Giacomo Fiore
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Giacomo Fiore

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"Review by Larry Pattis"

I love the fact that Giacomo Fiore, a 22 year old classical and steel-string guitar musician, has enough original music for an entire album. I love the fact that Giacomo, along with some fellow student-colleagues got together and produced a CD, mostly of his solo guitar work, with just a hint of percussion (and one piece with viola and cello) on the side. I love the fact that what he has created is, quite frankly, really good music. I mostly love the fact that this album, “Tones From An Open Heart,” is in fact played with enormous heart.

Giacomo Fiore, to his credit, does have some serious classical chops as a part of his musical training…and also to his credit, as a young man, he has an understanding that music is more than the sum of it’s parts, and much more than demonstrating technique for techniques sake. What he manages to convey with strong melodies, technique in the service of the music, passion and energy, along with subtle nuance leaves the unexpecting listener with a picture of maturity beyond his years.

I am a sucker for good liner notes, and Giacomo definitely has something to say, which helps set the scene with each piece of this album. With his necessarily short introductions Giacomo proves to be both a good story-teller and a young man with some stories well-worth hearing…

From the opening measures of the first track, “Kilkenny,” I am immediately struck with Giacomo’s youthful exuberance for this music…and when the piece takes an introspective turn it is a natural turn, emphasizing both the earlier frenetic pace, and the joy of the quieter moment. This is followed by the very classical-sounding “Tennant,” and blends perfectly, album-wise, while also immediately presenting the listener with information about Giacomo’s obvious talents on the nylon string guitar and a more classical approach to the instrument.

I won’t go through and analyze this CD piece by piece, because that is a journey that the listener should take, unimpeded by someone else’s take on this music. Suffice it to say that this album is indeed worthy of any music collection.

I will say that as I write these words trying to convey the full extent of my appreciation of what I am hearing, Giacomo’s “Embers In the Fireplace” left me in awe. I am also a sucker for a hauntingly beautiful melody. There are few guitarists today that make me forget about the guitar itself, and leave me just enjoying the music. Giacomo Fiore has done that…and with apparent ease, all throughout this CD. This album is filled with refreshingly energetic music, as well as appropriately introspective moments. I think we can see (if just a bit) into the life and soul of Giacomo Fiore as his heart skips and glides across these tunes.

As Giacomo himself has said (from his website), “Finally, I can say I have summed up the first chapter in my musical journey in the recording of "Tones from an Open Heart," which was finished in the Spring of 2005.” …and what an exceptional first chapter it is! I am sure that we will enjoy many more pages from Giacomo in the years to come. - Larry Pattis, guitarist

"Tones from an Open Heart Review"

I'll be playing this CD for a long time. Fiore composed all pieces and plays mostly steel-string guitar here, accompanied by tasteful percussion and, on "Genteel," by viola and cello. Highlights include "Tennant," played on nylon-string, "A Hundred Days/Dance of the Lilies," played on the steel-string but with a classical approach, "Genteel," where Fiore plays a delicate melody supported by a string duo, and "How Good it Would Be."

Fiore composes and plays with a charming lyricism. "Comfort of the Sun" seems to typify his approach: melodies evoking optimism, rhythmic variations and interesting movement in the bass register, accompanied by light percussion. On first listening, I thought many of these tunes would sound great with lyrics, and that Fiore might broaden his appeal by writing words for his music or working with a lyricist. As it is, this is a very enjoyable effort -- one I recommend for all fingerstyle enthusiasts. -

" review"

Giacomo Fiore has been playing guitar since he was 8 years old. You can tell.

This CD has 10 tracks, all written by Fiore. There is nowhere to hide on an all-acoustic album, and no need for this artist to do so. He is quite skilled, mastering the music to which he has dedicated his life, studying at a university in Nashville, far from his home in Italy.

The songs all have been inspired by something special, be it a yearning for love, travel to a distant land, or a cherished friendship, and you can feel the emotion he pours into his playing. You can almost see the different people and places inspiring him. It is interesting to read the short notes about each song and try to picture what Fiore is trying to say through his music. Or if you aren't up for all of that, just kick back and enjoy some good playing.

