In 1999, composer-musician Piero Montanari made Digital Age, an album of original electronic music intended for use on film and television soundtracks. The library music CD was released on Italy’s Rai Trade, produced by Melodicon, an alias of Stefano Torossi.
The album opens with Piero Montanari’s “Absolute Energy,” “Black Out,” “Videogame,” “Computer Dream,” “Millennium Bug,” and “Chat Line.”
Piero Montanari’s “Black Out” is on YouTube:
Digital Age continues with “Space Era,” “Netscape,” “Internet Explorer,” and “Alien Virus.” The last composition could be an outtake on one of the many soundtracks Piero Montanari has done for TV and film productions from the 1970s to the present–a partial discography is found at Montanari’s Wikipedia page (in Italian).
Tracks from several films scored by Piero Montanari, including a memorable clip from the Ritorno dalla morte (Frankenstein 2000) soundtrack he did for the 1991 film directed by Joe D’Amato are located in the YouTube compilation at the bottom of the page.
Piero Montanari’s “Alien Virus” from Digital Age is online:
“Soft Digit,” “Time Machine,” “Hologram,” “Global Village,” “Virtual Sound,” “Web,” “X Dimension,” and “Cycles” round out the album. Currently, it seems the majority of Rai Trade titles, including Piero Montanari’s Digital Age, are out of print and pretty much unavailable. None, or very few, of the limited release production and soundtrack CDs have been reissued in digital format.
Besides Digital Age, Piero Montanari has contributed compositions on at least five Rai Trade themed compilations, all produced by Stefano Torossi. These include Art and History: Atlante storico (1998), Sport & Travel (1999), Problemi sociali (2000), Social Tensions (2003), and Contemporary Style (2003).
The “Melodicon” alias has only been used on a handful of occasions including Strumentali: Sciocchezzuole, a 1988 album composed and produced by Torossi, part of Fonit Cetra’s Strumentali Series on Nuovo repertorio editoriale, and on Gruppo Sound’s Strumenti e voci, a 1988 Flower LP also composed and produced by Torossi. In the early and mid 1970s, Stefano Torossi also used the pseudonyms “Farlocco” and “Fotriafa” on several albums.
Piero Montanari’s “Space Era,” produced by Melodicon (aka Stefano Torossi), is here:
Piero Montanari & Stefano Torossi: Three Full Length Albums in 1995
Composer-musician Piero Montanari and producer Stefano Torossi have worked on several albums together including three in 1995, Montanari’s Ulysses: A Traveller Through Time And Space for Primrose Music, Oriental Trip – Full Immersion, part of Costanza Records’ Musica per commenti sonori Series, and Riflessioni – Meditazioni – Sentimenti e pensieri, part of Fonit Cetra/RAI’s Commenti musicali Series. The last two are with with Fabrizio Fornaci. All three albums were produced by Torossi.
Ulysses: A Traveller Through Time and Space, initially released on CD by the Flippermusic imprint–and now available as a digital download, was the first collaboration between Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi. Montanari and Fabrizio Fornaci’s Oriental Trip – Full Immersion, an album first issued in CD, was also recently reissued as a digital download.
Two decades later, and the nineteen tracks from Ulysses: A Traveller Through Time and Space are still being licensed on a regular basis for compilations, including Music for Cooking: Delicious Recipes To Surprise, Vol. 5 – Chinese Cuisine (2015) on Lounge Music Cocktail, Winter White Peace: Chilled Landscape (2015) on Relaxing Music, and The Office: Music to Work and Study (2016) on ExtraBall Records.
An auto-generated video for Piero Montanari’s “Orbit,” originally on Ulysses, was selected for the Deep Music For Shiatsu Vol. 1 Deep Relaxation compilation released on Relaxing Music in 2015, is on YouTube:
Stefano Torossi’s Check Up and Crime and Punishment also include compositions from Piero Montanari. Both CDs are part of Costanza Records’ 13-album Musica per commenti sonori Series released between 1994 and 1999–and all recently reissued in digital format. Check Up includes “Hallucination,” while Crime and Punishment has “Serial Killer,” “The Runaway,” “Victims,” “Urban Degeneration,” “Baby Killer,” and “Punishment.”
