PorcaPizza – Massimo Tortella

Meet artist Massimo Tortella, aka Porcapizza, who creates musical instruments out of ordinary garbage.

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Porcapizza is a one-man band, but with the most obscure instruments you can imagine; from tennis racket guitars to typewriter drums, and even a butter knife keyboard?


Self-described as “Pure “Italian” passion for music expressed through homemade instruments”, Porcapizza creates amazing renditions of classic tunes.
All these amazing sounds are courtesy of Massimo Tortella, who was born and raised in the heart of North Italy, Viadana. This uncanny performer plays instruments ranging from electric and classical guitar, bass guitar, and percussion.
Having played shows in several rock, folk, blues, metal, punk, hardcore, and indie bands, he felt experienced enough to become a one-man band. With that many genres of music coursing through his mind, it was only a matter of time before he created something even more amazing.


A Porcapizza show is a mixture of music, art, and entertainment. His instruments are made from recycled objects, such as tennis rackets, an old typewriter, Pringles cans, a telephone… you name it. And with his ingenious creations, Massimo guides each audience on “an alternative journey through music”. His performances tackle “thinking outside the box”, not to mention, freaking rock.

 

Porcapizza’s line-up consists of tracks like Foxy lady by Jimi Hendrix, Cissy Strut by The Meters, Waiting in vain by Bob Marley, Hootchie Cootchie Man by Muddy Waters, Peter Gunn Theme by The Blues brother, and Hit the road Jack by Ray Charles. But, each tune is always full of his own unique flair.

I have to say, my favorite of his instruments has to be his reclamation of the classic rotary phone headset as a microphone. The nostalgic sound it creates is a throwback most of us haven’t experienced in decades, and really lends to his shows obscurity and intrigue.

Since busking musicians don’t rely on a complicated commercial structure, one would think that they have a lot of freedom to innovate. This turns out to be true; a lot of musical revolutions had their roots on the streets instead of the concert stage – maybe more so before radio and vinyl, but in recent generations also. Folk musicians like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan used to pass the hat as did many of the great musicians of San Francisco hippie culture like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world and dates back to antiquity. People engaging in this practice are called street performers or buskers.

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