Masterclass Masterclass

Improvisation Residency

Improvisation Residency

34-days Residency at Casa della Musica San Michele on free improvisation practices

Pietro Frigato, Marco Bussi, Giulia Pastorino

Improvisation Residency
Download the application form
Funded by the EU Goethe Institut
Supported by Culture Moves Europe Project
Funded by the European Union and Implemented by Goethe-Institut

Free Improvisation Project

The project aims to host 5 A&CPs, and is open to composers and instrumentalists, singers and electronics practitioners – interested in improvisation, preferably practically active and equipped with an already developed level of technical-instrumental mastery, regardless of background. The goal of the project would be for the A&CP to work in multiple formations (solo, complete ensemble and/or sub-ensembles), getting to musically know each other, playing, practicing, composing, discussing and living together for the duration of the residency, in order to create new improvisational works to be professionally recorded at the end of the residency and performed in a public concert.

The project would be a development of the shorter improvisation workshops hosted by CdM, held by Joëlle Léandre (2022) and Ernst Reijseger (July 2024) for Foresty Festival – giving the participants the chance to work in a deeper manner on the issues of contemporary improvisation.

The project will give the A&CPs the possibility of spending a significant amount of time practising, playing and studying together, working towards a common goal, and engaging in a collective creative process that will result in new improvisation works.
A&CPs will be given the possibility to choose the process and modality of the project, be that a single long work, several pieces that will form a coherent concert/recording, both in full ensemble or sub-ensembles/solos.

A&CPs are expected not only to get to know each other and to comfortably grow to be able to play together, but also to learn from each other in a non-formal way, exploring and challenging one another’s musical visions and creating a new and comprehensive way of integrating their own musical style into a common new work.

The mentors will provide a further possibility of learning, both through feedback on the on-going work, and by collaborating with them, identifying and implementing new possibilities of interplay.

Pietro Frigato

Pietro Frigato is a guitarist, composer, improviser, teacher and artistic director born in Italy and based in Rotterdam. He graduated in composition at the Conservatoire “F.Venezze” of Rovigo – Italy. His research is focused on improvisation, on the concept of borders in music, on the edge of perceptions, on the distortion and compression of the signal as poetic, esthetic and conceptual tools. Pietro has been running since 2018 as artistic director, the Cataclisma Improvisation Festival a space for new music, improvisation and social projects.

In 2012 He co-founded the Ensemble Collettivo Crisis, a group of composers and performers who practices and performs collective composition and improvvisation in the field of contemporary music.
In 2014 he created the F:A:M: fucina artistica musicale (musical and artistic forge), an educational project in which the music teachers could research and develop custom, non-standard, maieutical and innovative ways to teach music and to improve the student’s creativity and artistic freedom.

In 2020 during the first lockdown enforced throughout Europe he started DOAQ – Diaries of a quarantine, an ensemble project that explored the possibilities of improvising together on the web during the pandemic. He performs in several projects such as S.P.I.I.C., ensemble from Hamburg and the newly made international trio Shortest Job First.

The music journalist Ettore Garzia wrote of him in the magazine Percorsi Musicali “I have no doubts about the validity of the path undertaken by Frigato. His music has good odds and a colossal range of action”

Pietro Frigato

Marco Bussi

Marco Bussi

Musicolgist and pianist, Marco Bussi started playing piano at five. In 2012 he graduated at the Conservatory “F. Venezze” in Rovigo where he is currently studying Composition with professors Andreina Costantini and Nicola Evangelisti.

In 2015 he gained a MA in Musicolgy at the University of Pavia. He is interested in musical disciplines at 360-degrees and he works mainly on Twentieth Century Music Theory and on Music Cognition. He attended several Composition Masterclasses held by Tristan Murail, Claudio Ambrosini, Andrea Agostini, Francesco La Licata, Sonia Bo, Francesco Pavan among others; and also Piano Masterclasses held by Alessandro Specchi, Pietro di Maria, Sven Brich.

In 2015 he worked at the Music Cognition Lab at Queen Mary University of London. During this period, he collaborated with prof. Marcus Pearce at the implementation of computational model for Machine Learning.

