• Interviews

HFPA in Conversation: Carlo Siliotto- A Man and His Music

Italian composer and Golden Globe nominee Carlo Siliotto’s roots are in folk music. During his career he has written music for over 100 projects, ranging from theatrical features to documentaries and television series. Recently he worked with producer Oliver Stone on the documentary Qazaq: History of the Golden Man, where Stone is interviewing the former president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Siliotto tells HFPA journalist Silvia Bizio that he used a lot of traditional instruments when he was composing music for Qazak. “I had the good fortune to basically have no limits in the production of the music. So, I had the chance and the comfort to use the Astana Theater Orchestra, which is a top-notch orchestra.”

Siliotto got familiar with traditional music when he founded the folk band, Canzoniere del Lazio, with other musicians in 1973. “We created this band in Rome, searching for the music in our region and we put together the band and created new music that was basically based on our Southern Folk Music roots. The story changed later on after we toured in Africa and having twin groups in each country we toured. So, we experienced African music, we learned about it and we shared our culture with their culture and our band became something wider than only an Italian or even a regional band.”

After that he was always curious about different cultures. “It’s where my roots seeped and that is why I became kind of familiar with dealing with different cultures and new instruments, being fast with studying them and including them in my visions.”

But even back then he knew he wanted to be a movie composer. “I would go to see Fellini’s movies in order for me to hear Nino Rota’s music or Sergio Leone to listen to Morricone, who became a very close friend of mine, and also Hitchcock for Bernard Herrmann. They were kind of marriages in art that really inspired me a lot.”

He went to the Conservatory of Frosinone to study composition. “When my son was born in 1981, I understood that if I wanted to become a composer for movies, I had to get rid of any other jobs. I gave myself three years and I said if I achieve that within this length of time, I will do it, otherwise, I will have to feed this newborn baby, so I will have to go back to producing easy listening music and stuff.  So, thank God I focused on it and one-and-a-half years later, I found my first opportunity.”

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