thanks to Chiara Dal Lago for the traslation and for her kindness
Canusìa folk music of Lazio
Mauro D’Addia – vocals, classical guitar, acoustic guitar, loop station
Anna Maria Giorgi – vocals, percussions, flutes
Silvino D’Amico – accordion
Canusìa folk music of Lazio. We like to think that desire moves things in life, like a seed wishing to spread itself as far as possible with the only aim to give life to a new tree. A dream, an utopia. This is why we call ourselves Canusìa that in our dialect means desire. The dialect of Sezze, one of the villages of the Lepini Mountains in the Latium region where we come from, is the language used the most in our songs. Our music springs out of the beauty and harshness of this land with its ancient history of myths and epic struggles. Lazio (central Italy region) the land of Circe, Saturn, Pico, Fauno still pulsing with the strength of an impressive nature that has withstood the despicable hands of the contemporary man. Our dream is to revive and popularize its traditions by narrating in music our grandparents’ stories, hopes and travels in search of a better life. An album that is a tribute to the real stars of this world: the elderly. Each instilled fragment of song was harmonized by gales of laughter and misty eyes for what it could have been and wasn’t. Humorous, goliardic, erotic, teasing songs, chants of struggle and quivering protest, songs of love and songs of emigration. In one word: humanity. Canusìa: we were born in April 2006 and in the first phase of our artistic production we aimed, following our instincts, to recapture the essence of our music hunting through Italian songs. But the increasingly growing “canusìa” to rediscover our roots matured over the years with the idea to refile and recast the popular music of our geographic area. We brought our music in the most peculiar contexts and we travelled the unexplored lands of entertainment. We played in the narrow alleys of villages perched on rugged mountains, on the edge of the sea spray, in misty clubs encircled with noisy merriment and thunderous choruses. This journey blessed us with the honor and pleasure to open the concerts of some of the most important artists of the Italian and international folk scene: Mimmo Epifani, Il Muro Del Canto, Enrico Capuano, Piotta.
What is popular music of Lazio?
The well-known Italian linguist Tullio De Mauro says Lazio is a “monstrum”, a not defined and homogeneous entity from the ethno-musicological point of view. Though a wreckage of the Papal State, it had its regions with well-defined boundaries and a clear cultural identity: Campagna di Roma, Sabina etc. This must be underlined as Canusia repertoire, although mainly affected by the Lepini territory, also proposes songs from other areas of the region, including Rome. Canusìa therefore poses its preponderant aim in promoting the culture of Lazio.
Influences and muses
Lazio popular culture has had many protagonists and many are the researchers who in recent years have been working in the area. Canusìa were inspired by two very important female figures in the recent history of its popular music: Graziella Prospero (aptly defined “the voice of Lazio”) and Gabriella Ferri (a great interpreter of Roman songs and much more than this! ).
Discography and official videography
Fiore di Cardo (album) © Canusìa 2015
In the enchanting setting of the historical Osteria Fargiani in Sezze (in the province of Latina) the band Canusìa released, in September the 12th, “Fiore di Cardo”, their latest album. Its release was anticipated by the video “Mamma mamma damme cento lire” published on youtube in the spring of 2015. The album summarizes a long journey of about seven years in search of songs and testimonies of the olden time in the the Lepini Mountains, the area Canusìa originated from. This also meant raw material, often fragmented, summed up during interviews and including vocal pieces that, often, Canusìa had to edit to make it accessible to current listening. Canusìa has chosen an anthology of 11 songs, 3 of which are an elaboration of Graziella Di Prospero (a well-known folk music singer and researcher in the 70’s) collecting and publishing, and 8 were collected and processed by Canusìa itself in Lepine Mountains between 2007 and 2014. The songs belong to a foregone world and a daily life tied to the traditions, themes and stories but nonetheless still fitting with aspects of modern life: the work songs of Lepini laborers share the lament of fatigue and exploitation foreign communities endure today; women rebellion; the strong anticlerical fight and yet the raw and popular religious background and believes tied to seasonal cycles; the emigration songs, the Italian outflow tales, that help us understand the feeling of hope and the search for happiness of today’s migrants; and, eventually, nursery rhymes, folk songs and ballads. Some historical and contemporary musicians of the Italian and international folk scene contributed in the recording of the album: the bagpipes of Gianni Perilli, a well-known musician who also collaborated with Eugenio Bennato, Tullio De Piscopo, Pino Daniele, Ennio Morricone, Peppe Barra and many others; the violin of Andrea Ruggiero, member of Operaja Criminale, and an influential presence in the work of many Italian artists (Richard Sinigallia, Marina Rei, Giorgio Canali); Alessandro Pieravanti percussionist of Il Muro del Canto, a group based in Rome; Desiree Infascelli, accordionist of the Banda Jorona; Rosario Liberti (tuba) from Circo Diatonico and Orchestrina Biancosarti; Armando Cacciotti (accordion, bagpipe) from Compagnia Popularia; Silvino D’Amico (accordion); William Nodari (accordion, percussion). The recordings took place between June 2014 to June 2015 at the Snakes Studio in Rome and at Consorzio ZDB in Sermoneta; mixing and mastering by Paolo Panella at Altipiani Studios in Rome.
Stornelli anticlericali del ’48 (single track/digital 45) ©Canusìa 2013
Anna Maria Giorgi: voice
Mauro D’Addia: Guitar
Alessandro Pieravanti (Il Muro del Canto): bass drum, snare drum, percussion
The song is a remake of a folk song collected by Graziella Di Prospero and Giorgio Pedrazzi (following a thorough research in New York during the 70’s) and extracted from “AEIOU, alla scola ‘n ci voglio i’ più”, edited by Di Prospero and published by Fonit Cetra (lpp307). Drums are played by Alessandro Pieravanti, a member of the well-known folk-rock band “il Muro del Canto”.
E anche ar mi marito (single track/digital 45) ©Canusìa 2013
Mauro D’Addia – vocals and guitar
Anna Maria Giorgi – voices, percussions
Carmine Pongelli – percussions, tambourine
The song tells about a woman who lost her husband during the First World War. Text and music by Giovanna Marini.