In 2012 he co-founded the “Ensemble Collettivo Crisis” formed by composers and musicians who practice collective composition, experimental improvisation and contemporary music research. His research is oriented mainly on electronic and electroacustic music

as well as on the implementation of automatic procedures for composition and execution.
He is also interested in human-machine interaction and in experimental improvisation as a way to establish archetypical procedures of music communication.

Giulia Pastorino

Giulia Pastorino began her studies with M. Ivano Ponte at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Ovada and obtained her second level academic diploma under the guidance of M. Giuseppe Pepicelli at the Conservatorio G. Nicolini in Piacenza, combining guitar studies with composition (with maestros Riccardo Dapelo, Alberto Barbero and Stéphane Borrel) and teaching. She has attended masterclasses with maestros Aldo Minella, Marcin Dylla, Oscar Ghiglia, Arturo Tallini and Luca Nobis, Jesus Castro Balbi, Andrea Dieci; she participated in the Research-led Performance Workshop with Elena Casoli, Luk Vaes and Giacomo Baldelli; she took part in the Musiikin Aika Festival in Viitasaari 2019 for the improvisation workshop with John Butcher and in 2022 with Joëlle Léandre in the ambit of Foresty International Music Festival, and with Simone Baron for Conserere Residency. Active as a performer, improviser and instrumentalist

(classical and electric guitar), she is among the founding members of the contemporary music ensemble Collettivo_21, founded in 2015 in Piacenza, with which she collaborates with several composers and performs in Italy and abroad (Concorto Film Festival 2017, PACTA SoundZone 2019, Musiikin Aika 2019, Incó_ntemporanea Festival 2019-2020, Crossroads Festival 2021, Music Biennale Zagreb 2023). In 2020 she starts the project Casa della Musica San Michele, of which she is founder and for which she organises artistic residencies, recordings and workshops with artists from all over the world. Also in 2020, she participates in Soundtracks 2020 for the soundtracks of several silent films also presented at the Festival della Filosofia in Modena: this is where her passion for audiovisuals and the new ensemble Effetto Brama come from, as well as new projects in collaboration with international realities (e.g. FilmsDance-USA). In 2021/23 she was engaged by the Teatro Sociale of Como for the production Opera Domani – Acquaprofonda by Giovanni Sollima and Giovanni De Cataldo.

From 2023 she plays in the Snowapple Collective and participates in the Jardin Rouge Festival 2023 in Paris.

Giulia Pastorino
Planned activities

The mentors Pietro Frigato and Marco Bussi – from Crisis Collective – will hold regular meetings of about two days each, in order to divide the residency into several sessions or periods and to better organise everyone’s time and work. The host (Giulia Pastorino) will be present as mentor on a more permanent basis, and will be also responsible for making the residency welcoming, facilitating meetings with local artists and the general logistics of the project.

In addition to the aforementioned tutors, the sound engineer Davide Martini will be present during the last part of the residency, to provide support and expertise for the final recording of the project(s). The meetings with Frigato and Bussi will be in form of workshops, firstly to assess the starting level of compatibility and guide the A&CPs to achieve a good level of interplay, secondly to provoke and implement new strategies and musical constructs, contributing to new experimenting aspects and “outside the safe-zone” ways of playing, and lastly to help concentrate the final work, come up with funcional solutions for both the final recording and final concert.

The mentorship of the host Giulia Pastorino will consist in contributing to the balance of the ensemble, encouraging an effective interplay, either by giving feedback and by playing together with the A&CPs. Her presence as performer could also be requested by the A&CPs for the final recording and/or concert, creating a deeper connection with the organisation.

Calendar of activities

Days 1-5 – mentor: Giulia Pastorino. Starting to play together, getting to know each other musically, experiment new ways of interplay, explore new ideas deriving from the insight into different musical experiences.

Days 6-7 – mentor: Marco Bussi. First workshop: external assessment of the startin interplay level, creating together the first ideas, implement new strategies and musical constructs under the guidance and with the participation of the mentor

Days 8-13 – mentor: Giulia Pastorino. Elaborate the information and experiences of the first workshop, continue the process of interplay and musical exploration, and define the starting ideas for the final project.

