Celestino Telera Talks The Talk With 1stAngel Arts Magazine

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What were your musical influences growing up?

I started listening to Mark Isham when my mother was pregnant and I was inside her belly ( that’s what I was told by my father years ago ! ), it probably was an initiation period. Then I moved to Mike Oldfield; Tubular Bells and Ommadawn were my favourite albums and something also scared me in his atmospheres such as strange voices and creepy sounds, and I was still 6-7 years old.

While attending the Elementary school, above all at the end of that period, I completely changed my musical mind as I wanted to follow the mass of friends and playing football with them and listening to Spice Girls, back Street Boys, practically all those kind of bands which can be hardly related to the firs two ones mentioned at the beginning of this interview. This time was short though: too much similar stuff and boring for me. So I tried with some rock music of the late years of the 90’s but the “change” arrived when I met by chance Genesis and Peter Gabriel, which took me back to a good quality music road and pulled me into a continue research of old and new music whose list would be too long, that’s why I think I can stop just mentioning a small bunch: Frank Zappa, Arcade Fire, Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, Zawose Family, Nina Simone …

BARCELONA SHORTS[audio: shorts.mp3]

What is your style of music?

I cannot label my music such as rock or folk or pop or progressive; it’s the consequence of my personal and musical experiences, moreover personal, for example, if I feel very angry I start making up something which explains my anger in sounds, surely I wouldn’t look for some already existing angry music and then play on it to make something new…yeah sometimes I play something not mine as an exorcism ritual, but It’s much more fun to build up my own rituals.

I have a solo project as I wrote and played the music by myself, but I’m working with a band to perform my music in the best way possible. At the moment I’m both singing and playing the guitar or piano, my father’s playing the bass, then there’s a drummer and a keyboardist.

Has your style changed from when you first began as a musician?

Surely time passes and things are never static, neither stones I guess. If I took in consideration the fact that I started to make my own music when I was 14, now I’m almost 22, I would say a lot of things have changed in my music.

Which instrument do you play?

I play bass guitar as it is the only instrument I started to study when I was a little bit younger; I transposed some of the bass trainings on the guitar which I wanted to learn by myself, as the piano. Last year I had some singing lessons. I’m also interested to every kind of percussions, I wanted to be a drummer in the past. When I was 11 I learnt to play the bass horn which was the only free instrument my school was offering to play in the orchestra. I’m very interested in expanding my knowledge of a lot of musical instruments, on a hand this can take me to a great independence in making music but on the other hand it would be boring to listen to a song where there are no influences except mine. This means that I’m open to collaborations.

BROKEN BOTTLE [audio: Bottle.mp3]

What made you choose that instrument?

Considering me as a bass player, the reason is the interest of building up a good groove, as a guitar player or modest piano player or finally as a lover of a lot of instruments the real reason is my passion for music . Also the voice is a musical instrument, but in this case we don’t choose it, we already got it.

Do your write your own tracks?

Yes I do .

Do you prefer writing or performing?

They have two different approaches. In the first I have less musi limits so I don’t know what is really going to happen in the next 3, 5, 10, 30 minutes of writing ( I consider writing the pre-production moment, the “creative” time ); it can be something amazing, it can be something which can work better or maybe it can be something completely boring and bad.

While performing I have more music limits, I have to perform an existing song with a beginning and a end; it would sound crappy but I guess it is also fun to give a new skin to the songs, maybe giving a different colour to my voice or playing with a different depth. For both of experiences it’s a matter of some kind of energy you take from outside and reacts with what’s inside then to get out with a different result, for writing can be the natural or modern environment I’m surrounded by, for the performance this energy can be the audience.

Are you very nervous before appearing live or do you enjoy it?

Always before the performance, then when I/we have to start I concentrate to make the right notes.

What is your favourite track by yourself?

It’s the song I’ve not written yet 🙂

No ok, anyway, there are songs like Second-hand and Broken Bottle which are very important for me, also Out of here because it reminds me the beginning ( it is one of the first songs I wrote when I was 16 ). And also a part of Barcelona shorts.

SECOND HAND [audio:]

If you could have anyone’s music career, whose would it be?

I don’t like to follow the same musical career of someone else; I like few progresses of some musicians of the last decades but I guess that everyone has his way. I’d like to know more about other cultures and other cultures’ music, when I was younger I said I wanted to make an album for each Country I would have visited during my life, things have changed but not that much. The projects are always involving my interest to other kind of music. I’m still not into the technological side of music; I’d like to make new sounds using samplers, this to give the most original sound to what I make.

I’m interested in giving some ideas during the live shows, like particular light shows ven if I’m not a professionist in this field. And once there’s the possibility I’d like to expose some visual ideas for my videos, and I’ve already got in mind a bunch of frames.

