Former Nine Inch Nails Keyboardist Alessandro Cortini in Residence

Nick Balkin
November 23, 2010
Alessandro Cortini

Alessandro Cortini, noted electronic musician, composer, and performer, will visit Berklee November 29 to December 3, to take part in a residency hosted by the college's Electronic Production and Design (ELPD) Department. Cortini recorded and performed with Nine Inch Nails for four years, and his current project, Sonoio, is breaking new ground in the world of electronic music.

Cortini's musical efforts are focused on modular synthesis, particularly on the Buchla synthesizer. Following his last Berklee residency, the college purchased its own unit, which is now the focus of intense student interest. He will perform Wednesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. (the concert is not open to the public), and spend the rest of the week visiting classes, working with students and faculty, and appearing as a guest DJ on the Berklee Internet Radio Network.

Sonoio—from the Italian phrase "sono io" ("it's me")—released a self-titled album on September 14 in various packages, one of which includes the Suonoio ("I make sound"), an electronic instrument that contains samples and sound sources used on the album, and allows fans to reshape them into new sounds, rhythms, textures, and drones.

Born and raised in Italy, Cortini moved to the United States to study guitar at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. From 2001–02, he toured as the guitarist for the Mayfield Four in support of their album Second Skin. After a brief teaching stint at the Musicians Institute, Cortini was Nine Inch Nails's touring keyboardist from 2005–08, including the band's Live: With Teeth, Performance 2007, and Lights in the Sky over North/South America tours. Along with touring with the band, Cortini also contributed to the instrumental album Ghosts I–IV, receiving cowriting credits on a number of tracks, and the 2008 album The Slip. He left the band at the end of 2008 to pursue other projects. Cortini is also the frontman of Los Angeles band Modwheelmood, which he leads with former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillstrom. Cortini completed Berkleemusic's Online Music Marketing with Topspin course in the spring of 2010.