Days 14-15 – mentor: Pietro Frigato. Second workshop: provoke and implement new strategies and musical constructs, experimenting new aspects and “outside the safe-zone” ways of playing under the guidance of the mentor; continue the composition/definition of principles for the final project.

Days 16-20 – mentor: Giulia Pastorino. Explore and proceed in defining the final recording and concert ideas,, refine the improvisation principles and smooth the interplay process.

Days 21-22 – mentor: Pietro Frigato and Marco Bussi. Present the ideas for the final recording and concert, work on the feedback of the mentors, rehearse the new modifications.

Days 23-27 – (mentor: Giulia Pastorino). Rehearsals for the final concert and recording, achieving a high-quality interplay, explore new connections between A&CPs

Days 28-31 – mentor: Davide Martini. Recording of the project(s)

Day 32: pause

Day 33: final concert

Day 34: post-project group final assessment, imagine and plan continuations of the project after the residency.

General infos

Casa della Musica San Michele is delighted to invite applications from talented music improvisers across Europe for a 34-day residency at our studio. This residency opportunity is generously supported by Culture Moves Europe, a project dedicated to fostering cultural exchange and collaboration.


  • About Casa della Musica San Michele: Casa della Musica San Michele ( is a vibrant studio located in Montaldeo, Italy. The studio provides a nurturing environment for artists to explore and innovate, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive community of fellow musicians. Casa San Michele also provides accommodation on the premises, with comfortable rooms equipped with private bathrooms, a common kitchen and relaxing spaces.
Residency Details
  • Duration: The residency will span 34 days (4th of Novembre to 17th of December 2024)

  • Location: Casa della Musica San Michele, Montaldeo (AL), Italy.

  • Support: Selected artists will receive financial support, accommodation, and access to studio facilities throughout the residency period.

  • Mentors: The residency will be guided by mentors from Collettivo Crisis and Giulia Pastorino, who bring their extensive experience and expertise in music improvisation to the program.

  • Focus: The residency will focus on music improvisation, offering participants the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and refine their improvisational skills, by realising a new collective research project – finalised with a public concert and professional audio recording.

Elegibility Criteria
  • Participating A&CPs must be legally residing in one of the 40 Creative Europe countries*, that is different than the country where the host is based and implementing the residency project (Italy); participating A&CPs can have the same nationality as the country in which the residency project is implemented, so long as they legally reside in a different country.
  • Artists from diverse musical backgrounds and styles are encouraged to apply; all kind instruments are welcome.
  • Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in collaborative and experimental music practices.
  • Applicants must be 18 or older.

Under the following conditions applicants are considered NOT Eligible:

  • Participating A&CPs who do not fulfil the previous points.
  • A&CPs who have already received a Culture Moves Europe mobility grant, as ‘participant’ of a residency project.
  • A&CPs who have a mobility grant under the Individual Mobility Action for the same project, same purpose, and same period.
  • A&CPs active exclusively in the audio-visual sector.
  • A&CPs with literature projects focusing on non-fiction works. This includes: autobiographies, biographies, or essays without fictional elements; tourist guides; leisure and personal developmentrelated works; and scientific and academic works (including the humanities and social sciences, as well as other sciences);
  • Staff members of the Goethe-Institut e.V.
  • Current evaluators of the Culture Moves Europe Pool of Experts for Residency.
  • Staff members of the Institutions and Agencies of the European Union.

*Albania, Austria, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Kosovo**, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, Greenland (Denmark); French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion Island, Saint Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna Islands (France), Azores, Madeira (Portugal), Canary Islands (Spain), Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius (The Netherlands)

**This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Terms and conditions of the residency

Exact dates and duration of the residency

  • Residency duration: the residency strasts on the 4th of November and will end on the 17th of December 2024. All A&CP must all start the residency project at the same time, and for the same duration. The residency starts when the A&CP are in the residency premises and ends when they leave.
  • A&CPs can leave their place of legal residence up to 15 days before the start of the residency project and go back to their place of legal residence maximum 15 days after the end of the residency project.
  • It is not possible to leave the residency during the attendance duration of the project.

