Testimonials

Director Allison Argo ("The Last Pig")  (Winner of Six Emmy Awards):

Giovanni is passionate about his art. He is willing to step well beyond the status quo in search of the right voice, tone and emotional colors for a film. He also understands the magic a live instrument brings to a score; he's able to artfully weave live with synthesized music to achieve an organic, dynamic sound. The cues that Giovanni wrote for my film are not simply music - each is an experience that catches the viewer by surprise and carries him/her deeper into the film.

Director Brian Dilg ("Leaving Ashland" and "Double Negative"),  Chair of the Photography Department, New York Film Academy:

It has been my great pleasure to work with Giovanni as a composer on several projects since we met in 2004, as well as to enjoy his work on additional film, theater, and dance productions. He is first and foremost a superb composer and musician who brings a peerless work ethic, a broad awareness of music and film history, and a deeply considered and researched approach to every piece of music he writes. But what truly forges lasting professional relationships are exceptional people with whom it is simply a joy to work, and in that respect Giovanni has few peers. To know him and spend time working with him is to be continuously immersed in a vast spectrum of musical ideas, stories, cultural references, and impressions that reflect the trans-continental life that he has led, the many languages he has mastered, and the depth of his passion and curiosity. As a director, I feel fortunate to have been able to collaborate on several film projects with him in the last decade, and look forward to continuing that fruitful partnership for many more decades to come. No one works harder; no one brings a more singular voice and artistic ability to a project.

Directors James Pellerito and David Barba ("Pop Star On Ice", "Be Good Johnny Weir",  "American Cheerleader", "Baby with the Bathwater" and "Maree"):

Working with Giovanni Spinelli is like working with many different composers because he is a master of so many different music genres.  Giovanni is a classically trained musician and composer yet he is just as comfortable composing pop ballads, dance music, punk tracks, bossa nova jazz, slavic folk music or quiet, reflective musical score moments.  For our documentary film POP STAR ON ICE, starring iconoclast figure skating champion Johnny Weir, we in fact asked Giovanni to produce all of these genres and he delivered brilliantly.

Giovanni composed the haunting and achingly beautiful score for our film "MAREE" (TIDES) (Special Mention at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival).  The film has played around the world in more than 125 festivals, winning over 25 awards.  The only consistent compliment we've heard from film programmers to audience members is that the music breaks their hearts.

Giovanni is also comfortable in different arenas.  He composes music for bands, chamber ensembles, theater and television.

Beyond the talent, Giovanni is a pleasure to work with because he is extremely fast, creatively open and he 'gets it'.  We would strongly recommend Giovanni to any filmmaker or television producer provided the work does not conflict with our own!  Giovanni's involvement guarantees that the project will be better.

David Barba & James Pellerito
Filmmakers
Retribution Media

Jeremiah Kipp, writer, director and producer (regarding "Pick Up"):

Working with Giovanni was a deeply gratifying experience.  From our very first meeting, he was sensitive to the needs of the film, collaborative in his storytelling, and very open to creative exploration. You never doubt the result will be something very special, and Giovanni has a high standard of musical excellence that doesn't interfere with his work flow.  He's an incredibly talented artist and craftsman... I hope we have many more collaborations in the years to come.

Xin Ying, Choreographer and Principal Dancer, Martha Graham Dance Company ("Lamentation"):

Giovanni's music is the dance partner I've been dreaming to have.  Expressive but not over the top. Supportive while providing contrast.  Just the right amount of resistance to make the movements have more range and volume.

Director James Phillip Gates ("Private Life of the Master Race"):

I had the pleasure of working with Giovanni on a revival of Brecht's political masterpiece 'The Private Life of the Master Race' for my theatre company. His compositions were both provocative and highly mood-evoking, they never interfered with the play, but wholly supported it's journey. I can attest to his dedication, the high quality of his output, and, having since seen other projects he has worked on, his versatility. A talented composer for sure.