Fiore is joined on this effort by Lee Holland on percussion, Ashley Fisher on viola, and Justin Saunders on cello. These artists offer a nice compliment to Fiore's arrangements and are never too overpowering. Their contributions round out the project and at give it a softer edge.

There is a great ebb and flow to this CD, although I have to call out track 1, "Kilkenny," as my absolute favorite. If you enjoy the acoustic guitar, this is a great CD. Fiore is quite young, especially to play this well, so I expect we will be hearing from him again. And again. This is really beautiful stuff. -

"A review from a Dutch Fanzine"

This young Italian acoustic guitarist presents his debut album called Tones from an Open Heart. After studying awhile in Italy attending Armando Corsi's teaching program he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the USA to continue his classical guitar study at the Belmont University. There he met his teacher Muriel Anderson who taught him as well the techniques as well the inspiration which lead to this debut CD. His guitar style has as well Celtic, Mediterranean as classical influences.

Fiore plays as well on classical as on steel-string guitars. On this album he is assisted by a percussionist, a viola player and a cello player.
All compositions are written by Giacomo Fiore. The combination of a steel- string guitar and a classical guitar shows that Fiore knows to excel in both areas and dares to a explore a wide range of possibilities in guitar music. His selected pieces are as well varied as with a poetic approach played.

The typical classical compositions Tennant and A Hundred Days/ Dance of the Lilies and the grooving Kilkenny with additional percussion show as well his excellent techniques as his versatile setups in composing abilities. His impressive talent show balance, structure and excellent melody line building attainments, as on Embers on the Fireplace and Genteel, where touching intimate settings create a moving atmosphere. Giacomo Fiore takes you on an intimate and challenging journey in a poetical ambiance - bridge guitar reviews

"A reivew by an Italian Fanzine"

Some people write music, while others write poetry in music. Some people listen to music, while others dream with it and as soon as you put this album on you begin to dream.

You lean back in your chair and you’re not “listening” anymore. You’re sipping on a freshly-drafted pint of beer, tasting the barley before swallowing each mouthful.

This album is a journey in which emotions are told by the guitar, and as the listener finds himself in respectful silence, he realises the only thing that stirs in this new magical world are the leaves on the tree branches.

As the notes spread across this enchanted land, you will be reflecting on the most meaningful moments of your life, picturing yourself in an imaginary stroll across the Irish countriside - or lazily throwing pebbles in a creek.

It will be easy to smile, to burst into laughter at a happy syncopated rhythm, as your foot keeps the time along with your entire body. When viola and cello come along, again you will find yourself between a thousand memories of times past, and you will feel more and more at peace with yourself.

Along this entertaining journey, you will have time to think, to feel swept away by a cascading melody, to sense this music as a thread of life in its ability to make you sad, only to console you a moment later. And you will be rendered mystically powerless by all you will hear in this magical world. Sensations will be sketched in front of your eyes as by an invisible pencil, and the unseen player will take you to a timeless dimension like a graceful gondolier.

By the way, I forgot to mention who is the architect of this world: he’s a guitarist of not even 22 who left his Italian home for a place as far as Tennessee. His name is Giacomo Fiore, his art is more poetry than music: it’s like a light caress made of melodies, perfect essence between joy and sorrow.

I will not indulge in trite data such as track numbers and titles: I would rather invite you to close your eyes and let this music take you. I, for one, want to get back to my new world…or should I say his. And the journey takes just a little less than an hour. -

"Wind&Wire Review"

I had never heard of Giacomo Fiore until his CD arrived in the mail one day. After listening to just a few tracks, I knew I was hearing something special. Now, after multiple playings, I’m convinced that Fiore is at the beginning of a great career recording instrumental acoustic guitar music. Tones from an Open Heart swings from rambunctious and joyous to reflective and quiet with uncommon grace and ease, always displaying the artist’s abundance of talent and technique.

