 2011, I got in touch again with Roberto and I went to see him at his place where he was recovering from a bad fall. I explained the band’s project telling him a bit about our history,  the ’75 album, the breaking up and the recent reconstitution. ‘What do you have in mind for the new CD?’ he asked and, as it was usual between us, we started a sort of brain storming ending up talking about ourselves, of the colors of life and about all the dreams and hopes we were saving for the future. ‘Our music comes out like from a smithery where our ideas get forged’ I told him, then I gave him a CD with our songs and, after wishing him to get well soon, I left. In september 2012, we received the sad news of his death. On me it had the effect of a wrecking ball against a paper wall; the following days were devastating and empty as if all the words he had masterfully moulded his whole life had decided to leave this world as well. It took us almost two years to put our music project together and by april 2014 we got into our studio to begin the recordings. By the end of the year we had layed down a good portion of music but we still had no lyrics.  Then something unexpected happened, something that would have changed the course of this album for good: I received an email from Antonio Bagnoli, Roberto’s nephew, who was the editor of his literary work and administrator of a dedicated website. He said that while he was sorting his uncle huge archive he had found a box with my name on it. ‘There are lyrics and some poetry’, he added, ‘it looks like stuff that he surely had prepared for you’. Few days later I was rushing to Bologna to meet him. There I found a mild-mannered man, full of brilliant ideas and initiative so that I thought there had to be some kind of unique lifeblood running in that family because everything about him reminded me of Roberto. I opened the box and at first I saw lyrics that were familiar to me since that never released CD, but all of a sudden a pile of paper sheet full of titles and words I hadn’t seen before cought my eye. So I came back home with that trasure in my hands and we quickly went back in our studio with a very precise purpose: to modify the songs even if that could mean remaking some of the recordings over, and to adjust the arrangements so that we could give a worthy house to those beautiful words.

Alberto Ravasini