Turn Up the 'Volume'

Keyboardist Alessandro Cortini is up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Nine Inch Nails.

Alessandro Cortini answers a quick call in between soundcheck and his gig in Eastern Europe.

The Nine Inch Nails keyboardist feels fortunate to debut his solo material in front of fans this fall and winter.

“I’ve spent years touring with Nine Inch Nails,” he says. “Now that I’m based in Berlin, I can leave for the weekend, play gigs around Europe and then catch a plane back to Berlin.

“I feel super lucky to go out and play my new work in front of fans without getting tomatoes thrown at me.”

Cortini—who also performs with How to Destroy Angels—is bringing his audiovisual show to The Loft at UCSD on Sunday, November 17. The gig will feature Cortini performing his new record, “Volume Massimo,” in its entirety accompanied by bespoke visuals. “Volume Massimo” has been described as an affecting compilation of churning synthetic soundscapes that pairs perfectly with the cinematic performance format.

“The show is basically an audiovisual representation of the record that came out on Mute on September 27,” says Cortini, who is friends with UCSD professor Tom Erbe.

“My idea was to marry the music from the record that I perform live with a visual element. I want to bring the spectator down a specific path sonically and visually. The music is just as important as the visuals.”

The visuals are courtesy his wife, Emilie Elizabeth Harris, who photographs under Emilie Elizabeth Photography.

“Emilie is a photographer and fashion photographer,” he says. “We’ve never worked on something together. We wanted to expand the art of the album and bring that mood and vibe to the live show.”

He’s hoping to soon reunite with Nine Inch Nails, who is nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“They’re my family,” Cortini says. “We all have our own things going on. We’ve been together for so long. I miss my goth family. I see them quite often. Ilan’s (Rubin, multi-instrumentalist for NIN) family is from San Diego, so the show will be fun.”

Alessandro Cortini, 8 p.m. Sunday, November 17, The Loft at UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, free for UCSD students with ID; $8 UCSD facility and staff; $15 general admission, eventbrite.com