BEIT LIVE and PIOLA LIBRI, in collaboration with TIJ EVENTS,
are proud to present:
VINICIO CAPOSSELA in “CANZONI DELLA CUPA – EUROPEAN TOUR”
BIO – Phantasmagorical singer-songwriter, poet, writer, but also illusionist, showman, and band-builder, Vinicio Capossela debuted in 1990 with the album All’una e trentacinque circa under the aegis of Renzo Fantini (historical producer of Francesco Guccini and Paolo Conte) winning Targa Tenco Opera Prima, an award he would be given another three times in the following years. After the first “pre-biographal” albums – the telluric Ballo di San Vito with Marc Ribot and Evan Lurie, the explosive Live in Volvo with the balcanic brass band Kocani Orkestar – from the pataphysique Canzoni a Manovella (2000) on he shifted his attention to more universal themes, often inspired by classical literature, from Melville to Céline, Dante and Homer. Works such as Ovunque Proteggi, Da Solo and Marinai, Profeti e Balene have been staged as total works of art. In 2004 he wrote the book Non si muore tutte le mattine (Feltrinelli), which gave rise to a shadow play performance and the Radiocapitolazioni broadcast by Radio 3. He dedicated his most recent works to Greece and rebetiko, “more than a music, a way of life”: the album Rebetiko Gymnastas (Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for the Best Worldmusic album in 2013), a documentary made with the filmaker Andrea Segre and the book Tefteri, published by Saggiatore and translated in greek and spanish.
In 2013, he also started a new project with Banda della Posta, an elderly but still wild bunch of frontier serenaders, between Buena Vista Social Club and the Pogues, whom Capossela produced and toured with in Italy and abroad. 2015 and 2016 are very important years for Vinicio: his new book “Il Paese dei Coppoloni” (finalist at Premio Strega), the docufilm “Nel Paese dei Coppoloni” and his new studio album “Le Canzoni della Cupa”, are the crowning achievement of his 25 years career, being both works the result of a deep elaboration about Irpinia (from Hyrpus, ancient name of the wolf), the Land of the Fathers, neglected by History, but full of legends, fairy-tales and fabulous music.
Canzoni della Cupa is a record in two parts, or rather, two sides.
The side exposed to the sun, drying in the wind. The dusty side. The side of the parched remains after the wheat has been gathered. The side of the hard work demanded by that harvest, the side of sweat and exploitation.
And a shadow-side, a moon-side, the side of shrubs and ghosts. The side of howls and brambles, of branches that by the moonlight bring to life creatures that slyly show up one by one and defy zoological classification. The side of the creatures of the Cupa, the Pumminale, the werewolf, the Bestia nel Grano, the beast in the wheat field. The side of the mule drivers, who steal wood at night, the side of eloping lovers, of apparitions.
This is a record in two parts, conceived a decade apart to let the brambles thicken and their roots penetrate the soil. To let the Dust generate Shadow.
The first recordings took place during the dry season, in the summer of 2003. A spare, session: two violins, a cymbalon, a contrabass and a voice accompanied by the guitar…
Eleven years on, the Shadow Session ensued in the Fall of 2014, which expanded well into 2015.
Those songs generated new songs gathered in a spare session, that was recorded in the alleys of the Land of Echo, by the fire of the stove, in the homeland.
From the eastern maternal frontier, the frontier of the Turkish rooster hidden in Liveinvolvo’s trunk, they crossed the ocean and reached that faraway frontier that the paternal banks of the river Ofanto have always evoked in me…The West, which all here want to fuck, owning to their experience of saddles, mules, railways and showdown landscapes.
From the frontier of the wolf, the valleys of Irpinia and Basilicata, to the land of the coyote, the music has been imbued with a taste of Flaco Jimenez’s Texas-Mexico border in San Antonio, Texas, with Calexico’s Tucson desert, and with Los Lobos, the wolves that roam at night from Mexico to California.
Many have come with their masterly voices and instruments to the homeland alleys: Giovanna Marini, Enza Pagliara, Antonio Infantino, la Banda della Posta, Francesco Loccisano, Giovannangelo De Gennaro, Howe Gelb, Victor Herrero, Los Mariachi Mezcal, Labis Xilouris, Albert Mihai and many more, where they were welcomed by La Cupa’s production triad: Taketo Gohara, Asso Stefana and the author himself.
Every inland village across Italy – lands touched by neither sea nor city, where hamlets are surrounded by oceans of clay, earth and pitch-black nights and perched atop cliffs as if to defend themselves from the world – knows this geography of the soul.
Each of these hamlets is split in two, a sunny side and a dark side, a dualism creating a motionless entity that spins in time and repeats itself eternally, like the rotation of the planet, of the changing seasons.
Each of these hamlets have a quarter called La Cupa, where the sun rarely shines, where the unconscious has placed the Legends, and a parched side on the crest of the earth, a side marked by hard work. The side of dust and sweat.
These two sides make up a circle in which time seems motionless.
These songs are inspired by this world. A folkloric, rural and mythological world I have tried to depict relying partly on the pre-existing work by folk singers and composers like Matteo Salvatore, as well as on the rich heritage of rural and traditional songs, and, above all, on the community’s epic sagas, sonnets, and rhyming verses that were sung en masse, bundling voices as one, but never written down. Others I have found inside me, searching in the steps, the alleys, the brambles and the land. All together, bundled up over the years like firewood, they have become Canzoni della Cupa. Songs that have lent me warmth and roots, fear and consolation.
There is nothing reassuring in folk music, Dylan once said. And this is true. In these songs, man is exposed to the forces of the earth, to its enveloping and strangling roots, to its sharp, piercing brambles, to the forces of the night, the cliffs of a cruel and arcane nature, to the exploitation and oppression exercised on men by men. Songs leaving you exposed to human malice and to the cruelty of the little communities. This music doesn’t leave out grief, mourning and separation, it does not set limits to the Feast, to the abundance and excesses bordering on death. But these are also songs that restore a relationship between sky and earth, a condition in which we often linger unaware, like sleepwalkers. Songs allowing us to feel cold, emotion, desire, fear, adventure, euphoria, joy, mourning and death, thus reminding us we belong in a world that is older than us, whose face and surface have been altered by History. Yet it is still there to reminds us that we are just men on a naked land.
The bleak earth that fled the sky.