Sarah Jane Morris and Antonio Forcione are performing at The Old Market in Brighton on May 6 – a genuine meeting of musical minds.
“We had both been aware of each other for many years and we were both on the same circuit,” Sarah Jane says. “He was the Italian living in London but not very well known in Italy. I was the English person that had had big success in Italy and less success in England. We had had opposite careers!
“We were asked to do a benefit together. That was three years ago. We did it together and we talked about how we had always known of each other’s work. He came and played on one of my songs at the benefit. And then we were asked six months later by Sarah Gillespie to her Pizza Express launch. We both turned up early and we went off and had a drink together and just got chatting again.
“He played me his wonderful Sketches from Africa album. We were both on the same musical wavelength as each other. We just thought ‘Why don’t we do a project together?’ We thought perhaps we might do a group of cover versions and put together a set. We didn’t realise how easy it would be to work together. I turned up with a set of lyrics and by the end of two days we had written the album.”
Compared to What is the result.
“My lyrics were already quite like stories, and he asked me to read them to him and he understood straightaway what sort of musical soundscape they needed. He said it was like having a load of film scenarios given to him.
“I can’t explain why it worked so well together. It is just the chemistry. It was an instant thing. You just start and you realise that you are both moving in the right direction. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all with someone, but sometimes it is just perfect, and we have been working together now for a couple of years. It really works, and we have perfected what we do together, and I have managed to help him establish himself more in Italy. It is amazing that they weren’t more aware of him over there, but he has been living in England for 30 years. But really he is just such an amazing musician to work with.
“We both have quite a similar background. We both come from the financial struggle of things not being straightforward. Politically we speak a similar language. Our considerations about humanity are similar, and when we work, we both want to make it as good as it could possibly be and not just throw something out there. It is just really satisfying.”
For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2