Francesco Leali


With a discography spanning from “harrowing contemporary classical” to “punishing sound design”, over the past decade Italo-Canadian composer and producer Francesco Leali has been summoned to work with singer-songwriter Fink, celebrated pianists Ludovico Einaudi and Gloria Campaner, collaborating with power electronics innovator Puce Mary, mutant-electronica honcho Heith and releasing on labels as diverse as Decca Classics, Polydor, R&S and Universal.

Leali has furthermore been trusted with composing and producing scores for National Geographic’s ‘Nanuq’ documentary, director Marco Ferrari’s investigative docufilm ‘Never Whistle Alone’, installations for Fondazione Prada, Triennale Milano and having his scores featured at Cannes Lions Festival, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Visions du Réel.

Parallel to his production work he toured extensively between 2010 and 2016 performing in clubs, festivals and concert halls such as Berghain (Berlin), Fabric (London), Trouw (Amsterdam), Sònar Festival (Barcelona), Club to Club (Turin), DGTL Festival (Amsterdam), Movement Festival (Detroit) and Auditorium San Fedele (Milan).

After co-founding and co-running Parachute Records putting out music by avant sound designer Roly Porter and Godflesh, Napalm Death affiliate Justin Broadrick he decides to shift part of his attention to his latest endeavour – Until Riots. A multidisciplinary publishing platform with a focus on electroacoustic and modern classical studies in sound.

In late 2019 he releases his solo debut titled ‘Undergoddess’ made in collaboration with cellist Alessandro Branca. A timid, yet intimidating effort that trials versatility in a meditated exercise of imperfection and bliss, favouring intimate tangibility on what translates into a highly personal record.

Young, Dumb and Bored

YDB is an independent sound design studio run by Francesco Leali and Daniele Guerrini with a focus on tailor-made compositions, sound design and consultancy for media.

Since 2010 YDB provided an array of brands with distinct audible personas, some of which include America’s Cup, Armani, Audi, BMW, Boiler Room, C.P. Company, Gucci, Loro Piana, Mini Cooper, Nike, Off–White, Pirelli, Reebok, Sky and Trussardi.

Selected Works

Francesco Leali - Sorceress [EP]
Until Riots (2020)

Francesco Leali follows up on his solo debut ‘Undergoddess’ with ‘Sorceress’.

Recalling the approach of its predecessor, these live recordings rely on improvisation, structure and texture through the use of a single output. While ‘Undergoddess’ focused on a 1737 cello, ’Sorceress’ does so with a diy instrument that creates feelings of inadequacy and doom. An aesthetic achieved by fusing electroacoustic instruments and spacious, growling processing – a trait that seems to be persistent in Leali’s writing approach. – Until Riots

– Francesco Leali - Undergoddess [LP]
Until Riots (2019)

With a steady desire in mind to approach sound with a more susceptible motive, this study started in 2017 aiming to create an air-tight bond between exasperation, limitation and liberation – restricting resources to a bare minimum and with a focus on razor-sharp processing of cello recordings composed by Leali and Branca between 2017 and 2019. ‘Undergoddess’ is timid, yet intimidating, reaching turfs that trial versatility in a meditated exercise of imperfection and bliss, favouring intimate tangibility on what translates into a highly personal record. – Until Riots

Never Whistle Alone [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2019)

The term "whistleblower" has recently become a household word around the globe, thanks to important political figures such as Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. But our societies have seen honest people denouncing bribery attempts in many fields for much longer than that. And in Italy, where corruption is basically a time-honoured tradition, in the last three years, 723 people have reported it, according to Never Whistle Alone, the second feature-length documentary by Italian writer-director Marco Ferrari.

A high-octane, fast-moving, immensely engaging investigative documentary that details an important topic, and does so with the decisive goal of creating palpable tension. This approach is further strengthened by the intensely atmospheric and ever-present sound design and music by Francesco Leali and Alessandro Branca. – Vladan Petković, Cineuropa

– Puce Mary, Francesco Leali, Heith & Alessandro Branca - A.E.V.O.S [EP]
Until Riots (2019)

Power electronics artist Puce Mary, Haunter records label head Heith, producer Francesco Leali and cellist Alessandro Branca collude on two tumultuous pieces soaked up in cello-driven ambience, cavernous processing, haunting vocals and futuristic glitch sequences.

For this first instalment we see the quartet delve deep into the study of dilated repetition counting largely on the use of a 1700’s cello built by Italian lutist Nadotti – breaking down, studying and reassembling it’s output into a meticulous yet unsettling approach. – Until Riots

– Fink & DJ Tennis - Certain Angles (OPUS 3000 Version) [Single]
!K7 (2017)

Opus 3000’s cinematic approach designs an elegant landscape that gives a euphoric feel to Fink’s bracing croon. The delicate discourse of soft piano strokes and pulse soothing cello interplay woven by the gracious hands of Alessandro Branca, with Francesco Leali’s orchestration, caracole throughout the 4:44 minute rendition and harmoniously complement the song’s rhythm and lyrics. Stripped of bass and percussion, the power of Fink’s spellbinding serenade emerges as an unfettered canary fluttering in a vast space where movement is propelled simply by melodic cadence. – Marie, Tourture the Artist

– CW/A - Ringleader [EP]
Parachute (2016)

With ‘Ringleader’ the duo return with their first original productions since their debut full length, last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Words Unspoken, Acts Undone.’

Inspired by global trends towards Orwellian mass surveillance and cyber espionage, ‘Ringleader’ aims to be an audible interpretation of big data, ubiquitous connections and the acceptance of corporate and government spying. Grim and mechanical by nature, the six tracks — named after leaked codenames of government tools used to watch on citizens — work as a soundtrack to the destruction of privacy: a cold reflection on this aspect of society and it’s implications. – Parachute

– CW/A - Words Unspoken, Acts Undone [LP]
Parachute (2015)

Clockwork and Avatism release their debut album as CW/A for the shelves of Parachute. The Italian duo journey across a world of sounds on this engrossing debut. Across 11 cuts, they explore strands of IDM, minimal bleep techno, jungle and UK bass music all under a carefully calculated approach similar to that of AFX’s scientific take on electronic production. Lead cut 19-9241--75-13294 exemplifies this meticulous creative method perfectly. Rumbling muffled percussion and buffering soundscapes all rolling in to a hazy dub-wise mix. When figures like this join forces it’s understandable to expect the best – CW/A have delivered. – Bleep


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