ITALY MEETS WISCONSIN, CLASSICAL MEETS JAZZ, SONGWRITING AS A COUPLE.
When Italian Sara d'Ippolito met American Kenny Reichert in Milwaukee, WI, they immediately realized they shared more than their love of music. After falling in love, the now-married couple started writing songs together. Currently based in Chicago, Sara and Kenny are composers, educators, and multi-instrumentalists. Their music is a unique blend of intricate harmonies, jazz, folk, classical, electronic, and world music. Sara and Kenny both play guitar and sing, but in a way you have never heard before.
Heartless is the title track of our latest recorded album, released in May 2019. We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help with the release of this album. Heartless is about feeling out of place or in-between places. There is a wordplay on the concept "home is where the heart is." What happens to the heart when home is constantly moving? Since we formed in 2015 in Milwaukee, we have lived in London, Berlin, and now Chicago. This song captures the feeling of watching your life unfold in front of you when you haven't necessarily reconciled with it yet.
Familiar Rhythms encapsulates both of our cultures, drawing from American folk music and Southern Italian tarantella. We originally released an acoustic version of this track on an album of the same name in 2017, and then a fully produced version on our record Heartless in 2019. Tarantella was originally a mystic and ritual dance used to process grief and change - metaphorically dancing out the poison of the tarantula. Familiar Rhythms draws from this tradition using the call and response in the lyrics, almost describing the journey of someone dancing a tarantella until passing out (symbolized by a break in the music), and then returning to a new, enriched, possibly healed sense of self.
Rome was recorded and released in 2019 on our album Heartless. Rome is about exploring the inner dialogue within oneself, processing moments of life as you live through them. This is even reflected in the writing, as we wrote all of the music in about an hour on a trip to Rome but then the lyrics didn’t come for almost a year. We kept the title to honor the initial moment of inspiration and reflections of Sara’s past life living in Rome.
The work that we submitted relates to our entire body of work in a few ways. First, we are both multi-instrumentalists and love using different timbres in our songs: ukulele, nylon string guitar, electric guitar, and voice. Second, our songwriting process is a collective effort and these songs represent works that we both spent a lot of time crafting. Even after playing a piece many times, we continue to change and interpret our music according to the specific moment we're in. Finally, these videos were shot in different cities - New York and Berlin - and represent different moments along our journey together.
We formed as a musical duo in 2015 in Milwaukee, WI. Since then, we have gotten married and have moved to London (UK), Berlin (DE), and now Chicago, IL. We have written, recorded, and released 3 full-length albums, 1 instrumental EP, and 2 singles. We have performed across the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy. Our concerts have included a variety of settings: intimate living rooms, performing arts centers, festivals, restaurants, and anywhere you can imagine a stage!
Our artistic vision is to inspire self-reflection. Music has an incredible ability to create a conversation between the player and the listener that is both individual and collective. We draw upon our love and upbringings in classical and jazz music and work to incorporate elements of these styles into our own. Our lyrics explore discovering oneself, hard feelings, being ok with hard feelings, and a general quest of becoming a better human being. We also present a couple’s perspective, meaning that we have to operate a process of synthesis before hitting the stage. We have to find a way to work together and blend our individual contributions into something that can be shared.
Sara and Kenny
2842 N. Albany Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
$400 - $1500