Anna Bignami

Award Winning Composer, Arranger, Conductor

Winner of the Sophie Desmarais International Composition Competition for Large Jazz Ensemble (open category)

Anna Bignami will be awarded a prize of 2500 $ CA for her piece “The Blue Fairy” which will be performed in a world-premier by the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal  on November 8th 2023!

« Cette pièce a séduit les juges par la qualité de sa composition, son originalité, par ses jeux de timbre et textures pouvant être influencé par Gil Evans ou Maria Schneider, le tout créant une ambiance sonore à mi-chemin entre la musique de film noir et le jazz contemporain »

« This piece seduced the judges for the quality of its composition, its originality, for its play of timbres and textures that could be influenced by Gil Evans or Maria Schneider, all creating a sound atmosphere halfway between the music of film noir and contemporary jazz.»

Jean-Nicolas Trottier

My Latest Project: Nocturnes

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Award-winning jazz composer and bandleader Anna Bignami will present her new project, “Nocturnes.”
“Nocturnes” explores people’s relationship with the night and darkness. In Scandinavia, darkness is our enemy. We hide indoors with light and warmth, eagerly awaiting the return of the sun. However, in 19th-century romantic art, the night has been depicted as both pleasant and unsettling.
The night symbolizes the contrast between the calm world around us and our inner struggles. It serves as a refuge for the self, a place where one is hidden from the world and often plagued by thoughts. Undefined darkness can bring us face to face with the depths of our subconscious, but it can also ignite the need to reflect on life and profound existential questions, highlighting the contrast between our small existence and the infinite. Thus, the night, where we are blind, and everything is undefined, is a place where one can grasp the essence of reality, and where the material world can connect with the spiritual.
In music, the night has been the protagonist in many works by some of the most significant composers in our Western classical music tradition. Notable mentioned composers include Chopin, Ravel, Debussy, Erik Satie, and Bela Bartok. Today, the Nocturne is understood as a specific genre of composition characterized by a great deal of lyricism, simple cantabile melodies accompanied by lyrical arpeggios.
Bignami now wishes to explore the topic and genre of the Nocturne within a jazz context, with the desire to incorporate some of the sensitivity, rich harmonies, subtle tonal colors, and evocative atmospheres from impressionist and romantic composers with the inherent jazz language of improvisation and groove.
As Bignami has discovered through her ongoing research on developing a rhetorical approach to composition, all aspects of music, both compositional, visual, and performative, are crucial to evoke a strong emotional response from the listener and convey the desired effect of the music. Therefore, it is also Bignami’s artistic intention to perform this music in a dark room, allowing her to create a completely unique experience where the space communicates not only with the sound but also visually. The concert  is performed fully acoustically (no amps, microphones), chamber music sound and an atmosphere that is not commonly found in jazz. The goal is to invite the listener into the night and darkness and create an intimate experience that is close to the musicians on stage.
 
 Sponsored by Dansk Solist Forbund, Wilhelm Hansens fond, Koda Kultur and Dansk Tennisfond. 

OUT NOW

The EP "Epitaphs from the Hill" by Bignami Veltri Jazz Ensemble is out!

“Epitaphs from the Hill” is a cross-disciplinary encounter between music and the poetry of Edgar Lee Masters. The collection of poems titled “Spoon River Anthology”(1914) tells the stories of the inhabitants of an imaginary town, Spoon River. These stories are told by the inhabitants themselves in the form of epitaphs, where they finally reveal the darkest parts of their lives. Their tales of corruption, bitterness, violence, unreciprocated love, and longing for lost youth, destroy the idyllic image of the American village of the time leaving space to a more crude, realistic depiction. Once dead, the characters tell the hard truth, free from the fake smiles of  socially accepted behaviour. This is arguably a highly relevant issue of today’s society: often, we find ourselves swallowing our negative emotions, for the sake of pleasing our peers, being accepted or because we convince ourselves that, by not addressing our issues, eventually we will make them disappear. Positivity is misused as a tool to hide inner problems, thus merely burying the issues rather than confronting them. 

“Epitaphs from the Hill” invites the listeners to quit avoiding their hidden skeletons and to finally work through them, before it’s too late.

 

past concerts: 30/04 at Kammersalen, Musikhuset Aarhus ; 1/05 at Metronomen, Frederiksberg 

supported by Frederiksberg Kommune, Dansk Artist Forbund, Dansk Musiker Forbund, and Aarhus Kommune and Koda Kultur

 

New concerts in Denmark: 26/04/2024, Lille Sal, Aarhus Musikhuset, and 27/04/2024 Centret for dansk jazzhistorie Aalborg 

To contact the Bignami veltri Jazz ensemble for booking, press or other enquiries please e-mail bignami.veltri@gmail.com

OUR REVIEWS

“Epitaphs from the Hill” by the Bignami Veltri Jazz Ensemble is a captivating exploration of the human condition through the lens of music and poetry. The EP masterfully translates the poignant narratives of Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology” into a jazz soundscape that is at once introspective, emotive, and thought-provoking. With its intricate arrangements, stellar ensemble performance, and rich emotional depth, this EP stands as a testament to the power of artistic collaboration and the enduring resonance of great poetry in the realm of music.

Michael Westmore: jazzdaily.blog

Read the interview on Musica Jazz with Alceste Ayroldi

Epitaphs from the Hill: Concert Highlights

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“ As a good orator can mold words and figures of speech to provoke a strong emotional reaction in the audience, a composer can craft every single aspect of music to represent feelings, concepts and stories.”

MY PAST PROJECTS

3-Objekter: et Spil om Selvbillede featuring Laura Wildt.

With monologues written by Regina Rex and stage direction by Anna Katrin Einarsdottir.

MY ARRANGING WORK 

"Evliya", single in the critically acclaimed album "Tutku" by Kalaha and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra

QUESTIONS?

Whether you’d like to collaborate, commission me a piece or just start a conversation you can contact me any time.