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CLAUDIO ANGELERI - MUSIC FROM THE CASTLE OF CROSSED DESTINIES



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Audio Preview & Digital Download

 


Video
The Knight (extract)

 

Press Release

Prodotto dall’etichetta pugliese Dodicilune, distribuito in Italia e all’estero da IRD e nei migliori store on line da Believe Digital, martedì 11 maggio esce “Music from the castle of crossed destinies” di Claudio Angeleri. Negli otto brani originali, liberamente ispirati al breve romanzo fantastico “Il castello dei destini incrociati” di Italo Calvino, e nella rilettura di “Round about midnight” di Thelonious Monk e Cootie Williams, il pianista e compositore lombardo – al secondo disco con la Dodicilune dopo “Blues is more” nel 2019 - è affiancato da Giulio Visibelli (sax soprano, flauto), Paola Milzani (voce), Virginia Sutera (violino), Michele Gentilini (chitarra elettrica), Marco Esposito (basso elettrico), Luca Bongiovanni (batteria, percussioni) e, nel brano “Two or three stories”, Gabriele Comeglio (sax alto).

Dopo la precedente esperienza con lo spettacolo ispirato a “Le città invisibili”, uno dei libri cult della letteratura del XX secolo, Claudio Angeleri torna a confrontarsi con Italo Calvino e in particolare con il suo periodo della scrittura combinatoria. «Ne “Il castello dei destini incrociati”, prima opera di Calvino scritta completamente con questa tecnica, i racconti dei diversi personaggi che si incontrano casualmente in un castello dopo varie peripezie, sono determinati dalla combinazione delle carte dei tarocchi miniati quattrocenteschi», spiega il musicista nel corposo booklet del cd. «Nella nota conclusiva del romanzo lo scrittore rivela la natura aperta e in divenire del libro che rimane, per certi versi, sospeso e incompiuto. Il testo doveva contenere infatti una terza parte contemporanea basata sulla medesima macchina narrativa. L’idea è stata quindi quella di raccogliere la sfida per elaborare nuove storie attraverso il linguaggio dei suoni e realizzare quella parte terza incompiuta, attraverso il racconto musicale. I personaggi e i luoghi raccontati da Calvino qui si trasformano attraverso la combinazione dei 12 suoni sia nella parte composta a tavolino sia in quella improvvisata dai sette musicisti coinvolti – otto con l’aggiunta di Gabriele Comeglio in un brano», prosegue. «Oltre ai sedici racconti che compongono il Castello, otto per ogni parte, ne ho composti ancora otto secondo un criterio assolutamente soggettivo lasciando spazio agli stimoli creativi del libro, come dice Calvino: “Mi sono applicato soprattutto a guardare i tarocchi con attenzione, con l'occhio di chi non sa cosa siano, e a trarne suggestioni e associazioni, a interpretarli secondo un'iconologia immaginaria”. Ho quindi composto un contrappunto affidandolo ai diversi strumenti che rappresentano, per il loro carattere sonoro specifici personaggi: il violino, il flauto, la chitarra elettrica (distorta), la voce, il piano, il basso (elettrico), le percussioni».

Classe 1956, Claudio Angeleri inizia a studiare pianoforte con Aldo Sala perfezionandosi successivamente in Italia e negli Stati Uniti con Mark Levine, Cedar Walton, Jaky Byard, diplomandosi in Pianoforte Jazz alla University of West London e ottenendo la certificazione Grade 8 Keyboards al Trinity College London. Parallelamente si laurea in Architettura al Politecnico di Milano. Si esibisce dal 1974 partecipando, nel corso degli anni, ai più importanti jazz festival e rassegne internazionali: Umbria Jazz, Berlino, Lussemburgo, Milano, Roma, Ravenna, Iseo, La Spezia, Cagliari, Sanremo, Vicenza, Ascona, Palermo, Mantova, Lugano, Reggio Emilia, Padova, Bergamo, Clusone, Bologna, Malta, Torino. In quasi 50 anni di carriera ha suonato e inciso, tra gli altri, con Gabriele Comeglio, Charlie Mariano, George Robert, Steve Lacy, Jerry Bergonzi, Bobby Watson, Franco Ambrosetti, Bob Mintzer, Bob Malach, George Garzone, Herb Pomeroy, Mike Richmond, John Riley, Kenny Wheeler, Marco Esposito, Gianluigi Trovesi, Gianpiero Prina, Tony Arco, Giulio Visibelli, Emilio Soana, Sarah Jane Morris, Franco Cerri, Massimo Urbani, Gianni Basso, Tony Scott, Heiri Kaenzig, Dave Schnitter, Martin Dietrich Wehner, Jesse Davis e Red Holloway. Ha sperimentato il dialogo tra diverse discipline - musica, teatro, danza, multimedialità – realizzando diversi progetti. Dal 1987 dirige il CDpM – Centro Didattico Produzione Musica di Bergamo e ha un’intensa attività didattica. Info www.claudioangeleri.com


ENGLISH
"And is my story not there? I cannot discern it amidst the others, so profound has their simultaneous interlocking been."
Italo Calvino

