Ambra Marie‘s life is completely devoted to music, both as a singer and as a radio speaker. But how did quarantine affect her life? Contrary to what we might expect, very little has changed: on Saturdays and Sundays, equipped with self-certification, she aired on Radiofreccia (in Cologno Monzese), while she dedicated the rest of the week to her music, as always.
Disclaimer: I’m not a technological person at all! From a musical point of view, a little has changed, my new album is being promoted, so the work that had to be done ‘outside’ had already been done before the lockdown. However I had to adapt, the promotion of the disc is digital, as well as many interviews, that are possible only thanks to the various platforms.Ambra Marie
An anti-social who had to adapt, also because of her friends. She had to download applications (such as Zoom and House Party), to use group chats and, for the first time in her life, to do a live broadcasts. Ambra, like many other singers, took part in #stayon, a KeepOn Live initiative that asked musicians to perform online on the pages of clubs that usually boast live music, to keep them alive, as they have been paralyzed by the lockdown.
The initiative, conceived together with Live Club and Festival, was conceived to give a continuity of programming to places where, soon, we will return to listen to music. Each live was linked to a fundraiser in favor of hospitals, organizations, civil protection, committed to addressing the health emergency.
Live music online, is it a lie?
Prepare for disappointment, the beautiful live videos that we saw on television during the quarantine in which musicians played in sync, were not really live. Well yes, it is not possible to play from different homes at the same time. But music never stops, and there is a solution to this problem too.
Not living together Raf and I could not meet to play together, and playing simultaneously from two different houses during a live broadcast is impossible. A connection problem, even a delay of half a second, risks jeopardizing the whole execution, everything would be out of sync.Ambra Marie
So how did they do it?
The videos we have seen are all made starting from a track. Ambra and Raffaele D’Abrusco (the other half of the duo) have decided to adopt this solution too. This is how they recorded the live broadcast in which they perform Il ladro e la strega (The thief and the witch).
Raf recorded the audio track of his part and I, with headphones, listened to it while playing my part, then we filmed the video combining the two tracks which, however, were performed in two different moments. To do otherwise would have been impossible, timing is a fundamental aspect for a musician. For the #stayon live my partner played pretending to be Raf, he was a cosplayer for a day.Ambra Marie
Life before/after the lockdown
I have no typical days, every day is different for me, no fixed pattern.Ambra Marie
Ambra spends the week studying the contents she has to talk about on the radio, inquiring, and reading newspapers related to music: Rockon, Rockit … In the morning or in evening before going to sleep she listens to the songs she will then have to talk about. During the quarantine, she simply had more time to study, to do research, and to watch documentaries.
Surely I got to think of a new John Qualcosa album … but Sopravvivere agli amanti (surviving lovers) has just come out and deserves the right consideration.Ambra Marie
Quarantine has been synonymous with cooking even for her. From musical experimentation to culinary experimentation. But not only food, also photography and videomaking, these in fact, in addition to music, are her two great passions. It is incredible to think that she made all the video content and photographs related to the album herself.
The John Qualcosa project was conceived in 2011 but stayed in limbo for a while, in the meantime they had fun writing pieces and recording them with “makeshift means”. Not much, but it was already a beginning. In the meantime, along with other musical projects, Ambra Marie and Raffaele D’Abrusco continued to work on John Qualcosa, adding a few more ingredients each time. The it came the decision to enclose everything in the first album Sopravvivere agli amanti.
Sopravvivere agli amanti
A “melancholy container“. Raf and I have very similar musical tastes that have led us to distance ourselves from the Ambra Marie project. We were guided by the disc itself.Ambra Marie
The starting idea was that of an acoustic disc, concentrating on piano and voice, like a ballad (with an oriental touch). However, once they took that road, the desire to experiment without setting a goal came out.
Inspiration always comes from what you listen to, from what you see and from what you are.Ambra Marie
The album is partly inspired by the aesthetics of the film ‘Only lovers left alive‘, a 2013 film directed by Jim Jarmusch. What particularly struck the two young musicians is the fact that, in the film, only sensitive people, those who realize how we are poorly treating precious things, survive. The parking scene is emblematic: the protagonists look at the ceiling of a theater that has been transformed into a parking lot. Profaned.
Art is taken into consideration only when needed, but it is never supported from an economic point of view. It is seen as a passion, a hobby, not a job. There are technicians and other ‘invisible’ workers who have families and who are in serious difficulty.Ambra Marie
And there is another movie that inspired one the album songs, Sfacielo Azzurro, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. The film with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet is a cult. It is a movie that you either love it or hate it, however we are all capable of conceiving its essence.
I love this movie technique, the flashbacks and, above all, the story that is told. It is about an experience with which, sooner or later, we all come to terms: a person in love who, unconsciously, comes to hate the beloved. The knowledge of that person is so deep that he wants to erase it in order to breathe again. This, however, is not possible, not even surgically.Ambra Marie
A neglected art
From April 15th the self-produced album has been available on all possible platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon digital, Google play), as well as physically. However this is an increasingly difficult world for musicians, music in recent years has suffered a heavy blow, it is increasingly considered a free thing.
We should all support musicians’ causes. Concerts and records are their main income, sometimes the only one… for some people music is something to be collected, to be kept as a treasure … However I cannot deny that Spotify can be useful to everyone.Ambra Marie
Spotify has become the center of contemporary music and, a very small part of their income (based on the number of times you listen to a song) is given musicians. However, sometimes it is really negligible, almost an exploitation of musicians who, however, are forced to adapt to make themselves known.