Concert preview: Sensations' Fix making the most of its second life

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the late ’60s/early ’70s, Italian-born musician Franco Falsini gathered with likeminded spirits in the wilds of Virginia under the name Sensations’ Fix, recording borderless music that flirted with everything from avant-prog to dreamy, Moog-enriched psychedelia.

For the better part of three decades, this far-reaching music lingered mostly untouched, like an artifact gathering dust in some yet-discovered crypt, until DJ Shadow, in his role as musical archeologist, exhumed Fix’s music for a pair of tracks on his 2002 album The Private Press. In the years since, the band has steadily increased its profile, releasing a series of reissues, including the indispensable Music Is Painting in the Air, from 2012, and renewing its live presence — a fortunate series of events Falsini, now in his 60s, is still struggling to comprehend.

“What I’m doing now, it’s a way of meeting with these people and asking so I can really find out what turned them on [to the music],” said Falsini, who performs at the Summit on Thursday, April 23. “It’s one of the reasons I’m doing this live. It’s connecting with these people and letting them know that all these years have passed by but I never really stopped doing music. I’ve been doing this and trying to progress, too.”

Falsini’s life, like his music, has been defined by near-constant movement. In addition to his formative stint in Virginia, he’s lived in London and Italy, and even now he hesitates lingering anywhere long enough for his roots to work their way into the soil.

“It’s the way I am; this whole thing is the nomad,” he said. “Now I’m in a situation where I don’t stay anywhere for long, even though I’m from Florence. I move around a lot in Italy, and I’m doing all these things. Like this summer I’ll be in Europe and Holland and Germany.”

Falsini’s late-career renaissance coincides with a stretch where the musician has started wrestling with the idea of mortality, and he explained that human frailty has become a great motivator, pushing him to work and create while he remains of sound body and mind.

“You get to an old age and anything can happen to you. You could get a disease. You can die of cancer, like it’s been happening to a lot of musician friends. And at the same time you can just lose your mind, too. You can be really healthy, but then your brain just goes and it’s no longer in this reality,” he said. “You never know how much time you have. By doing this, it makes me feel at peace with myself. If I wasn’t doing this perhaps during the day I would be thinking paranoid things or stuff that would not make me happy. It would just be worrying about your life, and that would not be a good feeling. This way I feel confident. I feel OK. I feel calm inside.”

Sean Brackbill photo

The Summit

9 p.m. Thursday, April 23

2210 Summit St., North Campus

ALSO PLAYING: Jacoti Sommes, Golden Death Music, Psychedelic Horseshit, The Levitation World Psych DJ crew