Sonic Wonder

How Alessandro Cortini Approaches a Synthesizer

Collaborating with creative tools


It is a dialogue, often without intention, just to explore. He composes melodies with an instrument, rather than bringing a melody to the instrument.

If anything would inspire me, it’s the instrument itself. I hardly ever get a melody on its own.

I’ve never subscribed to the “I have an idea in my mind I just need the tools to make it real.” I don’t work that way. I’m more like I’ve got nothing in my brain until I sit in front of an instrument and I play with it, just like playing with a toy.

The instrument provides a space to explore, and his intuition helps navigate that space. It can often feel more difficult to come up with a compelling idea, than know it is compelling when you see it. The design of these tools help solve that. The instrument comes up with all these ideas, and you reach out and pluck the ones that are compelling.

What I find especially beautiful is that this process of exploration, intuition, and expression is soothing, and even healing.

I realized that I would just spend hours doing stuff and not really thinking too much about what I was doing. That’s when I realized that I could make music just to feel better. In a way, like some sort of therapy.

I wonder this approach to other creative forms — be it visual art, writing, storytelling.



Kawandeep Virdee

Building. Author of “Feeling Great About My Butt.” Previously: Creators @Medium, Product @embedly, Research @NECSI.