MP3 Aes Dana - Frontiera
Celtic-Mediterranean original compositions; driving, compelling, bold mixes of folk styles, jazz and world tradition
13 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, WORLD: World Traditions
Featuring two great Irish musicians such as Paddy Keenan (ex Bothy Band) on uillean pipes, and Máirtín O''Connor (Boys of the Lough, De Dannan, Riverdance) on accordion, Aes Dana''s new CD Frontiera is "a continuous and fascinating oscillation between Ireland and the Mediterranean", according to the Irish Music Magazine''s Alfredo De Pietra report from Italy. The title track, composed by Giuseppe Leopizzi, won the 1st Prize at the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition (category instrumental), Florida, and was awarded at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, world music category. Irish virtuosi Keenan and O''Connor play on Etna''s Reel, Zingaro, and Mythic Islands, while the Arabic story-teller Youssif Latif Jaralla joins the band on Babel I and II.
As Aes Dana states in a recent interview, "Frontiera contains original compositions only, but these contain frequent references to the Celtic tradition, brought up to date, however. We have drawn closet to the Mediterranean... both as far as the music - some of the tunes begin with Irish atmospheres which then unashamedly veer off in the direction of the Mediterranean - and the lyrics, some in English, others in Sicilian, are concerned. The approach to the pieces in this album is energetic, dynamic... There is a great variety of ethnic instruments like the bansuri, tin whistle and low whistle played by Roberto Pitruzzella, or the Turkish clarinet and chalumeau played by Giuseppe Viola: we like the fact that they have sounds that are not exactly... well-tempered! We enjoy using Rosellina Guzzo''s Celtic harp in an unconventional fashion , and - as to the percussions - Giovanni Apprendi plays several Arabic instruments, like the darabukka and bendhir. We also have a new voice, Valeria Milazzo; Leopizzi plays Stefan Sobell and Mark Holsman''s guitar, and a cittern hand-made by Rick Westerman on Fuori Rotta; Nino Macaluso, besides the violin now also plays the bouzouki in a few pieces... Finally, there''s room for improvisation, an aspect generally neglected in traditional performance."
Sicilian band Aes Dana ("People of Art" in Gaelic) was started in 1982 in Palermo by Giuseppe Leopizzi. It was the first Celtic-oriented Italian group invited to play in Ireland (O''Carolan Harp Festival, 1985). In 1987 the band recorded the album "The Far Coasts of Sicily". Then Aes Dana played with some of the most acclaimed artists of the international folk music scene. It played as guests in Robin Williamson''s concert, and in the Chieftains'' three concerts. It also performed with Jacqui McShee and Jerry Conway, and in 2000 they took part in the WOMAD Festival in Sicily.
"The CD sounds great... I really like "Zingaro"-very powerful and catchy. Your excursion into "Women of Ireland" is very interesting. I''d like to have seen O''Riada''s reaction. The whole CD sits together very well."
"The album is truly top-quality... the music is personalised and original, a tasteful and sensitive crossing of many a stylistic barrier... blending Celtic sounds with the colours and moods of Mediterranean music... a water-colour ranging from delicate hues to highly intense tints."
Alfredo De Pietra, Irish Music Magazine, May 04
"Valeria Milazzo an enchanting singer... Paddy Keenan makes quite an impression... stunning uillean pipes... Besides Paddy''s pipe, other instruments that make a strong impression and give this album its character are the Celtic harp and the saxophone.. the musical arrangements of the songs make them exciting and unique... A convincing Celtic album with exciting influences from the South."
Michael Moll, FolkWorld Reviews, March 04
"Ce groupe sicilien penche pour la musique irlandaise qu''il interprète cependant a sa façon... le saxophone apporte un son plus jazz et, parfois le percusions se font plus orientales, la traversière devient bansouri... album original et réussi..."
Jean-Luc Matte, Trad Magazine, Mars 04
"...creating an ideal bridge between Sicily and Ireland, the CD shows once more that these distant lands have a deeply common musical sensibility..."
Maurizio Marino, Rockerilla, Dec 03
"...the sound of the harp has an important role... blending Mediterranean heritage (Sicilian, African and Middle-Oriental) with Irish culture... intense "Women of Ireland" version... moments of great emotion... in direction of a truly transversal language..."
Enrico Lucchesi, Folk Bulletin, March 04
"...precious mixtures... exciting sunny scenery between Ireland and the Mediterranean..."
Giordano Selini, Italian Jazz Notes, Feb 04
"Ireland and Sicily meet... "Mythic Islands" is an intelligent and poetic homage to the legend about King Arthur living in a magic garden into the Mount Etna..."
Leonardo Lodato, La Sicilia, Dec 03
"...excellent production... passion and tradition for a Sicilian band with an Irish heart..."
Erwin de Greef, Palermo Parla, Feb 04