Do you have a girlfriend?

I don’t have a girlfriend, anyway I think there should be a very good strength and courage to deal with a person like CT.

OUT OF HERE [audio: of here.mp3]

What do you dream about when asleep?

I dream about a lot of things, most of them are not so real, surely they have a metaphoric meaning and at the beginning of the day you would probably see me trying to understand the meaning of the last night’s dream, if I remember it of course. Sometimes they explained me in a very strange way a future event happened a week later I had the dream, or a month later. I always care about my dreams, even if when they’re so scaring and dark .

Do you think the internet has altered the way musicians can get known? 

Thanks to internet I have the possibility to promote my music by myself, and not only me does this I guess, there are tons of young ( and not ) musicians exposing what they can do, not only with music. Surely a wide amount of musicians doesn’t certainly mean that everything is good, but we’re free to expose our art. It would be harder then to get to the surface in case musicians have the ambition of working with music for the rest of their lives; in this case they, or I’d rather say “We”, should work a lot to make it happen.

I guess that people don’t buy music anymore due to a very high cost of the products, for example here in Italy the VAT share for music products are much higher than for books, and it is really silly. But also people should have a good sense now that internet helps us to buy music and the costs are surely lower than a cd. After all, also musicians should earn something, above all to keep on making a musical research which may cost some money sometimes.

Have you had concerts/records?

2 years ago I released a self-produced project called “5/4”, which is still a work in progress. It has not been published yet so this can be called a “ Number 0”. However it’s being appreciated by a lot of people in the musical field. Barcelona shorts was played on the program BBC6 Introducing: Fresh on the net, hosted by Tom Robinson. Two songs of mine were used for an independent movie Here in Italy there are really few possibilities to get concerts, unless you have an agency or a label. And for this the threesome “ artist-agency-label”, when a musician tries to promote himself sending stuff day by day, there are many problems that the artist should deal with, and sadly sometimes a musician can feel upset and give up .

TOXIC KICK[audio: Kick .mp3]

I had the possibility to play in some important event and venue here in Milan and around the Country, a few times unluckily: Magnolia Parade, Meeting of independent labels in 2009, MIAMI Ancora 2010; I opened the concert of Roberto Angelini ( an Italian songwriter ) last December, played in my hometown’s theatre at the end of 2009 and made a show ( with particular and minimal lights effects made by office lamps ) with the band for the Versilia Rock Fest in Teatro dei Favolanti ( a theatre in a living room in Forte Dei Marmi- Tuscany ) the 10 th of April of this year.

Have you any concerts/records planned for the future?

I’m still searching for an agency, I would like to perform my songs with the light show made for the Versilia Rock Fest. It was an experiment and people did like it.

I’m also working on a new musical project that I’m going to propose to someone of the musical field, also in the Uk. There are just embrional ideas, some with arrangements, some other just voice and guitar or piano and guitar. I’m thinking about deep sounds and strong rhythms, everything in a warm atmosphere.

What are your plans for the future?

Making my projects from ideas to something concrete.

What advice would you give to young musicians looking to get into the profession?

It is not that easy, unless the music you make is something that people can consider “cool”- but “cool” doesn’t always mean “good”. I think we should work a lot and try to catch everything good that gets stuck inside us, and then letting out with our personal point of view, without caring too much of being fashionable and accepted for what maybe we’re not. In the last case we wouldn’t last that much.

WAITING FOR SILENT THE STORM[audio: for Silent the storm.mp3]

Have you done any courses to help you?

Yes I have. In 2005 I attended a music laboratory for the theatre as a bass player. We ( me and other musicians ) made music for experimental plays and sometimes we also joined the stage moving and playing at the same time. I still work with this theatre company sometimes ( Bottega degli Aprocrifi ) and it was probably the first step of working in synergy with others.

What do you do to market your work?

I sell my project “5/4” for 5 euros when someone asks for it . 🙂

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

Yes I do.

Are you available for work (gigs)?

Sure I am .

Have you got hobbies?

Drawing and walking , eating and getting to know new meals from other parts of the world. 🙂
My hobbies of this period are walking and visiting some church in Milan and writing something on a little paper notebook.
I’d like to learn skateboarding and hurting my elbows, also to learn going by kayak through the rivers and going swimming to the sea in summertime.

Where are you based?

I was born in Manfredonia, a little town in the south- east of Italy, but now I’m living in Milan.

Isabella FA Shores
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Isabella FA Shores

Founder at 1stAngel Arts
I live in Sale, Cheshire, England, and am happily sharing my life with a mental budgie, two Alsatian puppies, and a long-suffering, sculptor-boyfriend . . . not necessarily in that order. 🙂 Often accused of being an insufferable know it all, I often do, but more often do not.
Isabella FA Shores
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