Simone Mongelli

English (United Kingdom)Italian - ItalyGreek


All’improvviso – On Impulse




Nikos Touliatos' and Simone Mongelli's concert consists of an entirely improvised performance, where the two percussionists use an experimental set in common, made up of traditional and modern instruments, as well as objects used as percussion instruments. The show takes its name from their first album together, released in June 2010 and voted by the musical magazine "Difono" as second Best Greek Jazz Album 2010.

It is experimental music which moves within the free improvisation scene, as far as possible from formalism and intellectualism. On the contrary, it is an enjoyable and immediate show, where a deepness dialogues with a sense of humour, a deliberately spiritual approach with a playful spirit and the hazards of experimentation with the lightness of inspiration.

A free and spontaneous creative act, born of the musical meeting of the two protagonists, that is able to involve the audience through the construction of an atmosphere both intense and unusual, thanks to research on timbre and the use of colour and dynamics.

In the explorative approach to instrumental material, the musicians rarely succumb to easy-listening grooving, not forgetting the evocative, earthly and vital energy of percussion. They do not indulge in technical exhibitionism, concentrating instead on the expressive power of sound – on the importance of narrating with music.

It is a performance with a deep visual component, thanks to the scenography created by a plethora of instruments and to a theatrical approach.

Another important element, tied to the experimental philosophy of the two musicians, is the relationship with space. Convinced that every place has its own communicative energy, they try to establish a direct, physical connection with it, including the space itself, the objects it contains, and even their own bodies among the musical materials with which to build the show, whose outcome is each time different and unrepeatable.


Nikos Touliatos and Simone Mongelli played for the first time together in Italy, in 1998, in an international project called "Mediterranean Orchestra", and met again eight years later, by chance, in a square of Athens, where the Italian had meanwhile moved. Since then they have been collaborating in different ways, starting this duo project in 2010. The two musicians, while having differences in musical education, age, nationality, instrumental choices, share though a common approach to sonic material, where primary relevance is given to self-expression, research, improvisation, experimentation and gesture.

It is not by chance that Nikos Touliatos, an active experimenter and innovator since the beginning of his career, besides a huge number of collaborations with musicians, actors, directors, artists, composers, as well as many solo performances, is the founder of percussion ensemble "echodrasi" (literally "sound-action"), which performed in the closing ceremony of Athens' Olympic Games in 2004. It is a band that fuses, as the name itself suggests, musical gesture, theatricality and the use of non-musical objects.

And it is not by chance that Simone Mongelli, who mastered his technique in Greece on Mediterranean traditional percussions, while following an artistic path numbering several disparate collaborations and experiences, has engaged himself in the theatre field, writing and directing three different works, with musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, writers and street artists. These are works characterized by improvisation, by the fusion of different artistic languages, by musical and theatrical use of space.


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