While this is more or less a solo effort, he is joined here and there by Lee Holland (percussion), Ashely Fisher (viola) and Justin Saunders (cello). Shining through loud and clear, in both the music and the liner notes (which are certainly personal and even funny at times) are Fiore’s heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity as well as his breezy unpretentious manner. Tones from an Open Heart is instantly likable and connects with the listener on such a friendly and, well, “open” level that it’s like the man is in your house playing just for you. This is a trait he shares with artists like Clarelynn Rose and Johann Helton, to name just two contemporaries. However, all three artists, while similar in “feel” (i.e. immensely accessible and entertaining from the get-go), are all distinct and separate in their musical motifs and methods.

Whether you favor the uptempo numbers like the rousing opening track “Kilkenny” which will have you tapping your feet, the happy-go-lucky “The Comfort of the Sun” or the more somber tunes here (“Embers in the Fireplace” and “Beauty from Ash”) you’re going to fall in love with this CD if you are any fan of acoustic guitar at all. With influences ranging from Celtic to folk to subtle world fusion (on “A Hundred Days/Dance of the Lillies”), the album’s ten tracks each hold their own special pleasures. Allowing them to work their magic on you will be the major treat in store for those who exercise the good judgment to latch onto this gem. Besides being an excellent background recording, I also highly suggest some dedicated listening to this music as it’s worthy of your undivided attention. Finally, it will almost certainly be an outstanding driving CD if you are traveling the rural backroads, especially in spring or autumn.

I sure do hope we’ll hear lots more from Giacomo Fiore in the future. The man who brought us Tones from an Open Heart certainly deserves a long and successful career! - Bill Binkelman

"A review from a German Newspaper"

The 21 year-old italian, who studies classical guitar at Belmont University in Nashville/Tennessee doesn't sing and plays guitar exceptionally well. The melodies, pickings and themes derive from classical music, are inspired maybe by italian and slavic folklore.

His solo contribution is without a doubt and easily the strongest of the evening. His originals are convincing with their lightness and and uncrankieness. Easily accessible, without being trite, Giacomo Fiore's playing requires a certain amount of concentration from the listener. An unusually focused and quiet concert for the Schaubude, where even moving barstools are too loud. Songs like Dance of the lilies or Embers in the fireplace prove in an unacademic and gentle way that the popular ductus of music has left it's mark on Giacomo Fiore. Sensual are his melodies, beauty over virtuosity, and that's certainly the strongest point of this young guitarist who's just on his way, certainly not at the end of his musical journey. So one can give in to the associative, almost meditative melody lines, revel and dream if one likes to, and be sure that not a mean note will disturb the mellowness.

At the end they play a few songs together again, then it's over. No encores, only two times someone asks for more music. End of applause - end of concert. Not a bad proverb either
- Kieler Nachrichten


2005: Tones from an Open Heart

featured on KFAI's "Wind&Wire" and KUSF's "Guitar Journeys"



Giacomo Fiore was born in Genova, Italy, on September 15th 1983. At age eight he began a very long engagement with the guitar, at first strumming along to Beatles songs, then fronting a glam-rock band in his high school years, and finally approaching the subtleties of solo acoustic guitar playing under the tutelage of Armando Corsi.
In 2003 Giacomo left his pre-med studies to fully commit to a musical journey, transferring to Belmont University in Nashville, TN, as a classical performance major. While studying with Muriel Anderson and Mario DaSilva, he established himself as an active performer, appearing both on- and off-campus in events such as the 2005 College of Entertainment and Music Business’s Other Showcase, the 2006 President’s Concert, and playing throughout the United States and Canada. In September of 2006 he was commissioned to compose and perform an original accompaniment to the Belmont University production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On the European side, he has showcased McIlroy guitars at the 2005 Acoustic Guitar Festival in Sarzana, Italy, visiting various venues in Germany and Denmark later the same year.
Equally at ease with classical and world music idioms, Giacomo’s engagements have ranged from promoting his own 2005 fingerstyle album Tones from an Open Heart to appearances as an accompanist or performing with the Hillsboro Guitar Quartet.
In 2006 Giacomo was conferred the Outstanding Senior Music Student Award from the Belmont University School of Music, and in December of the same year he graduated magna cum laude.
Currently a First-Year Master’s Candidate at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he keeps busy studying modern and early music with David Tanenbaum, Giacomo performs regularly in the Bay Area.