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Rita La Rocca
In the frantic race towards globalization, in the din of a world in which individual identity is sacrificed to progress, there are still those who have the courage to stop and listen to the call of their roots and rediscover a past in which the core lies the our present. This is the meaning of the artistic project of Rita Botto , who with his songs and his refined interpretations pays homage to his land, Sicily , and its cultural roots, in an original and rediscovery of the Mediterranean musical heritage staff. A warm voice, vibrant and extraordinarily powerful that manages to engage and excite in songs like “Singing and cuntu” or ” ‘A virrinedda”, from their last album “Terra ca nun feel”, recorded with the band of Avola (with which will perform tonight at the “Teatro Tina Di Lorenzo di Noto” for the final evening of the socio-cultural event “Balance”), but he also knows venarsi of melancholy and infinite sweetness in “Stranizza of amuri” Franco Battiato or lullabies that Ninnaò create album of 2012.
Studded with meetings and excellent collaborations such as those with Carmen Consoli and Roy Paci, the artistic career of Rita Botto leaves Bologna, the city where he lived for many years and in which the singer-songwriter Catanese has heard growing for the first time within himself desire to give voice to their language sounds, the Sicilian. Thus it began a long adventure that saw Rita Botto perform on some of the most important stages of the world conquering, with his passion and his “theatrics” typically Mediterranean, the consensus of a wide and diverse audience, which appointed heir Official of the unforgettable storyteller Rosa Balistreri.
Why did you decide to return to Sicily after the musical debut in Bologna?
“Bologna is the city to which I have everything and where everything began unexpectedly. It is still very much tied to good memories and many friends. They went for a variety of musical experiences that have shaped my voice and that at times you can feel it the way I sing in Sicilian not follows the traditional one. But at some point it is as if a wire was broken. The weight of loneliness began to change the quality of my life, even artistically. In short, it was time to return. It is said that not all silver lining. The return to Sicily was accompanied by satisfaction and recognition. Today I am happy with this choice. ”
How did the unusual combination of popular music and jazz sounds that characterized his first album and why did you decide to leave it in his later works?
“Despite my love for jazz had gone to give voice to popular tradition, I kept work with the jazz musicians that accompanied the Mediterranean melody with their natural taste. Everything happened accordingly. Over time I heard from listening to some requirements that were making their way inside me and convinced me to try new sounds that best marry the traditional song. It is normal that over time an artist looking for new solutions, part of the way. ”
In a society like ours, more and more globalized and in which young people ignore its roots, thinks his artistic choice may be defined as “bold”? What motivated you towards this path?
“I do not know whether to consider this artistic choice” bold “, certainly is curious that he began to sing in Sicilian outside Sicily. Probably nostalgia, pride to assert my roots in a land that was not mine, were in time the reasons that led me to feel in the dialect a congenial way to express myself. It took many years before I realized that this was my path. I started from far away to know and love my culture. It all started with the discovery of Rosa Balistreri that for the first time I listened to the radio in Bologna. From there was born a love, food and nourishment for my soul in exile. Apart from that, in a world so it is thrown forward in a frantic race, to slow down this acceleration carrying my listeners on a journey back to the roots has been for me a big breath reason. ”
Why did you decide to record the collection of lullabies “Ninnaò” in 2012?
‘ “Ninnaò” comes after five years of silence from the “Woman Rita” hard and I consider it a transitional job that helped me to end my “stage jazz “, as a prelude to a change. Change that actually saw the light in the next disc “Terra can feel a” recorded with the band Avola, a Sicilian to work all the sounds and arrangements. Another reason that prompted me to record an album of lullabies was the desire to give prominence to a traditional repertoire all-female, in which the voice and role of women are central. The reasons are perhaps expressed more clearly in the notes on the disc: “My grandmother was a midwife. He awakened the kids in the house, as they used to be. I of children, not even the shadow. Curious that I have devoted to lullabies. I told myself that lullabies are a very important part of popular culture, then, they are so beautiful. But I felt that there was something else, the desire not to deny me the role, classically parental, to give continuity to the past, to pass. I hope that the children can still fall asleep to the sound of ancient chants, that mothers and fathers and grandparents if they make carriers directly, because it is the voice of loved ones that the kids love to be cuddled. ‘ ”
There is a song from his repertoire that he loves more than the others?
“I am very fond of” Lu Matrimoniu “. The song comes from a poem by John Formisano, my distant relative, surely most famous for having composed the famous “E vui still durmiti.” Formisano wrote this short poem as a gift for the wedding of my parents. For me sing this marriage of which are the fruit is very touching. ”
He prefers to interpret or compose?
“Interpreting is undoubtedly the thing that comes more natural. More than an author of texts in the classical sense, I consider myself un’elaboratrice traditional texts that sometimes farcisco with phrases written in my own hand. They are, however, led her to create the music, inventing melodies. ”
He was lucky to work with the likes of Carmen Consoli and Roy Paci caliber. What is the cooperation that has marked the most?
“Both partnerships were important. Carmen with its driving force has involved me in the wonderful experience of the show “Music of the new millennium”, in which they also performed the Lautari and Alfio Antico. Carmen on that occasion has shown great generosity and professionalism. But at present I would say that Roy Paci has left a seed. It is with him that I did for the first time the wonderful experience of playing in Seville with a band, “Banda Ionica”, and in the wake of this adventure I think it is no coincidence that now is working with the Avola Banda. ”
Recently won with the Band of Avola the “Premio Nazionale city of Loano for traditional Italian music” a testimony to the success that his collect songs throughout Italy. But acceptance has its music outside of the Sicilian borders? And how can you overcome the language gap?
“Even outside Sicily have always found an attentive and curious audience, able to appreciate our music despite the difficulties of the language. Of course you have to put the listener at ease by explaining the texts and telling the curiosities of our culture in an engaging and captivating way. Then, at concerts never fail Sicilians around the world who do not want to miss the opportunity to listen to the rhythm of their roots and to convey their proverbial heat. ”
“There is a project I’m doing with other Sicilian artists. I do not know where it takes us this adventure, I call it because we live in three different cities (Messina, Palermo and Catania) and to find a meeting point is truly heroic. But it’s an exciting project, a meeting between many voices pointing on songs written by us. Everything is in flux, but the effect seems to me magnificent. I would say that it is better to say no more superstitious. “