Naples, 23 February 2022 – They had been great protagonists a Pistoia at the event Musiconnect dedicated to popular music. I Sound D’Ajere they then recorded a new album, Suspiro, in which the line-up shows its particular reading of the great tradition of Naples. We talk about it with the mandolinist Marcello Smigliante Gentilethan with the singer Irene Scarpato and the guitarist Gian Marco Libeccio form the trio.
It is a project that clearly shows a great passion for the Neapolitan song. Have you also thought about filling a gap at the same time?
“The two aspects are both there and they have come together. Our musical encounter was born by chance during a party of friends, even if we already knew each other in the environment of the musicians of Naples. We started playing together and in looking for a common repertoire we found this and then we thought about starting the project. On the one hand there is the passion thanks to the rediscovery of one’s own historical memory, a way of expressing that is strongly rooted in us and that is realized thanks to its proposal. We certainly took advantage of the gap you mentioned: the passion was also supported by a moment in which this repertoire, after the moment of splendor of the 80s and 90s, was not proposed by young performers but by musicians who have been since that period and for which, however, we have the utmost respect. Our winning choice was to return to a very faithful and rigorous approach, taking back the original spirit of those songs and putting our vision into it. This aspect is very important because it arises unconsciously, something that has been recognized and said to us and which in the opinion of those who listen to us is our strong point: to be faithful to the traditional repertoire without neglecting that we are in the third millennium “.
You have chosen songs from a very large catalog. What was your research method in finding the right pieces for you?
“At first the idea was to keep the best songs of our moment before as ‘O guappo’ nnammurato. We discovered it once that we were born recently and we did a show dedicated to Raffaele Viviani directed by Maestro Pasquale Scialò, After which in the construction of the repertoire we thought almost at a table to go and recover as many facets as possible of the Neapolitan song. It is a vast world where there is the theater, the dramatization, the lyric song, that of a jacket. A world that has a whole series of subsets within it where no one prevails over the other: they are all beautiful and so we wanted to propose a range of them. The aim of the project is to discover the Neapolitan song in its interest. Behind the most famous songs there is a world that in par to tell has already been interpreted such as Roberto Murolo and Sergio Bruni, but we believe there is even more to propose. There is a golden period that this city experienced from a cultural point of view at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a vast production. We have tried to make songs that are not too well known, but at the same time without wanting to be presumptuous we have included other more well-known ones such as’ A casciaforte. Silence singer, whose great fame is deserved “.
Is there any of you who is mainly dedicated to arrangements, or is it a collective work?
“It’s a collaboration where our respective approaches are mixed. I am a mandolinist and I come from classical studies, so I have a method that is very tied to the score. Then with the mandolin I have to be very careful because it is a beautiful instrument, but it can also disturb the voice. Gian Marco comes from the blues and jazz world, Irene has a varied experience and inside her there is folk, pop, jazz and therefore each of us puts our own sensitivity into the arrangements. Maybe a first idea is brought to the test, then development is always done by six hands “.
On the disc there is also an unreleased A rezza with Ferruccio Spinetti as guest. Will you also follow this path in the future together with the proposal of historical passages?
“In reality, Suspiro is also an unpublished piece written by me, so we always leave the door open. It is always difficult to approach this discourse because we want to experience and produce. There are authors who are offering us their pieces and it is interesting to try to risk something today but at the same time to shift the focus of the project “.
In the near future what kind of commitments will you have, concerts or further recoveries of songs?
“The works are proceeding in parallel. The closest appointments are scheduled for March where we will be guests of some lectures-concerts at the Trianon Theater in Naples by maestro Pasquale Scialò, musician and musicologist who I can define as our mentor, who called us as a live group. In April we will go to Spain and Portugal, where there is further fertile ground for the Neapolitan song. In the summer we will be in Austria and at a major festival in Nuremberg, Germany. At the same time we are working on new productions that will be released at the end of this year or in 2023 ”.