Two of Piero Montanari’s most popular compositions, “Japanese Ceremony” and “Mother Nature” also appeared on the 2000 Primrose Music compilation Sacred Moments: Meditative And Religious Music For The Heart And Soul–reissued as a digital download in 2008.
Both tracks are taken from Piero Montanari’s Ulysses: A Traveller Through Time And Space, produced by Stefano Torossi.
Original Version of Roberto Conrado & Piero Montanari’s “Zoo Sound” from 1972
Piero Montanari has been making music for film soundtracks, jazz, and pop albums since the mid-1960s, playing with musicians like Chet Baker, Tullio De Piscopo, Roberto Gatto, Tony Scott, Toots Thielemans, Amedeo Tommasi, and Massimo Urbani, to name a few. In 1972, Montanari, along with an uncredited Roberto Conrado, contributed a pair of tracks to Musica in rilievo, a hard-to-find compilation album released by Beautiful Black Butterfly Records. “Zoo Sound” and “Frogs In Love,” the two compositions, were credited to the Montanari Band.
The two Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari compositions appeared the following year on Bass Modulations and Climax, respectively, a pair of classic library music LPs released on Italy’s Octopus label–and reissued as downloads by Pinball Music in 2010.
“Frogs In Love,” renamed “Frog In Love” on subsequent releases, is also included on the Scoctopus: The In Sound From Octopus Records! compilation on Schema, one of the finest collections in the library music and soundtrack genre in this correspondent’s humble opinion.
Piero Montanari commented on the origin of “Frog In Love”:
It’s one of the tracks we enjoyed making the most. At that time in Europe, a song called “Ping Pong” had great success, especially in clubs and dance halls. It was one of the first songs made with a Moog synthesizer. We tried to make a song with a similar feel but it did not get the promotion it deserved!
Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari’s “Frog In Love” is here:
Unlike “Frog In Love,” Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari’s original version of “Zoo Sound” on the Musica in rilievo LP is not the same one that was used the next year by Octopus. The version of “Zoo Sound” on Bass Modulations is easy to find on YouTube.
The original version of the Montanari Band’s “Zoo Sound” from Musica in rilievo is on SoundCloud:
Note: If any legal rights holders object to the posting of this rare, out of print, and unavailable track ripped from this correspondent’s personal collection, please drop a line and it will be removed immediately.
More musical highlights from Piero Montanari are found at an exclusive interview on this site. Click the photo to go to Montanari’s personal blog, where he often writes articles on music and other areas of culture (in Italian).
A compilation of music and videos from Piero Montanari, including the following tracks, is on YouTube:
- Piero Montanari & Danilo Mosetti “Action Soldiers” vid by Didi Franks for Movie Superheroes 2012
- Roberto Conrado & Piero Montanari “Glaze” from Climax 1973
- Piero Montanari Dream Sequence from Ritorno dalla morte (Frankenstein 2000) 1991
- Piero Montanari “Death Arising” from La Casa 3 (Ghosthouse) 1999
- Piero Montanari untitled track from La Casa 3 (Ghosthouse) 1999
- Piero Montanari et al. – Toto Remix from Toto Rap 1993
- Piero Montanari & Stefano Torossi “Mother Nature” from Ulysses 1995
- Piero Montanari & Stefano Torossi “Celtic Ballad” from Ulysses 1995
- Roberto Conrado & Piero Montanari “Quoin” from Climax 1973
- Piero Montanari & Danilo Mosetti “Masked Superheroes” 2012 vid by Did Franks for Movie Superheroes 2012
- Pino Daniele “Liberta” from Liberta 1976
- Piero Montanari opening theme from I predatori delle antille 1999
- Roberto Conrado & Piero Montanari “Likewise” from Bass Modulations 1973
- Piero Montanari “Laurel & Hardy Home Movies” ~1985
- Roberto Conrado & Piero Montanari “Frog in Love” from Climax 1973