Nicola Tescari: a plan for Madonna, for Sting, for the future

Nicola Tescari: a plan for Madonna, for Sting, for the future

Like many professional musicians, magical creatures who grew up between the intense study of an instrument and the continuous hunger for a creative dream, Nicola Tescari, a Milanese pianist born in 1972, at home in Paris, has never loved the lights of the spotlight. He has played with artists such as Madonna, Rufus Wainwright, Catherine Ranger, Nouvelle Vague and shared the stage with musicians from all over the world including Katia and Marielle Labèque, Victoria Mullova, Ludovico Einaudi, Giovanni Sollima, Matthew Garrison. In 2012 he received a nomination for the Grammy Awards for his orchestral arrangement of Sting, “Moon Over Bourbon Street”, while in 2019 he was nominated for best musician at the David di Donatello for the film “Euforia” by Valeria Golino. Yet he has never released a solo album. Until today. In fact, on April 27th “And Then” will be released, a project signed with the alias Manofresca. “As a kid, when I played and my path as a musician was taking shape, I was a nice guy, but not as much as Paul Newman in 'Cold Hand Nick', so my band friends gave me the nickname 'Fresh Hand': to let out, after many requests and years of progress, my first work with this pseudonym is a closing circle”, Tescari says with a smile.

The reasons why not to make a record

The decision to work on a project of his own came with the pandemic. “The reasons that push a musician to create a record are the most varied, and there are just as many reasons that push him not to do it – continues the artist – those that have pushed me not to do it so far have essentially been three. The first is that I have always thought that all the beauty of music had already been written. And for this reason I decided to speak with music through the beauty of others: setting a film, a series, a theater show, pieces for soloists or orchestras, producing singers' records, accompanying soloists, orchestrating. The second is that I don't belong to any musical elite, to any current, to any school. But the main reason is that I have always had a cult of doubt, which clashes head-on with the desire to recite musical truths. The death of the ideal caught me in the middle of the journey and left me with a single certainty: to say things you have to be profoundly sure of them, otherwise it would be better to remain silent.”

Thom Yorke's appreciation

Then in the midst of Covid the awareness: “I decided to create music on which to insert powerful words that dealt with important, current issues. I understood, looking at my little daughter, the importance, as the title says, of tracing 'something after', giving hope for the future, telling the story of today”. There was a first step of approach. “During Covid I wrote 'We are done in three movements', a mini concert for piano and other instruments, beautifully interpreted in images by Matteo Manzini. An operation which, through mutual friends, I learned was also appreciated by Thom Yorke. In that incomplete experiment, I needed to look for a hero to contrast with the lunatics I heard babbling on TV, and among these was Trump. I found it in Yánis Varoufákis, one of the last bastions of a politics that I still feel like supporting. I then sampled some key words from him, divided them into syllables and used them as a shield against that chatter. Two syllables returned, like a refrain: 'And Then'”, explains the musician.

The connection with Madonna

In the end, alongside the deus ex machina, Yánis Varoufákis, who has in the meantime agreed to the use of his voice also for a larger project, arrived, Alessandro Baricco, Annie Burnell, Piers Faccini, Nate McBride, Nadeah , Victor Solf, seven other voices who embarked on the piano adventure traced by “And Then”, with which Tescari decided to reveal himself. “For me it is certainly something new – he concludes – I worked with Madonna, above all in the early 2000s, knowing her thanks to Katia Labèque, precisely because of my confidentiality. In fact, I accompanied her on two dates in New York, but in particular in many private and trendy parties with which she loves to entertain friends and guests. We are talking about a woman and an artist who devours the rooms she moves in thanks to her personality. Today, however, with this album, it's as if I put myself 'in front' and no longer 'behind'. I do it because I feel the desire and need to somehow shake the listener and the audience. It's as if with my compositions I wanted to break the leg of the chair we sat on, arriving at a new balance.”