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Filippo grew up in a large musical family in Rome. His father is the well-known writer, and film, opera and theatre director, Ugo Gregoretti. His mother is a press agent for theatre and films. Filippo taught himself piano from the age of 5 and then the hammond organ, learning everything by ear. As a teenager he spent his summer holidays in the UK where he was first exposed to punk culture. After graduating from fine arts college, he began playing live with a band of talented rock musicians, performing at festivals across Italy. After a couple of years touring around Europe, he returned to Rome to study for a degree in illustration and cartoon animation.

 

At university Filippo co-founded Contromano, a satirical rock-ska-rap band that became an Italian musical cult in the political counter-culture scene of the ‘90s. The band was active for over 15 years, and was a mixture of powerful music and stand-up comedy, full of dark humour and caustic, political content. Filippo wrote all their lyrics and music, including the songs Rock’n’Rolla, Sparaje Pino, and Mamma Non Sono Più Fascista which are still legendary to a generation of Italians.

 

Whilst playing with the band, Filippo worked on his own compositions for piano, floating between classical, ambient and world harmonies, also working as an artist selling illustrations and cartoons to magazines and newspapers. The band took a year out when, at 23, Filippo moved to Sweden to work full time as an art director for a publishing company. There he helped to conceive Pleasure Park, Europe’s first erotic CD-Rom, which became an international best-seller. He returned to Rome and started Italy’s first new-media agency, at the same time as recording Contromano’s debut album Musica Folk de li Mortacci Vostra.

 

After re-locating to Beijing, Filippo started work on his solo piano album, 88. The recording process was the first of its kind. Filippo returned to his studio in Rome to record the album on a digital concert piano. Midi files were then sent to a top recording studio in Arizona, where the album was played out on a beautiful Yamaha Disklavier Mark III piano, with a midi engine attached to its hammers. The album was then remixed in Italy and mastered in the UK.

 

88 tells a tale of understanding, struggle and discovery, inspired by China’s vibrant and spiritual environment. Now based in London, Filippo continues to compose and perform live.

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