Angelo Branduardi is a kind of timeless myth of our age. His music and words may seem written today, yesterday or a thousand years ago without affecting their beauty and quality. Like his latest album, to which part of the concert he will hold at the Teatro Regio in Parma is reserved on Saturday at 9 pm (as part of the «The noise of mourning» review) entitled «The journey of the soul», with which he recovers and brings the works of Ildegarda Von Bingen (a saint who lived in Germany in the 1100s) to the present day, giving them new life and new sounds.
Precisely from this record he starts to tell his approach to music and discography: «I forgot about the discography. After 50 years of career, I only do what comes to me, for my pleasure and by instinct».
Is that why he went so far back in research?
«I was looking for a woman who had written music in the Renaissance period and I found myself in front of this musician who was also a doctor, a herbalist, a dietician and an author of lyrics. It’s amazing how a thousand years ago a woman wrote such things; some arias are influenced by the time, such as some dances that she wrote for the nuns of her order to dance, but others go beyond time ».
How did you tackle the work of transcribing these works?
«It was a long and quite complex job, we touched up here and there but always with the utmost respect, the music is that and the words are those. To use a word that I don’t like, the arrangement is different but the music is the same. And as difficult as it may seem at times, overall it is not, so much so that in concerts up to now we have always had great success».
With this disc he confirms that music does not follow fashions and eras, that one can always be up-to-date while remaining apparently out of time.
«Yes, I’ve made eight early music records, but I’ve experimented with a lot of things even in unsuspecting times. I can say that I was one of the first to practice world music when we still didn’t know what he was, to go on an acoustic tour when the word “unplugged” had not yet been invented. In this way the “niche” was born, I met the mainstream many times, sometimes placing international successes, which are very rare in Italy, traveling halfway around the world. And I had the opportunity to have incredible encounters, among which I mention only the one with Morricone, because I was one of the last to work with him».
The spirituality that has always been found in your music, how useful can it be right now, after a pandemic and with a war like the one in Ukraine?
«If the Austrians told us “Give us back the Lombardo-Veneto” we would say no. There is an aggressor and an aggressor and we rightly help the aggressors. I am not a pacifist, I am a man of peace, which is quite different. Spirituality can uplift, it can be miraculously therapeutic but it certainly cannot solve the problems that are now on the table. Certainly music has an extraordinary importance, because as Morricone said it is the most abstract art and as such it is the closest to the absolute».
What will this concert be like?
«There will be everything you always wanted to hear from Branduardi but never dared to ask. In addition to the last album, I will do all the hits and a special “Alla fiera dell’est”: in Bologna I sang it together with seven Ukrainian children, I the verse and they played animals. I will do it in Italian but here and there there will be a few verses in Ukrainian, a small symbolic act but which means a lot».
The review «The noise of mourning» is curated by Maria Angela Gelati and Marco Pipitone, promoted by Segnali di Vita aps, with the contribution of the Cariparma Foundation and Ade. Tickets are on sale on the Teatro Regio website and on www.vivaticket.it, as of yesterday also at the theater box office.