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Merging Cluster

With: Gabriele Marconcini



Philippe André - May 2024

Profilprog(PP): Hello Gabriele thank you for giving us your time to answer our questions.
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Hello Philippe, you are welcome, it’s my pleasure.

PP: We already exchanged almost three years ago for Raven Sad, so I was surprised to see your name as the singer of Merging Cluster which is therefore a different project isn't it?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Exactly. Merging Cluster is a totally different project, born way back in 2010, which has had several moments of pause, due to the various musical and extra-musical commitments of their members.

PP: Both groups are from Florence, so I suppose, apart from you, that the other musicians know each other?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Yes, the musicians of the two bands got to know each other, but never worked together on any common project. I'm the only link between these bands.

PP: I listened to part of the ‘’Biofonia’’ album which was in fact very rock and not at all progressive, does this mean that your personal tastes have changed since that time?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): I agree, ‘’Biofonia’’ was a project more focused on an Italian rock kind of style. This depended on the fact that when I joined that band, much of the material had already been written and the style was quite clear.

PP: I listened to the Merging Cluster album six or seven times, I found the progressive dimension not obvious, what do you think?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): I think that the classically progressive component is just one of the ingredients of "Peak of ephemeral light", since there are psychedelic influences, but also more current alternative-rock elements...

PP: I had more difficulty writing the review of Merging Cluster than that of Raven Sad, do you think that the music itself could be the cause?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Probably "The leaf and the wing" by Raven Sad has a more progressive style in the strict sense, more recognizable and classifiable. You can find direct neo-prog influences in it, and you can more easily connect it to other listening experiences in that musical genre. The Merging Cluster album has a more crossover character, mixing various elements and sounds that are even more distant from each other.

PP: Do you currently have other participations in other projects apart from these two? And the other musicians? Gianfilippo? Emiliano?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Actually, I'm not involved in other projects, also because I'm now working a lot with Raven Sad to complete the arrangements for the new album. Regarding the other members of Merging Cluster, Emiliano (keyboards) is working with a melodic prog rock band called ‘’Blind’’, while Marco (drums) recently released a record with ‘’Nuocere’’, a stoner rock band.

PP: In my review, I talked similarities with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow or even Def Leppard, is this also your opinion?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): It's interesting that you noticed these connections, I had honestly never thought about it... perhaps Emiliano's organs and the keyboards arrangements in general may have suggested similarities to some classic rock bands such as Deep Purple or Rainbow, but I can’t tell you in which way a connection that leads to Led Zeppelin or Def Leppard could be. However, I find it positive that a listener can also have very personal suggestions while listening to the album.

PP: Can we consider the Merging Cluster record as conceptual?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Not in the strict sense. It is not a concept in which a story is told. Rather there are some recurring themes in the various songs. All of them, in one way or another, speak of the moments of transition that make a person different from what he was before, or from what he believed or hoped he could be. Each of these steps are unrepeatable moments that marks the existence and are recorded as a sort of peaks of energy with a strong meaning, even if very brief and destined to pass.

PP: What is it or what are its subjects?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): The title track "Peak of ephemeral light" represents exactly what I just told you. "The shadow line", freely inspired by the novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad, also speaks of the moment of transition between two ages of existence. "Land of the wait", is inspired by another novel, a masterpiece of Italian literature, "The Desert of the Tartars" by Dino Buzzati. It tells of the reality that clashes with expectations destined to never materialize. "Planning the renaissance" is an urgent request for change in individual and collective consciousness. "Dysrationalia" talks about the difficulty of thinking and behaving rationally when faced with even the most banal facts of life. "Gift undeserved" describes a feeling of inadequacy but filtered through a dreamlike sensorial dimension. "Over (you)" instead has more esoteric references, but always focuses on the experience of the passage.

PP: Your plans for the coming months?
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): As I had the opportunity to tell you, the next few months for me are all dedicated to the next Raven Sad album. Therefore, the Merging Cluster project has nothing planned. This is why I define it as a sleeper cell: over the years it has been activated and deactivated many times, due to the various commitments of its members.

PP: Thank you for your collaboration and all the best for MERGING CLUSTER
MERGING CLUSTER (GM): Thanks to you Philippe for your attention and support. Always a pleasure.

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