No Fear of Differences
“The shortest distance between two points”, Archimedes wrote, “is a straight line”. Music, however, is rarely about finding the shortest distance. The curved and winding trajectories of Vittorio Mezza and Mark Ginsburg’s collaboration would certainly prove to be far more exciting and fruitful than any straight line ever could have been. For them, making music is about allowing contrasts to blend into something new, it is akin to two worlds slowly closing in on each other – occasionally clashing, at times overlapping.
After a triumphant tour through South Africa in 2016, Convergence marks the second milestone of the duo. It documents a long exchange between two personalities with highly individual backgrounds: Italian pianist Vittorio Mezza, an accomplished jazz performer with strong classical roots and a love for mediteranean life. And saxophonist Mark Ginsburg, who was exposed to ancient cantorial prayer modes in his youth alongside the rhythms and sounds of South Africa.
These differences were undeniable. But Mezza and Ginsburg simply focused on what united, rather than what separated them: Their musical tastes, shared sense of beauty and the importance of family. Thanks to these ideals, this collection of ballads, slow-burning mood pieces and pulsating ensemble passages has turned out sounding remarkably unified.
For the recording sessions, Mezza and Ginsburg were joined by a rhythm section comprising Luca Bulgarelli on bass, Marcello di Leonardo on drums and Fabian Hevia on percussion. The band recorded live at Tube Studio just outside of Rome, known for its warm, sensual sound and state of the art technology. After the foundation had been laid, the music then travelled to Sydney, where ensemble Bel a capella and singer Justine Bradley added the choral and vocal sections and the album would be mixed and mastered.
“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold.”, author Meghan Daum once wrote. And it certainly took a lot of faith and courage to pursue with the project. It goes without saying, then, that Convergence is much more than just a studio album. It is an ongoing exploration of what is possible in a collaboration and how to grow not just as musicians but human beings as well. This dialogue could potentially go on forever: Like an inspired conversation, the convergence of ideas never stops, becoming deeper and more intimate, forever expanding in scope and diversity.