We had the good fortune of connecting with Fabrizio Mancinelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fabrizio, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking has, from the start, been part of my everyday professional life. On one hand I had my parents, pushing me towards a “safest” career as an attorney (I graduated in Law and passed my bar exam in Italy), but I kept choosing the more risky musical career, studying as a composer and conductor and taking a huge leap of faith into the uncertainties of this profession. Moving alone from Italy to the United States has been maybe the biggest risk I have undertook, if I observe my life from an external perspective – not having a family here and having to restart everything from zero. But for sure I believe I undertake risks on a daily basis with my choice making process (which makes me usually neglect the easy path in favor of the more challenging and fulfilling). Investing energy and money in projects that I believe could have more potential of their apparent face value is another aspect of the risks I undertake with my job and one that forced me to develop a fast and deeper ability to analyze projects and people. In short, I believe risks made and make my life more interesting and my will (to succeed) stronger.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, I truly believe that, as artists, we accomplish our mission only if we differentiate ourselves from others. If we can bring that something special to the game, that spice that makes our recipe unique. As an Italian composer, I share a rich and beautiful cultural background with a huge number of artists. A background made of colors, melodies, unique flavors. How are my melodies different – hint: I really love writing music themes that are hummable – and how do I set myself aside? I believe we all metabolize the input that life gives us in so many different ways. In my music and in my themes there is all my love for colors, nature and storytelling. I feel the need to give myself emotions. To me that is the key to emotionally involve my listener. Most of my music has dreamy textures and pretty strong thematic statements. I’m proud of discovering everyday what music I am going to write, as if I were excavating in my subconscious to uncover hidden treasures. But it is not at all easy. Or at least it wasn’t for me. As I mentioned, after years of hard study, I moved from my home country (Italy) to start anew. After studying at the University of Southern California (Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV) I composed music for Rai (Italian State TV) and orchestrated and conducted for colleagues, wearing different hats on every occasion, keeping the same passion within every job, before landing my first bigger opportunity (the documentary “Growing up with 9 Old Men” by Ted Thomas – distributed by BuenaVista/Disney). Attitude is the key to overcome difficulties and challenges. I learned we all achieve much more with a positive and grateful attitude and we can make a difference with a smile and a good word. After all, it is not just about how great our product is or how “awesome” we personally can be, but how great is to be a part of a team in which we all can have fun together! That’s the part I prefer of my profession: being a team player! My story is this: a story of people together, having fun in creating – in my case music. It’s all about creating our own opportunities with dreamers alike. For example I never thought I would have had a chance of writing and original musical feature (of course I fantasized about it) and along came a splendidly crazy director (and friend), Nicola Abbatangelo…and now we are just waiting for the film (The Land of Dreams) to be released! How amazing can life be?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Talking about places I love during a pandemic can be hard on my soul…ahahah…but also a stimulus to look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel (thank science!). I’d start from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, one of the places that deeply speak to my soul. It’s because of its history or maybe because it overlooks the whole City. Since the first time I went there it has been one of my happy places to think, dream, relax and breathe. I’d take my friend to a tour of the historical places related to the early days of the cinematic art (starting with Charlie Chaplin Studio on LaBrea – now the Jim Henson Studio) to end up to the more modern Los Angeles of today. I’d watch a concert/event at the Hollywood Bowl to have fun under the stars. And also, to fulfill the Disney side that everyone of my friends MUST have, I’d take my friend to the Walt Disney Barn in Griffith Park, a little known oasis for any Disney lover (it was the Barn that Walt Disney kept in his Holmby Hills to control his model train – the Carolwood Pacific Railroad). And food-wise…well I’m Italian, so I would certainly pick an Italian place (or an Armenian, since it’s my wife’s heritage and I love it). A pizza lover like me can’t stay away for too long from Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood! From Napoli to the City of Angels. And “da Pasquale” in Beverly Hills or “Ca’ del Sole” in Toluca Lake…all places to die for!!! I believe in LA, excitement is behind every corner, so let’s just be patient and wait…we’ll go back to have fun soon in Tinseltown
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Whenever I think where I am at in my life, it is hard for me to make an extensive list of the many people who contributed, one way or another, to all the fundamental steps I undertook in my career and life path, starting from my parents who, even with their strong push to make me become a lawyer, always taught me to look forward. My shoutout goes to all the people who have opened doors for me, all the ones who shared happy and sad moments together and all the ones who didn’t think I had crazy dreams! To my teachers, mentors, friends. And to Walt Disney for teaching me (through his career and life) that “It is kind of fun to do the impossible”! And coming to LA to write music from a most beautiful (but not too big) city in Italy…yes, it seemed pretty impossible!