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Maria Mazzotta – La Furtuna (2024) (single)

Maria Mazzotta – La Furtuna (2024) (single)


Produced by the Record Label Zero Nove Nove, Friday February 23th it’s released “Onde”, the new awaited album by Maria MazzottaMaria Mazzotta’s visceral interpretation meets the electric sounds of Post-Rock, creating an original and profound blend. The title of the new album is Onde (Waves), an album in which Maria Mazzotta has chosen for the first time in her twenty-year career to express the outspoken and vital force of peasant tradition through contemporary instruments with a rural flavor to its essence.

Since 2020, the year her solo debut album Amoreamaro was published, she has covered thousands of kilometers non-stop performing in over 200 concerts in more than 25 countries across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Through this traveling, she has gained an awareness of how she is able to push towards the true expression of her own experience of folk music with courage and freedom. It is a woman’s journey of traveling from one great European capital to another such as from Paris to Barcelona, all the way to some major world metropolises like Jakarta and Bogota, all the while presenting herself on stage accompanied by all her fragilities and strength in equal measure.

Onde is the result of encounters and influences and of emotions and reflections on modern society. The song “La Fortuna” (“Luck”) opens the album and is the one in which Maria Mazzotta’s trio affirms its sound and message. An arrangement steeped in Psychedelic Rock was created for this folk song from the Salento tradition, evoking the sensation of waves rolling in and gaining force until an all-out storm at sea forms. The verses tell the story of encountering “luck”, a luminous and desperate figure who cries in the open sea for the wrongs and injustices suffered by those who cross it, and he faces the waves in search of a better destiny and instead finds his tomb. The sea has become a cemetery of sinking boats and ships not permitted to dock in ports. Accustomed as we have become by now to these macabre news stories, to the point that we are almost used to them, this song, however, shouts out a message of humanityacceptance,and sharing.

The invitation to share is still protagonist in Sula nu puei stare” (“You cannot be Alone”), with the participation of the first of two international guests: Bombino, an exceptional guitarist and singer-songwriter from Niger and one of the major exponents of the global success of “Desert Blues”. Tracing a route from Salento, with the classic expression of song and dialect, to Andalusia, with the rhythm strongly inspired by the Flamenco Bulería style, the trio arrives in North Africa where the rhythm remains as always in triplets which is at the same time quite close to how Salento pizzica pizzica is. With Bombino the result is a propitiatory ‘good luck’ rite made of intertwining guitar strings, a Macedonian tapan drum groove, and percussion that encourages dance and dialogue without prejudice; an invitation to show solidarity towards others by putting aside individuality.

Onde is a story about continuous change, in which the sea resonates everywhere, from the gentle movement that can lull before it transforms into a tidal wave that destroys, making a clean sweep. It holds within itself numerous metaphors and multiple states of mind that, like sea waves, can take on thousands of forms.

While all water moves, changing shape and force, each song lets sounds pass through it within a sea of frequencies in which Cristiano della Monica’s percussion and Ernesto Nobili’s guitars guarantee Maria Mazzotta’s song the possibility to navigate onward. The voice shoves off and sets sail, allowing itself to be hurled far away, sinking before returning to the surface and, finally, finding rest. For the three musicians who, from Lecce and Naples, have always had the sea in their minds and eyes, this album tells the story of the movement of the sea, from the torment that navigating it entails to the relief that, in the end, each landing offers.

Emotions are contrasting in Pizzica de core (Malencunia)” (“Pizzica of the Heart (Melancholy)” and in its prelude Nanna core” (“Heart Lullaby”), which came about suddenly during a concert through the flow of energy created between the musicians on stage and the audience in the bleachers.

It sounds like a lullaby for your heart, for taking yourself into your arms, and cradling yourself and rocking like sea waves. It starts slowly then gets faster and faster, leading to one being able to let them self be carried away by the intertwining of overlapping voices accompanied by the guitar until it turns into the pressing rhythm of Taranta music. All this within the story told of a dreamed-of love as precious as corals and mother-of-pearls, which unfolds in the depths of the sea in distressing anticipation. It is a love without gender distinction, representing the lifeline for defeating the type of melancholy that holds the heart hostage, but is one which society often still does not accept.

