Gianni Maroccolo

Gianni Maroccolo (aka Marok, a nickname given by those who have shared sounds and notes with him) crosses the Italian independent music scene as an ever-changing leading musician, producer and talent-scout – although he likes to define himself as an alchemist.

His music career started in Florence, where in the ‘80s he was a founder member of Litfiba along with Piero Pelù, Ghigo Renzulli, Antonio Aiazzi and Ringo De Palma. With them he went through the Italian post-punk season until 1990, when he and Antonio Aiazzi left the band: hundreds of gigs all over the world and their masterpiece 17 Re (entirely arranged by Gianni himself) are the most important results of that period.

In those years he studied double bass, phonology and electronic music at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence, and became interested in the union of music and acting: he started to compose soundtracks for theatre and cinema. His experience as artistic producer began in 1987 and led him to collaborate with bands like CCCP, Timoria and Marlene Kuntz, as well as Italian singer-songwriters like Franco Battiato, Lorenzo Cherubini and Carmen Consoli.

In 1993 he was a founder member of C.S.I. – Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti, together with Giovanni Lindo Ferretti and Massimo Zamboni. The band reached the top of the charts in 1997, although they had never given up research and their original experimental approach. In that period, C.P.I. – Consorzio Produttori Indipendenti was born as well and became a fundamental point of reference in the independent music scene of the 90s. C.P.I. would give birth to artist like Marlene Kuntz, Üstmamò and Ulan Bator.

The path of C.S.I. got to an end in 2000, but there was something more to say with music: Maroccolo began to compose the first album of  “PGR – Per Grazia Ricevuta”, a project with some C.S.I. members which produced four albums. As a soloist, he released the album “A.C.A.U. La nostra meraviglia”, a jewel of minimal-pop music which sees the participation of some of the most beautiful Italian voices: Battiato, Pelù, Raiz, Consoli, Donà, Jovanotti, Agnelli and many others. At the end of 2004 Maroccolo joined Marlene Kuntz for two albums, a tour and a DVD.

He founded a purely experimental quintet, Beautiful, with Howie B, Cristiano Godano, Luca Bergia and Riccardo Tesio. He wrote the soundtrack to “Schegge d’incanto in fondo al dubbio”, a video installation by Masbedo which premiered in 2009 at the Biennale di Venezia, in the Italia Pavillon.

Gianni Maroccolo was among the promoters of the project “Domani, 21-04-2009”, a record conceived and made by Jovanotti and more than 60 Italian artists for a fundraising in favor of the earthquake victims in Abruzzo. In 2009 he founded Al Kemi Lab with Toni Verona, a laboratory devoted to limit editions of artistic works connected to music, theater, literature, video-art and photography, with the intent to enhance the value of independent productions.

On the 1st of June, 2012, Gianni Maroccolo gets back onto the Litfiba stage after twenty-two years. The success of the first and the following gigs (all sold out) pushes the band to play also in other Italian cities in the months of April and July of the next year. The mini-tour ends after seventeen sold out dates. A live album taken from the 2012 concerts was released in March 2013.

In the same period, Gianni composed “vdb23” together with Claudio Rocchi (who died prematurely in June 2013 during the recordings); the album sees Franco Battiato, Piero Pelù, and Cristiano Godano as guests, along with many other artists. The album was produced with a crowdfunding and became the most successful project for the Musicraiser platform, breaking the original limit of the campaign. In the same year Arcana published his biography “vdb23, Storie di un suonatore independente”, which narrates thirty years of history and music through photographs, stories and contributions of friends and musicians. During the summer, the meeting with Massimo Zamboni, Giorgio Canali and Francesco Magnelli re-unites them for the tour “Ciò che non deve accadere accade”, where they play C.S.I. pieces with Angela Baraldi on vocals.

At the same time he writes the soundtrack to Masbedo’s movie “The Lack” with Vittorio Cosma. After thirty years he brings “Eneide” back to the stage, a musical opera composed in 1983 with Antonio Aiazzi and Francesco Magnelli; this project is crowdfunded as well. During the shows, directed by Giancarlo Cauteruccio, the live album “Eneide” was recorded for raisers only.

In the last few years he joined the Deproducers collective, after an idea of Vittorio Cosma, together with Max Casacci and Riccardo Sinigallia. The aim of the group is to make music for scientific conferences, which are accompanied live by the group’s performance and extraordinary visuals. After the first chapter called “Planetario” released in 2012, the group produces “Botanica” in 2016, with a couple of soundtracks in the middle (“Italy in a day” by Gabriele Salvatores and “La vita oscena” by Renato De Maria).