SPACCANAPOLI : LOST SOULS (ITALY 2000)
Dramatically Mutating Folk Music
This music is rooted in traditions that go back futher and deeper than catholic rituals to the pre-christian rites of Dionysus.Spaccanopoli takes its name from an old market street that quite literally splits the old quarter of the city in two (Spaccanapoli means "split Naples" in dialect) and the band's sound is as gritty, flamboyant, and lyrical as any of the street life on that ancient thoroughfare. Spaccanapoli introduces tough-minded socialist themes into its throbbing street rhythms. The result is both incandescent and incendiary.Spaccanapoli is an outgrowth of the legendary Gruppo Operaio (Worker's Group) E 'Zezi, an ensemble that sprung from classical, folk and political roots. E 'Zezi is a group that was grown around the automobile factories in the suburbs of Naples. Since 1974, they've been singing protest songs, composed in the idiom of traditional music, and provided the channel of expression for more than 100 singers ,musicians and dancers over the years.Most of the tracks are mainly acoustic where guitars,accordions, flutes,violins and a brass band of sorts find their way in and out different tracks.While the lyrics, which are sung in Neapolitan,tell tales of everyday life and of the problems of the working classes, as in "Sant' Anastasia,the approaches musically on some of the tracks are not typically Italian.Other songs deal with pollution ("Mare") and loss ("A' Ferriera"). But there's also some joy to be found in material like "O' Rinillo O' Rinello," which exhorts people to have a good time. Composed of Monica Pinto (lead vocals) Marcello Colasurdo, Antonio Fraioli (violin, piano, percussion), Oscar Montalbano (acoustic guitar, bass) and Emilio DeMatteo (acoustic and electric guitars) the group mines traditional Neopolitan forms, including the region's famous tarantella and tammorra, and uses an assortment of traditional and not-so-traditional instruments to kick up a mighty musical ruckus. This lineup of percussive guitars, throbbing electric bass, strident violins, spare piano, and an arsenal of pounding drums is augmented by swirling pipes, martial woodwinds, and atmospheric accordions. This hard-driving sound is leavened by the Pinto's vocal sweetness and some lovely moments of stillness and quiet.
Lost Souls (Track #5 - Aneme Perze) (1)
Come day come,'cos my godparent is coming (2)
I want to sing with him all night long.
My char has already finished.Carnival has started...
A lost soul burns with desire if you never refresh it.
It also comes for this rite,
Perhaps in the shape of a beast. (3)
Oh Terè Terè Terè,I want to show you (4)
How the beast gets busy underneath.
Oh Terè Terè Terè,I want to show you:
My head's burning,I want it cut off. (5)
Lost souls,a life upside down.
Saint souls,a miracle for everybody.
Rushing to and fro all day long,
Resting one month's holiday a year.
If I don't think about it I feel better
But sometimes life is like a jail.
Release my pain,my love.
Only by being released can I be saved.
I sink into the fire,only you can relieve me.
(1) In Mediterranean folk culture,particularly in Naples,"lost souls" are the souls of the unknown dead.They burn all the time and the faithful "refresh" them through rituals helped by reciprocal solidarity.
(2) The godparent is an important symbolic kinship in the traditional society.
(3) Lost souls may appear in the shape of animals.
(4) Terè - Teresa is a personification of death.
(5) In the widespread cult of the martyrs,beheading seems to end suffering.
This is for Manuela,Carla "the squirrel",Gianni,Lisa Sinder,Lizardson and for everyone in the blogworld who is into folk music.
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