Aldo Becca, unemployed / An outsider among the 100 best Italian songwriters

Three albums in a decade, as precious as they are shy. And, before, after and during, a continuous research, an intermediate path between meanings and signifiers, spirituality and matter. These are the distinctive figures of the songwriting incarnation of Aldo Becca, only one of his many musical identities. A path artistically far from the mainstream radar, which the magazine Rumore has recovered by inserting Becca in the 100 essential records of the Italian singer-songwriter, choosing, from his discography, the album From now Stellaonly released on tape in 2016. The interview.

Battiato, Battisti, Bennato. But also Baglioni and Bindi. And Aldo Becca, on the same page as the 100 essential records of the Italian singer-songwriter. Word of Noise. Scares? Also because you have made 3 records and your best record, I bet, you still have to record it, while the others, for natural reasons or artistic senility, have sung what they had to sing.

Thanks and cash, in there there is a minority of records that are fundamental for me and more than a map to get to know a place and move there, they are stop signs. It doesn’t scare me, those scare me more, the more vast is the universe of an author who accompanies you and influences you over time. On having or having given, Bennato for example will always be younger than me in his records, if you listen to those, I’m the old man who wants to continue. I don’t bet too much on the future, but the feeling of not being able to go beyond that I had by finishing a third job in which I have put everything, is passing, and allows me to resume more serenely doing to make heroic labels fail, without having to aim high. I know it happens to musicians and artists in general, it is rest of the mind but it can become a block with the pitfalls of breaking it. Listening excluded from that list, I think of the great and old friend Emiliano Mazzoni, and a couple of those present, who are splendid peers. I think of Toni Bruna but also of Giovanni Truppi, the only one able to let me tune in for the necessary time on maronesSanremo.

But let’s go back. What did you write on your business card? Aldo Becca, singer-songwriter? And what does it mean to be (or do) the songwriter at the time of the dematerialization and depersonalization of music?

“Unemployed”? I have no idea what it means, I love silence more than many songwriting records and I have learned to hate creative persistence. Instead I laugh at the most imaginative anathemas; I’m used to depersonalization, it’s a drug of emulators, it happened to me with tobacco, they hurt my voice, in general. Dematerialization, on the other hand, is the result of the obvious technological process, it has reduced and almost nullified the smallest work of all an induced, it has shaped tastes and, strange to say, it has not yet been answered with political measures of real protection of the creative right. .

If I say that your path as a songwriter is a path of subtraction, of sound rarefaction. And at the same time, of sound permanence, of absolute latency of pure and archetypal sonorities. And not necessarily organic, at least in the grammar of a score. Sounds, but also small ambient noises, distilled and crystallized notes. And a song that seems to hide in the subtle and impalpable folds of these adamantine and fragile sounds. If I say all this, does it make you laugh? Or do you take away my greeting?

Neither. I appreciate and recognize those who know how to recognize. This is how I am described by those who appreciate me, even when the taste can diverge. The etymology of the name Aldo (old, wise, of noble origins) must have shaped me, more than the unknown paternal grandfather who bore the same name.

You have been, are, a record company. How many albums have you released with your label? And for how long?

With Palustre, together with his friend Michele Mazzani, several years. Less than ten for about sixty albums. At the initial rate of one a month or so, as long as we have held up.

Again, saying record doesn’t exactly and completely convey the dimension and character of your experience. We are not talking about CDs, only.

They were objects in a few copies, many almost immediately ended up abroad or to loyal collectors. We made everything by equipping ourselves at home and experimenting a lot on all media, graphics and audio, obsolete and not. I always jealously keep copies of them, they have been solid bridges for important friendships and today some prices tripled on Discogs tell me that even with this removed, we have worked in some right direction.

Music is therefore central, but within a polysemantic and pluri-significant project. Where poetry and narration combine, among the expressive elements, and different media, such as graphics, typography, devices, among the significant ones. Is that so?

Absolutely and I am.

Let’s take a step to the side. Are we talking about poetry? I know you are a reader, fond of poetry. What do you look for, and what do you find, in poets, that you don’t find in prose narrators?

The poem works with the page closed and the book put away, it is a sip of water at the source before tackling the everyday; the purest, free, most concentrated and most powerful form of thought. The artifices of the narrative become unmasking. In this sense I narrate with musical superstructures, but I would like to reach the poetic essence and silence. Remove, reduce, breathe. Let me mention Giovanni Fierro, Patrizia Dughero, Nazim Comunale, Rodolfo Zucco, Luisa Gastaldo, Giancarlo Sissa, Isabella Serra, Luigi Fontanella! The fundamental QUDU books with Simone Cuva. Almost all friends, many of whom live in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Thanks to their initiative and their publications, poetry has the social role it should always have. Finally, my partner comes from abroad, she writes poems in her language and in Italian. The few residual errors in her learning are nothing compared to the daily barbarism, conscious or not, of many Italians on the common language and on their own and other people’s minds.

And you are a poet yourself. Poetry and songs, where is the border?

I trust you. I believe that sound is poetry and vice versa. The instrumental or animal timbre in the rhythm of the interaction with the surrounding. One more is enough to break everything or even knowing the music not to feel that sound is more important than playing. Whole discographies of virtuosos instrumentalists and proselytes, completely to be thrown away.

In summary, to try to start us at any and temporary conclusion. A multimedia complexity that, in your personal production, is also accompanied by a search for archetypal expressive models. The primitive guitar, for example. I know you are exploring it these days.

I love so-called primitive music and it is the best time to deepen it, the most beautiful approach to the acoustic characteristics and expressive possibilities of the guitar, the most naked one. You forget and tune it and you venture, it rises as happens with oriental music. A master lives nearby who is also a prof. and you know well, Roberto Menabò. When he reads this interview he will know that I am willing to quote him without permission. Hi Roberto, I would like some of your time as a teacher, can you?

What music do you listen to when you don’t play yours?

Lately I listen to Jack Rose, John Fahey, the beautiful Elizabeth Cotten. Then Gwenifer Raymond, who is the daughter of 90s rock but above all of these, what power. By an aforementioned singer-songwriter Black Fogo, is an essential, poetic and beautiful record. I follow many friends in their evolutions and formations, Giulio di Ribéss, the various formations of Thollem McDonas, David Colohan, Pietro Bonanno. Marino José Malagnino, The beginning of the snow, it’s a record of life. When will anyone notice?

And what kind of music would you like to listen to and can’t find?

Sometimes those of the archive, not transcribed, not digitized, not shared, not popular or no longer. After all, you can find everything and everywhere. Far too much. I would also like to hear what with a little luck could be in my next work. Here, I would have found it and I would be well under way with self-tolerance and mixing.


Aldo Becca, unemployed / An outsider among the 100 best Italian songwriters