Mississippi and Mali. The Delta blues and the mesmerizing music of West Africa. Those are the sounds and spirits that struck Piers Faccini to the core, shaping his expressive, intimate songs. But with his Anglo-Italian heritage, you can also hear English folk songs and old Naples rhythms in his music, as well as lyrical debts to Sufi poetry.
We first met Piers when he wrote theme music for the pilot episode of our upcoming PBS series, SOUND TRACKS. We’d heard his dark warning, “A Storm is Going to Come,” on “Grey’s Anatomy” and we knew he’d toured with Ben Harper and Amadou and Mariam. For “Quick Hits,” he agreed to perform three songs and to talk about his new album, “My Wilderness.”
Don't miss other Quick Hits starring Abigail Washburn, Seun Kuti, Dengue Fever, Charles Bradley & Sharon Jones, Helene Grimaud, Jovanotti, KT Tunstall, Meklit Hadero, Ozomatli, and Seu Jorge. For more info visit Sound Tracks's site.
Piers Faccini's "Quick Hits" sessions were filmed throughout one of San Francisco's grand old victorian homes.
Drummer Simone Prattico joined Piers on the front porch for a rendition of Faccini's latest single "Tribe."
There's a strong familial bond between the two. Prattico lived at Faccini's house while recording the new album and was integral in crafting many of its songs.
In music and in life both Faccini and Prattico navigate between many cultures... speaking Italian, French, or English depending on the situation.
Sound Engineer Jim Choi records Piers' distinctive songs with their blend of desert swept blues and Mediterranean rhythms.
Director Serene Fang captures Faccini as he performs a solo version of "Two Grains of Sand."
Post-shoot Faccini and Prattico joined Quick Hits reporter Mirissa Neff for a front porch portrait. (Photo by David Bornfriend)
The next eve Faccini and Prattico played San Francisco's Independent nightclub. It was often hard to believe that their rich sound was being created by just two musicians.
In concert Prattico's versatility as a drummer really shines. He's as comfortable sitting in a jazz pocket as he is tearing it up with West African beats.
Piers quickly won over the crowd and sold out his CDs to a new crop of fans after the show.
Our slide show features Piers Faccini treating "Quick Hits" to a private home concert as well as stills from his show at San Francisco's Independent nightclub. Each environment brought out a different side to Faccini's music: while the Victorian home complemented his intimate and sensitive songwriter side, the spotlighted stage and packed venue teased out a more ferocious style of playing (bouyed of course by his partner in rhythm, drummer Simone Prattico). It's all part and parcel of Faccini's multi-faceted approach to music and his ability to move fluidly between so many different cultures and sounds.
With one noted exception all photos were taken by Mirissa Neff, a reporter for Sound Tracks and Quick Hits, as well as an art director, photographer, and professional dj. To see more of her work go to mirissaneff.com.