Paolo Cherchi Usai, Resident Curator Telluride Film Festival, Co-Founder, Pordenone Silent Film Festival (D.W. Griffith's "True Heart Susie"; F.W. Murnau's "Sunrise"):

Spinelli’s work in silent film music reveals a fresh, non-deferential approach to the live accompaniment of cinema classics. His mix of sensibility, competence and sheer enthusiasm for this precious art form provides audiences of the newest generations with a chance to discover silent cinema for what it really is – a timeless display of creativity and beauty.

Nathan Buck, Director/Producer ("Swaatch"):

Giovanni was not only able to quickly perceive and compose the sonic/musical feeling I needed for my short film, but also to deliver and modify the composition in an almost impossibly short window of time that I had to complete the film's post-production. He is an incredibly sensitive and perceptive composer, and he is absolutely reliable. I highly recommend Giovanni and hope to work with him again!

Writer/Director Jason Wade Hammonds ("Jacknife Memoriam" - "Diane Skyhawk" - "American Way"):

Giovanni is an inspired genius.  Working with him on my last three films has been a real treat.  He seems to be always inventing something new and this always works to my advantage.  I get clips of maybe 5-10 pieces prior to filming and it always helps drive the direction of the film.  He has an amazing talent for melding the classical and the contemporary, creating something that could only be an original Spinelli.

Zishan Ugurlu, Resident Director, La Mama Theater (Strindberg's "The Father"):

Giovanni's music sparkles and soars in a style which is rich and inspiring. It unveils the human soul with the quality of the greatest masterpieces.

Meissa Hampton, Director ("A Social Cure"):

Giovanni was a treasure.  We had a tight deadline and he stepped in and brought our Feature documentary to completion.  He was fast and responsive.  It can be difficult to find someone with whom communication is easy and efficient. Giovanni was that someone - he understood the tone and intent of the project and made adjustments easily and comprehensively.  He’s proactive and consummately professional.  I feel very lucky to have found him and that I was able to work with him.

Playrwright/Director, Richard Caliban ("Teatro Slovak" - "Cabaret Cucaracha/Les Funky Bitches Fantastique"):

Giovanni is a kick ass musician who can fuse classical influences with rock, jazz, latin, or just about any other genre. I've done some pretty crazy theatrical stuff with Giovanni and he has composed some amazing work-- outright songs as well as background ambiance. He's also done musical direction/arranging and always made my music much more sophisticated and interesting. We play live in a band together too -- Les Funky Bitches Fantastique. He's a good guy. You should hire him whether it's for a film, a play or a cabaret act or whatever.

Thomas Barnes, director, writer, producer and instructor at the New York Film Academy ("Porgies and Bass"):

Giovanni is a badass film composer and a passionate collaborator with an insane work ethic! His score will make your film better.  And you will have a great time doing it!

Producer Philippe Brenninkmeyer ("Bis Gleich"):

Giovanni is a musical wizard.  The music that he composed for our film "Bis Gleich" is so phenomenal that it elevated the film to heights we could have only dreamed of in our wildest dreams.

REVIEWS

An astounding mix of Hendrix, Badalamenti, Vaughn and The Edge
— San Francisco Examiner (on "Sunrise")
A feat of yogic proportions
— Indiewire (on "Sunrise")
The fantastic score by Giovanni Spinelli leaves us in no doubt that there could be a threat lurking around any corner. ... the nervy violin pieces are almost reminiscent of ‘The Witch’. The sense of ominous dread is tangible
— www.youvegotredonyou.com (on "Slapface")
Versatile score by Giovanni Spinelli also keeps things moving
— Variety (on "Pop Star On Ice")
A rich, turbulent string quartet from young composer Giovanni Spinelli for [Diane Coburn Bruning’s] emotionally charged ensemble piece “Dark Parade”
— The New Yorker (on "Jasna Gora")
A truly one-of-a-kind experience
— YAM Magazine (on "Sunrise")
The score by Giovanni Spinelli sets the tone right away for Jeremiah Kipp’s “Pickup.” This is moody, atmospheric and painful music...

-- Sonic Cinema (on "Pickup")

The music is wonderful...
— Rouge Cinema (on "Pickup")
I was struck by the score by Giovanni Spinelli, which was uniquely haunting...
— Geeks of Doom (on "Slapface")