Residency Grant

  • Daily Allowance: contribution to daily expenses of each participant. Per participant, per day: €25
    Does not support the days of travelling before and after the residency.

Travel Allowance

  • Travel distance less than 600 km: Travelling by airplane is only allowed in exceptional and well justified cases. Per participant: €350
  • Travel distance 600 to 5.000 km: Applicants can choose whether to travel by airplane or another means of transportation. Per participant: €350
  • Travel distance from 5.001 km: The applicant can choose whether to travel by airplane or another means of transportation. Per participant: €70

Top-ups, if applicable:

  • Green top-up, for choosing not to travel by airplane (round-trip). Only applicable for journeys of 600 km or more: 350€. Proof:round-trip tickets for travelling by green means of transportation (no airplane, only train, bus, ferry, car -with receipts for petrol, etc.).
  • Visa top-up, for expenses related to visa processes: 80€. Proof: either proof of payment, stamped visa, or letter of acceptance.
  • Family top-up, for applicants with children below the age of 10; the amount is fixed, regardless of the number of children: 100€. Documents: ID/birth certificate of the child(ren), acknowledgement of paternity.
  • OCT/ORs top-up: 150€. Proof: round-trip tickets for travelling to and from OCT/ORs, clearly indicating names, place of residence and place of destination.

Disability support, if applicable, for artists and cultural professionals whose disabilities affect their ability to carry out the mobility project: up to 75€ per day. Budget to be agreed with the Culture Moves Europe team according to individual needs. Proofs: receipts for costs incurred for individual needs, according with the budget previously provided/agreed.

Please do not forget to keep the travel ticket, top-up proofs for every financial support, this is fundamental to receive the grant.


Travels and Calendar

Participating A&CPs are in charge of organising and paying their own travel from the place of legal residence to the place of the residency project (and return) and for their daily expenses.

It is very important to keep the proof of transportation indicating clearly dates, names, departure and destination places (tickets/boarding passes showing the arrival and departure, carsharing receipts, gaz station tickets, etc.) and to communicate your travel itinerary from the place of legal residence (city/country) to the location of the residency project). We remind you that it is not possible to leave the residency during the attendance duration of the project, except for necessities and previewed events part of the project.


The accomodation will be in the residencial part of Casa della Musica San Michele, across the garden in front of the studio there is the house with four rooms, one kitchen, living room and relax area.
All rooms are provided with sheets, towels and complimentary soap.
A water dispencer is always available, there is no need to buy any drinkable or sparkling water.

The kitchen is equipped with everything needed for cooking, eating and food conservation. Participating A&CPs are in charge of providing and cooking their own meals and take care of the house, clean and keep proper as they find it at the welcoming.
The village center of Montaldeo is 5 min far on foot but at the moment there are only the Doctor Office, the Post Office and a Bar “Alla Vecchia Maniera” open from 11 to 13.30 (upon reservation). Please note that in the village of Montaldeo there are no tobacconists, pharmacies, grocery shops or ATMs; all necessary services are easily accessible by car or bicycle in the neighbouring villages.
3.5 km far ther is Mornese village with all services (shops, pharmacy, tobacco, restaurants).
The nearest town with supermarkets and a big market is Ovada, it is possible to reach Ovada with the local bus line – time schedule is attached on the bus stop nearby the house (200m).
We will share some mountainbikes and make a collaboration with bike rentals to find electric bikes and more options for moving in a safe and more green way. The host will be available for any need and will help provide food in case of need or logistic complications.

How to reach us

Nearest Airports: Milano Malpensa, Milano Linate, Genova, Torino, Milano Orio al Serio

Railway stations coming from Genova: Ovada, Arquata Scrivia;
Railway stations coming from Torino: Novi Ligure
Railway stations coming from Milano: Arquata Scrivia

The residency strasts on the 4th of November and will end on the 17th of December 2024, the travelling days will be the 3rd of November and the 18th of December.