On Wednesday 2 November at 8 pm Vinicio Capossela will perform at Dom Omladine and tickets for the event, priced 700 dinars, can be purchased on this link.
Just as in literature there are unique books, i.e. books which, beyond plot and style, are an experiment in knowledge, and as such can transmute into the experience of those who read them, transforming them as a result, there are also unique songs, songs crafted not by people craving for success, but by inspiration, i.e. when the musician manages to transfer the vibrations he generates into sensations and emotions in the listener.
In this sense, it would be reductive to define Vinicio Capossela as a singer or musician. If anything, he is a well-rounded artist, who through music, writing and radio and theatre performances recount his inner world with its restlessness, his readings and rewritings, but above all his search for and rediscovery of an archaic, peasant world, which he rediscovers in the South of Italy of his parents, of the Mediterranean of myths and sailors, which resurface in an ancient and topical Greece, of marginal, subversive and therefore iconic literary texts, from which he draws his capacity as a narrator in music.
On his debut album, ‘All’una e trentacinque circa’, which came out thirty years ago, Renzo Fantini’s influence was evident, and many people likened Capossela to Paolo Conte – not the polished version of the singer from recent years, but the raucous performer who sang about human theatres in three-minute songs from the albums of the 1970s. Capossela’s subsequent development on the European music scene was totally original. While Paolo Conte was increasingly inspired by France and America in the early decades of the 20th century, Capossela turned to the Mediterranean, the Greece of rebetiko§ and archaic melodies, Balkan fanfares and klezmer* atmospheres, and even Arabian fascinations. His intellectual voracity has led him to recast his innumerable musical references with literature, theatre and cinema to the point of reworking the texts from which he draws inspiration in a totally original way.
Certainly, his Balkangiro, with concerts in Scutari, Skopje, Pec and Tirana, is also an opportunity for him to return to musical and cultural realities very close to his own sensibility.
An author who now has iconic status in Italy, Capossela avoids resorting to self-righteousness thanks to his great self-irony and rural origins that always bring him back to the land that his ancestors cultivated for centuries, a hard land from which the fascinations and obsessions that are part of his research are born. After all, coming to terms with one’s inner demons, turning them into delirium or art or both (what is the difference?) is what great artists do.
° Roberto Calasso, L’Impronta dell’editore, Adelphi, 2013
“Born in Greece at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, in the slums of Greek society, by marginalised people who wanted to tell their hardships or vicissitudes through music, rebetiko has a value similar to that of the tango for Argentines, the blues for Americans or fado for the Portuguese. The theme of the songs mainly concerns stories of poverty, prison, drugs, love, social problems and prostitution, set to music in a passionate, sometimes sad, sometimes ironic or joking way.” (From Wikipedia)
* “Klezmer is a traditional musical genre of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. The genre, played by the klezmorim, consisted mainly of music that accompanied dances and performances for weddings and other celebrations.” (From Wikipedia)
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