Surrendering to music to free the mind means letting the vibrations and sensations created by sound and rhythm run through you, then the externalization of them that occurs when attempting to reach the trance state through the “Pizzica de core” is what leads to a deeper consciousness. With the quote “Dance every one of you, dance heartily, because Taranta is alive and not dead”, Maria Mazzotta pays homage to Daniele Durante, founder of the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino group and a reference figure in his approach to and research of traditional Salento music.

Another important homage can be found in Damme la manu” (“Give me your Hand”), one of the best-known pieces of the Salento tradition which Mazzotta interprets for the first time, dedicating it to the late Gigi Chiriatti (intellectual and scholar of Tarantism), son of singer Lucia De Pascalis, who gave this song to the historical archives. The layers of circular guitar loops convey the choral image of multi-voiced singing, a riff that has a cradling feeling to it, a prayer to sing while holding hands.

Electromagnetic waves, which represent the electricity the trio possesses, propagate sound and emotional energy. In physics, a wave transmits energy without moving matter, an image that reflects what happens live between Maria and her audience, when her voice manages to scratch skin or delicately caress the heart.

The new sound, imbued with the expressive power of Ernesto Nobili’s electric guitar with his personal effects research, and Cristiano Della Monica’s customized percussion, contains and carries with it traces of the urban metropolis while preserving the deep and solid roots of the Southern Italian tradition.

“The South has something rough and sanguine about it, often even the sweet melodies of lullabies, which can be heard in historical archives, are sung with raspy, hoarse voices; for me, this is the equivalent of distortions in rock music. I’m sure that if Rosa Balistreri were alive in 2024 she would be singing with an electric guitar hooked up to an amplifier, it would be the perfect combination for her expressive and communicative power” – says Mazzotta.

Terra ca nun senti (“Land that does not Hear) is an homage to Rosa Balistreri, a pillar of Italian popular culture, an example of virtue, courage, and power both on stage and in her private life. Musically “rough” to underline the harshness of a condemnation of one’s land – “Land that does not hear, that does not want to understand, that does not say anything when you see me dying. Land that does not detain those who want to leave and gives nothing to make them return” – it is a dedication to all the people forced to emigrate in search of a better future.

With Marinaresca instead comes the tribute to Maestro Roberto De Simone and his fundamental research which allowed the general public to get closer to traditional music. Post-Rock minimalism also imbues this arrangement by the trio, with a tinge of Indie. The search for this sound has roots in the past, and it comes from listening to this music in adolescence and from the passion for a musical genre that for years the Apulian singer thought could never enter into and become part of her record production. “After having performed mainly in a duo for the last 10 years – says Mazzotta – I felt a strong need within me to have a powerful sound on stage. In the past I joined Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino as soon as I was 18, performing with dreadlocks and chains around my neck, I was passionate about traditional music and at the same time, I took a train to go to Florence to see CSI, one of the hottest bands in alternative rock in the 90’s. Groups like CCCP and CSI, Üstmamò, and Marlene Kuntz have been a source of inspiration, even before my search for a sound, in my attempt to eliminate every barrier and fear around expressing what I feel represents me best today. So I asked myself why not combine my songs and the world that I have always sung and practiced with my voice, with everything that my ears have always listened to and sought: distorted guitars, drums, and such powerful sounds”.

In Canto e Sogno” (“I Sing and I Dream”), the most intimate and profound song of the entire album, Maria Mazzotta puts herself on the line by writing the lyrics, the only one in Italian on the album, together with Silvia Guerra. It recounts events and people that come and go in everyone’s life, of being ready to welcome and knowing how to let go, with the same love and good energy even when it hurts, aware of having within oneself the cure to heal the wounds. As an antidote to evil, enter the second international guest, trumpeter Volker Goetze who with poetry and grace draws sinuous melodies that transport the listening experience into other dimensions.

The profound and penetrating way she performs is a rare and precious experience for the audience and this has made Maria Mazzotta one of the most intense voices on the European World Music Scene: Onde is a show to be experienced fully, as you let yourself be accompanied and guided by this unique performer.


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