Biography of Paolo Pigni
I learnt to play the guitar back in 1974. I took my first lessons from a professional teacher who was involved with the successful Italian band New Trolls. After discovering Yes, I moved to bass guitar and began playing in my first band called Black Out.
In the mid 80's I began recording demos of my songs. I released my first solo album (produced by Tiziano Cantatore) entitled Lonely Days, it featured guitarist Riccardo Zappa and session men like Mark Harris (of Fabrizio De Andrč, Pino Daniele and Al Jarreau fame) plus several members of the Eros Ramazzotti's band.
In the early 90's I released a solo album called The Barrett of The Drake where I played all the instruments.
In the 2000's I started playing bass with the Celtic Harp Orchestra. We were mainly a live act but whilst in the orchestra we recorded and released an album. It was there that I met first and played with Luca Briccola.
In the early 2008 I was invited to join the band Mogador. In 2009 we released our first album, quickly followed in 2010 with the second and rather successful 'All I Am Is Of My Own Making.
I started the solo project 'Sarastro Blake' in the autumn of 2011 when I found myself with enough songs for a full-length album. Luca Briccola of Mogador became involved as arranger, producer and contributing player.
I didn't want to make a traditional solo album, but rather a collaborative project bringing in other musicians around the world, making the most of the song sharing possibilities of the internet.
In keeping with the desire not to do conventional solo album, I decided to give myself a 'nome d'arte' in Sarastro Blake. It sounded nicely vague and not immediately identifiable. Hopefully it might become a good "brand name" for the project.
In January 2012 - actually the night the Costa Concordia cruise ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea - I started recording the first tracks on an acoustic guitar, followed by the other instruments. I had 'Odessa' by the Bee Gees in mind at the time, thinking back!
Soon after, I started thinking about the idea of "special guest" musicians more seriously. For me it was very important to have the right special guest each song. In this way I hoped that each artist would have the right feel for the music and bring something of their own to my songs. In the end I managed to invite a longish list of guests who brought their talents to the tracks, interpreting the songs in their own ways.
If you would like to know the background behind the writing and making of each individual song, then please go to the following link and you will found out more in "The Making Of The Album" section of the website.