Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nakaira: Onde sonore dal Mediterraneo (self-produced, 2003)

"Mediterranean culture" is an invention. The musical traditions of the people are perhaps more different than they're similar, and though they've always been quite interconnected, they don't share any common origin or grammar.
Even if it is just a fantasy, though, the concept does have its appeal and, starting from the Seventies, many bands begun to explore the idea, making it more and more real as their music evolved and got richer. Born in 1999 and hailing from Sicily - the center of the Mediterranean Sea - Nakaira embody a very mature stage of this "new" panMediterranean musical folklore. Their repertoire doesn't just encompass Balkan tunes (Greece, Bulgaria) and an even more Southern/Arabic style (Sicily), but also touches more "Northern" sounds: Eastern-European klezmer, and Asturian/Breton celtic dances.

How do they manage to combine all of these traditions without sounding too confused and "touristic"? First of all, they don't mix them to the point that they're not recognizable anymore. Every track can be placed in a specific cultural heritage and is played with its musical values very clear in mind. At the same time, though, any song is slightly influenced by the traits of the other ones, and shares its instrumentation with them so that the sound's feeling is uniform despite the great geographic and musical variety. Their timbric palette is almost entirely acoustic (electric bass being the sole exception on this album) and extremely rich (look at the credits!); the most unique feature of the resulting style is its amazing levity: you would never expect it from such a wrapping sonic cocoon!

"Onde sonore dal Mediterraneo" is Nakaira's second full-length release: originally self-produced, it was re-recorded and reprinted in 2006 with the cooperation of Alfa Music and RAI Trade. The cover displayed here is the one of this second edition, but the tracklist lacks the additional tunes that were integrated into it (I couldn't find them).

  1. Gibli
  2. Voria
  3. Diserti
  4. Muiñeira de Tormaleo
  5. Breton gavottes
  6. Krata ghia to telos
  7. Klezmedley
  8. Antelia
  9. Dimitroula
  10. Sema keimonos
  11. Flavia's Air + El garrotin
  • Antonio Curiale: violin, viola, oud, castanets
  • Franco Barbanera: clarinets, Galician bagpipes, whistles, bombards
  • Mario Gulisano: darbouka, snare & frame drums, dzarb, bendhir, cymbals, voice
  • Nektarios Galanis: Greek bouzouki, oud, voice, violin, mandolin, guitar, percussion
  • Angelo Liotta: Irish bouzouki, bodhràn
  • Gianpiero Cannata: cass, voice, cittern
Download (128 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Ritmia: Forse il mare (New Tone, 1986)
Zeit: Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo (Materiali sonori, 1979)