The idea of a new project around the literature of Italo Calvino originated from an invitation by Maestro Enrico Intra and Maurizio Franco to the MIT Jazz Festival at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in November 2019. This is, however, not my first encounter with Calvino, as in 2004 I had already composed the music for a performance inspired by “Le città invisibili", one of the cult books of 20th century literature. Actually, my relationship with Calvino has much deeper and far-reaching roots, shared during the 70s with many 'young people' belonging to my generation. This was the period when the writer published “Il Castello dei destini incrociati” (The Castle of the Crossed Destinies), the book of short stories that inspired this new work of mine. A period characterized by its many contradictions, but also an extremely creative, fertile and transformative one from a social, political and cultural point of view. In books and music, one can find immediate, multifarious, succinct and, at the same time, profound answers. In his stories, Calvino expresses a methodological and philosophical attitude that strips away the non-essential, leaving only its fundamental dimensions: mind, space and time. It is the literary transposition of the widely shared concepts of the 70s: in particular, Mies van der Rohe's "less is more" in architecture, and, in my opinion, the aesthetics of several jazz representatives, first and foremost Thelonious Monk and Duke.
Calvino is all this and so much more. He does it with lightness, irony, rigour and a somewhat “classical” mastery of writing. It is the period of combinatorial writing, a new way of “doing” literature, through technicalities that are openly stated and disclosed to readers, who become active players in the feat of literary composition.  In “Il Castello dei destini incrociati”, Calvino's first work written entirely using this literary technique, the stories of the different characters who happen to meet in a castle after a series of ordeals, are constructed according to the combination of 15th-century miniature tarot cards (tarocchi). The cards are the same but the stories they tell are all different.
In this way, Calvino tells of Orlando, driven insane by love, or of Astolfo, who goes to the moon to regain Orlando's wits, and again of alchemists, lovers and ramshackle knights. Characters apparently connected by a common medieval-renaissance setting, and yet, on closer analysis, estranged from time and space and, for this reason, extremely contemporary.
Within this ambitious methodological research, I discovered a connection with the language of music. Music is, in fact, the art of combining sounds with silence. This combinatory practice is applied through written, oral or 'audio-tactile' norms and processes. The history and musicological studies of Western and non-Western music have introduced us to many of them: from modality to tonality, from seriality to polytonality, and so on, including techniques adopted by other continents.
"Jazz is not a what, jazz is a how”, as the great pianist Bill Evans used to say when asked to define jazz. Using just a few words, Evans sums up its essence, that is, the way in which this music is able to be pluralistic and unique at the same time, embracing a multiplicity of cultural influences and processing them through its own aesthetics. Composition is undoubtedly one of the distinctive traits of jazz, meant both in "slow" terms in which the composer can rethink, modify and rewrite the music, and in terms of "fast," real-time composition: in other words, improvisation. These reflections provided me with further common ground with Calvino's work and techniques.  Moreover, in the concluding notes of “Il Castello dei destini incrociati”, the writer reveals the open-ended and evolving nature of the book, which remains, in some ways, poised and unfinished. In fact, the text was to contain a third contemporary part based on the same narrative structure.
The idea was therefore to take up the challenge of devising new stories through the language of sounds and to accomplish that unfinished third part through musical storytelling.  The characters and places portrayed by Calvino are transformed here by the combination of the twelve sounds both in the written part as well as in the one improvised by the seven musicians involved - eight with Gabriele Comeglio featuring on one track. In addition to the sixteen stories that make up “Il Castello dei destini incrociati”, eight for each part, I composed another eight following an entirely subjective criterion, leaving space to the creative stimuli contained in the book. As Calvino states: "I concentrated primarily on observing the tarot cards attentively, with the eye of he who does not know what they are, and on drawing suggestions and associations from them, interpreting them according to an imaginary iconology".
I therefore composed a counterpoint, assigning it to the different instruments representing, for their sonorous features, specific characters: the violin, the flute, the (distorted) electric guitar, the voice, the piano, the (electric) bass, the percussion.
The specularity of the story is rendered instead by two twelve-tone series. I was however not completely satisfied with the outcome. It was too intellectual and not communicative enough. I therefore worked on the inner harmonisation of the voices to bring tensions and dissonances into yet another territory, halfway between the affirmation and the denial of the key. Was this again the duality suggested by Calvino?
There was then the rhythmic and timbral aspect that brought the music elsewhere, beyond the variables of improvisation and the action-reaction of the musicians with respect to the written stimuli. It was a pretty creative mishmash where creativity and intricacy were growing hand in hand. Enjoy listening.
Claudio Angeleri


Track List

1 - The knight
2 - The castle
3 - Wood
4 - Improvisation # 4
5 - Lovers
6 - Twelve
7 - Palomar
8 - Two or three stories
9 - Round about midnight

All compositions by Claudio Angeleri
except 9 by Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams

Personnel

Claudio Angeleri - piano, keyboards, composition
Giulio Visibelli - soprano sax, flute
Paola Milzani - vocals
Virginia Sutera - violin
Michele Gentilini - electric guitar
Marco Esposito - electric bass
Luca Bongiovanni - drums, percussion
Gabriele Comeglio - alto sax (8)

Recording Data

• PRODUCTION DATA
Total time 44:45 STEREO DDD
(p) 2021 DODICILUNE (Italy)
(c) 2021 DODICILUNE (Italy)
www.dodicilune.it
CD DODICILUNE DISCHI Ed507
8033309695075

Produced by Claudio Angeleri and Maurizio Bizzochetti, Gabriele Rampino, Dodicilune, Italy Label manager Maurizio Bizzochetti, (www.dodicilune.it) Recorded July 2020 at CDpM recording studio, Bergamo, Italy Mixed and mastered January 2021 at CDpM recording studio, Bergamo, Italy Sound engineer Massimiliano Capellini  Editing Marco Esposito Cover art Tommaso Angeleri  Photos by Dario Guerini, Ugo Bacci Contact: www.claudioangeleri.com, info@cdpm.it

• EXTRA NOTES
These musical stories are dedicated to Leonardo Special thanks to Antonella Buzzacchi, Dario Guerini, Ugo Bacci, Enrico Intra, Maurizio Franco


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CLAUDIO ANGELERI - Blues is more




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