Matri Mia (CD)
Banda Ionica's new album is the latest in a long line of attempts to enrich the musical panorama, in particular that of the Italian scene, by pushing towards the outer limits of sonic experience. It was 1999 when Fabio Barovero and Roy Paci had an idea which was to become the album, Passione.
The image of a Madonna surrounded by red roses led to the discovery of a music that was both ancient and at the same time extremely modern, which came directly from tradition and referred to the icons and beliefs that animated Holy week processions in the south of Italy - the music of the marching band with its brass, woodwinds and crashing percussion and that with Passione, marched right onto radio and TV. Passione became a cult album, for many a new wonder of the recorded world documenting an extraordinary realm. It was an epic extended metaphor for what it meant to be Sicilian.
Now with Matri Mia comes a record that is set to overturn everything that Banda Ionica have done. On this new album it\'s not only the band who break with traditional schemes but also the producers and guests involved on the record who have had to completely rethink their approach. The result is a work that though it keeps tradition very much in mind is heavily weighted towards the present, if not the future. Together with Josh Sanfelici, Barovero (composer and founder of Mau Mau) and Paci (who played trumpet on many of the key records of the last few years and who regularly guests with Mau Mau, Manu Chao and Giorgio Conte as well as fronting his own outfit Aretuska) have tried on this second album to revive the hundred year history of the marching band by giving it a contemporary facelift. Such is the ethos behind these tracks which maintain the idiom and strength of southern sonorities while hooking them up to refined pop structures both Italian and international.
The songs on Matri Mia , some instrumental, others with words are all dedicated to women, and in particular to the great Mother who gives her all with love, an encounter between the moving melodies of southern Italian music and the intimate realm of the songwriter who opens up his soul\'s suitcase for our inspection.
The dense, plangent strains of Votu e mi rivotu, a Sicilian folk hit made famous by Rosa Balestreri and interpreted here by Cristina Zavalloni (a Berio regular and the favourite vocalist of Dutch contemporary composer Louis Andriessen), the ironically dramatic amorous pursuit of French animal trainer Arthur H in Raissa, the artistic and emotional intensity of Come l\'aria (performed by Ermanno Joe Giovanardi from La Crus), Vinicio Capossela\'s sweet delirium and desperate prayer in the name of the Santissima dei Naufragati, the hidden pain of Espinita (performed by Macaco El Mono Loco from the Spanish group, Macaco) all march together to the beat of Banda Ionica\'s drum.
Add to this E vui durmiite ancora, Giocondità, Ombra sacra, Dolores, SS Cristo alla colonna, along with the original Lorenzo in Sicilia played by Banda Ionica with devotional intensity and renewed wonder and you have an extraordinary album that is both complement and homage to the cultural humus on which it draws.
Rok vydání: 2002
Brass, Italy, World Music