LA JOVENC

Barry Adamson, who has signed many soundtracks for David Lynch, has defined his music “superb.”
Nicolette, the charismatic singer who has sung for Massive Attack, has wanted him as collaborator.
John Zorn has appreciated his work.
Art Ensemble of Chicago have praised his re-elaborations of their pieces.

Who is Giovanni Dal Monte, aka La Jovenc?

Received the first guitar (a gift from the childminder’s husband) after being moved by “The House of the Rising Sun”. A childhood spent listening to rock music whilst the others played football and learning to strum for himself. Recording the riffs that come through his mind onto cassette. First rockband at 15 – with hired instruments without letting the family know. They didn’t want him to play.

Hear “Voodoo Chile” the next year and everything changes. His sound and musical world becomes “hendrixians”. Listening to rock, reggae, funk, fusion, psychadelia. Begins to study the violin and continues to play guitar. Plays with a range of blues groups and forms the “Zanzare Selvagge” (Wild Mosquitoes) an alternative band with a local following and begins touring Italy.

During a sad summer spent alone in Milan hears Billie Holiday for the first time. 20 years old and a memory that stays for the whole life.

Begins to listen more deeply to Jazz – free jazz, bebop, big bands, crooners. Listens to classical and contemporary music. Writes musics for poetry readings, for film shorts and for TV programmes. Composes an original soundtrack to accompany screenings of “Nosferatu” by FW Murnau. Performed using a synth, electric guitar and a four-track recorder. Resumes live performances playing this soundtrack in theatres. A commission to compose a soundtrack for a film to be presented at Sundance Festival convinces him to invest in his first computer in 1999. Falls in love with electronic and concrete music.

Records his first album “Sulla natura delle cose” (On the nature of things) initially conceived as a performance for the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Faenza. This work aspires to collate his musical themes acquired to date and re-present them in electronic style. In 2002 he graduates with top class degree in History of Art.

The following year he produces his second album “Lo-Fi Apocrypha” an eclectic mix of electronic, blues, jazz, glitch. It’s a personal, paradoxical statement. An attempt to fix in time the range of co-existant personalites of that moment. 

In 2004 album three emerges, “Birds make love with electric ladybugs”. Initially imagined for an exhibition of photographs of insects and landscapes. The entire music is composed using samples of insect and bird sounds. It’s a musical tale describing how the insects arrived from Mars to teach the birds on earth to sing. Requests for his music to accompany exhibitions and installations arrive from a range of prestigious museums and galleries. Commissioned to compose an original soundtrack to be performed live to accompany a screening of the restored silent film “Lulù – Die buchse der Pandora” by G.W.Pabst.

After a few years gestation album four arrives in 2005. “The Opposite of Orange”, like the first and second album, contains older recordings (some up to fifiteen years old) retrieved for sentimental reasons and updated. This album is a synthesis of jazz and electronica each genre contiminated by the other. The title is a deliberate avoidance of the term ‘blue’ or ‘blues’ to steer clear of a term already overused and often abused. It’s a dark and “hieroglyphic” album based on a jazz structure with a magical compostion and feeling – electronic samples playing free jazz and jazz samples on repetitive loo J Geraldi selected music from this album as the soundtrack to his theatre production “Last Call” which toured Italy. “The Opposite of Orange” won the Premio Avanguardia Italiana (Italian Avantgarde prize). Utilising samples from two of Mozart’s least-known concertos (K491 and KV421) La Jovenc creates a unique hypothetical concert piece – Mozart-style but completely recreated.

Signs a contract with WLM in 2007 to sell his last two albums on iTunes. Participates in the Storung Festival in Barcelona alongside Murcof, Scanner etc. Performs at the Ixmae Festival in San Francisco. In the same year he wins the Ixem National live set competition with the video for “Going Home” taken from “The Opposite Of Orange” and the spanish label Storung releases a compilation featuring two tracks from Lo-Fi Apocrypha album.

On 2008 Iconic director Bruce La Bruce uses “Going Home” in his new movie “Otto, up with dead people”. New release fror the german label Crippled Dick Hot Wax, soundtrack of the movie, includes La Jovenc’s music alongside that by such musicians as Cocorosie and Antony and the Johnsons. Norwegian label Planet Origo distributed first two albums, “Sulla natura delle cose” and “Lo-Fi Apocrypha”. La Jovenc’s music was played on Battiti (most important contemporary music programme on Italian national radio). Created music for the Iris Dance Comapany. In 2009 “Nothing Is Changed” from Lo-Fi Apocrypha was featured on a compilation release by Swiss label Trepok. The compilation also included Philippe Petit, Vitor Joaquim, Bit-tuner and Ritornell. 

“Superanima” (super soul in English) was released following three years of preparation: a deep, introspective work which flows in quasi-symphonic fashion, as a single suite. Not soul music for dancing, this is an internal soul journey heard through electronica. The few lyrics speak of human abandonment and insecurity (including a cover of Billie Holiday’s “Deep Song”) but also of social themes such as religious intolerance (“Free From The Men Of God” inlcuding ToBork Ram on synthesizer). The inclusion of Dario Mazzucco’s jazz drumming on a few tracks gives life to the sampled tracks. Videos were produced for two tracks from the album (“Sicilian Yell for Ayaan Hirsi Ali” and “Free From The Men Of God”) directed by Pier Giorgio De Pinto, who has become a regular collaborator with La Jovenc.

In 2010, cult Canadian cinema director Bruce La Bruce selected music from La Jovenc for inclusion in a soundtrack for the second time. “Alla Fine Sara’ Acqua” from “Sulla Natura Delle Cose” is included in the soundtrack to “LA Zombie” which became an immediate cult hit on its release at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. Created an original musical soundtrack for a documentary of the work of artists Bertozzi-Casoni: “Polvere” directed by Mauro Bartoli. A further collaboration with film-maker Jader Giraldi created yet another original soundtrack piece for “Mercurio”. In 2011, for CACT (Centre for Contemporary Art of Ticino-Switzerland) created music for the theatre performance “Pneuma” directed by Pier Giorgio De Pinto and included live dance choreographed and performed by Sara Nesti. For the third time the director Bruce LaBruce ask him in 2011 the full soundtrack for “Fucking different XXX: Offing Jack”.

Released the album “Perverse or Polymorphous” (title derived from Freud’s famous definition). Still electronic, this is an altogether more accessibile work. All tracks have vocals, lyrics sometimes intimate, sometimes crude and some even inspired by Cole Porter-style humour. Crooner-like contorted singing ranges over big band samples. The album includes a variety of musical atmospheres with a camp under-current. A track featuring the voice and guitar of spanish artist Volador. A conceptual album, pop as La Jovenc can conceive it.