di Erika Scafuro
Internationally renowned composer, pianist and producer, one would imagine Alberto Bof sitting at a grand piano. Bear Surfboards, however, found him in Liguria (Italy), surfing his home waves on a longboard, showing us his surfing image as well.
His accomplishments, motion pictures soundtracks are the most significant part of his career, include prestigious successes such as recording the music for “A Star is Born” and consequently “Shallow”, performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper; the multiple awarded hit single earned ®️Oscar ®️Grammy ®️Bafta ®️Golden Globe, becoming the most prize winning song of all time.
Alberto Bof also produces music for surf contents, working with world class athletes such as 8 times Surfing World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, with whom he has collaborated for several years. We asked him a few questions, intrigued by how he has combined his passion for surfing and music.
These are two worlds that seem far apart, but in reality they are much closer than one can think, and I have found a connection point in the creative process. It is about that powerful flow of energy that both water and sound waves unleash. For you, what is the connection between surfing and music?
«Can I be banal and say the ‘waves’? On the one hand those of water, on the other those of sound. When I am on a wave I watch the water move and try to follow the flow of energy under my feet, trying to draw the best line; when I play, for example, a classical piece, the action is very similar, the music moves and I am there in the middle, drawing the line on my instrument».
When and where did you learn surfing?
«I come from skateboarding so it came as a natural evolution. I learnt on the beaches of California, the first time I went in the water was at Sunset Beach, a beginners spot on the Pacific Coast Highway».
As a pianist and composer you have achieved very prestigious successes, one of them being in the recording of the award-winning hit “Shallow” in the movie “A Star is Born”, how do you keep up with the ever-changing contemporary music industry?
«I listen to everything, I study every day, both piano and production in general, this is the only way one can keep up».
Your music often accompanies surfing videos. How do you come up with these kind of tracks? Do you compose before or after seeing the images?
«It’s very easy for me to compose for surfing, being used to the water, but the images help me get closer to the type of surfer in video».
You also performed the accompanying track for “The Tempest”, winner of the “Surfer Award” for Best Short film and starring 8 times WSL World Champion Stephanie Gilmore. It is her who features in the two tracks “Giulia” and “Pomene” included in the soundtrack of Stab’s “The Electric Acid Surfboard Test”. Can you tell us how this collaboration came about?
«A mutual friend introduced us, and it took off from there. Stephanie is also an excellent guitarist and making music with her is like going in the water with her, fun and inspiring. Steph is my favourite athlete to write for, her flow is just from another planet».
You have played on the most prominent stages in the world. We just saw you at the “Sanremo Festival” where you accompanied world famous influencer Chiara Ferragni speech on the piano. What was the stage that excited you the most?
«I played with Aerosmith at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and in Los Angeles with Gaga and Bradley Cooper, but a few years ago in Maui, Hawaii, I played “LA Woman” at Charlie’s, with Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, and John Densmore (“the DOORS” legendary drummer), that’s probably my most exciting moment on stage».
Can you anticipate anything about your upcoming projects?
«I have two new movies coming out this year, and live piano performances connected with art exhibitions. I hope to find time to go surfing though, that’s always my main project!».
@ foto in cover by Jawad Chabib