worm talks to Andrea Belfi (IT)

Italian-born Andrea Belfi is a drummer, composer and experimental musician based in Berlin. Over the years Belfi has built a sound world blending the complex timbres of the acoustic with the endless possibilities of the electronic. Belfi has a strong live reputation internationally and his performances are known to be energetic and hypnotic, featuring long-arching immersive soundscapes. We have talked to him in WORM Sound Studio a few days after his performance in WORM.

Please introduce your work! 

My name is Andrea Belfi. I’m a composer and a drummer. I’ve been playing music since I was a teenager and my interest comes from punk rock music. And then, over the years, I developed an interest for electroacoustic music and experimental music. My first solo record was released in the early 2000’s. I started touring with my solo performance in 2006. I’m still developing my music, style and I’m playing with lots of different musicians. I played with the Mouse on Mars and with Nils Frahm. I toured with Thom Yorke in 2019. And I’m going to tours with David August over the years, so I’m also working as a session musician. My focus in general as a solo performer is a constant interest in finding ways to mix together acoustic sounds and electronic sounds. Both live and in a recording context.

What did you want to make at WORM Sound Studios, and were you “successful” in that?

I came here in order to use this opportunity to work with other instruments that I’ve never used before. I use the studio to gather inspiration  from new instruments, from having some  easy time on my own, which is quite rare these days, at least for me.

How did your performance in WORM go?

Very well! It was a nice, quiet, rainy Tuesday night. It was very good. I liked how the technicians received my requests. And I think the atmosphere in general was really good. Yeah, very focused. 

How do you usually approach making sounds? 

I try to find something very simple, which at the same time sounds really rich and hypnotic. Like, something that I can really dive into. It can be a bass drum sound. It can be like a simple synthesizer drone. But something that drives me to a musical scenario already. Like something that triggers my creativity somehow. I think it’s mostly a combination of the sound and the timber quality of the sound.

What do you think of Rotterdam?

I was specifically surprised by the fact that it’s way more international than I thought. It’s my first thought of Rotterdam. I noticed that WORM is also very international and there are so many people like me here. I’ve met so many people from around the world. It’s really nice. I love it. I had a really nice time here. I walked around a little bit. I went to the Design and Architecture Museum. I went to record stores and it was, it’s really nice, I’ve got to say.  From what I’ve seen, it’s a really lovely city!

Do you have any plans for the future regarding your work?

I do have a record coming out in February, which is my first attempt to write songs as a solo with guest singers. And this is coming out next February or March 2024. I have a duo with Julia Reedy, an amazing guitarist from Australia, who lives in Berlin. There are a bunch of other projects which I’m really looking forward to. There is going to be a tour with David August.