Ultimo Cielo is a musical piece commissioned for an amateur orchestra. It differs from a classical commission, the aim of which would have been to enrich an orchestra's repertoire. Ultimo Cielo first and foremost focuses on providing amateurs, irrespective of their level and their commitment, with an opportunity to experience a commissioned composition. The theme of the commission questions the status of the artist and of the amateur in art.
The piece is called Ultimo Cielo, in homage to the Italian painter Pinot Gallizio, who founded the Situationist International after meeting Asger Jorn. The painter's work, his singular life and his unique status (formerly a chemist, he began to paint at the age of 45) lend the theme originality, allowing the composer to dramatise with sensitivity rather than conceptually, the relationship between spontaneity and automatism. The piece is composed for an amateur jazz orchestra (flute, piccolo, oboe, soprano and bass clarinets, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, trumpets, trombones, horns, tuba, guitar and piano), a quintet (guitar, double bass, clarinet, trumpet, drums) and a vocalist. It consists of five metronomes, the screening of a video of Pinot Gallizio's "Pintura Industriale" and a book written by Marco Lodoli.
Battista Lena Italian composer and guitarist born in 1960, he has worked with, amongst others, Roberto Gatto, Enrico Rava, Richard Galliano, Gabriele Mirabassi and Paolo Fresu. In 1997 he recorded "Banda Sonora" on Label Bleu in France, which was awarded the "Choc de la musique" and the "ffff" by Teleramà. In 2002 he composed the show "I Cosmonauti Russi" with Laura Betti and Gian Maria Testa on vocals, based on a book by Marco Lodoli; with its soloists, an amateur orchestra and a choir, the show went on a world tour. It was released in France by Label Bleu in 2005. In 2007 Lena conceived the "Ballata in Sud" project, a film-concert in collaboration with filmmaker Francesca Archibugi. In 2008 the Koln Wdr Big Band performed a concert, recorded and broadcast, dedicated to his music. In 2012 he composed "La Radici nell'aria" with poet Pierluigi Cappello. Since 2008, he has been teaching jazz guitar and composition at the NYU faculty in Florence. He composes film soundtracks (for Francesca Archibugi, Paolo Virzì, Alex de la Iglesia, to name but a few). In 2013 he founded the Lift Music record label for which he recorded "Mi Ami?".