Band from Sicily, Agricantus is certainly one of the most attentive groups on the international world music scene. Theirs is an extraordinary blend of traditional and contemporary instruments and modern techniques wich takes you on a journey through the voices and rites of the ethnic traditions of southern Italy and then leads you on to unknown territories in far away places.
With the release of the album “Gnanzù” (1993) and after with the EP “Viaggiari” (1995), the band revisits melodies and lyrics of the oral tradition of Southern Italy mixing them with ambient music and trip hop. In 1996 the band produced “TUAREG“, one of the most representative owns albums that allows the band to achieve success in Italy and Europe. This disc has been awarded the prestigious “Targa Tenco, 1996” and reached the 6th place in the rankings of the World Music Charts Europe. In 1997 Agricantus won the PIM -Italian Music Award, and interpreters the soundtrack of the movie “Hamam-The Turkish Bath”, winner of the Golden Globe ’97. In the same year it released “Hale Bopp Souvenir”, a mini-cd with the participation of Fadimata Wallet Oumar, spokeswoman of the most authentic Tuareg culture. In 1998 Agricantus released “KALEIDOS”, album where the band makes an ideal journey in search of the popular roots of classical music, mixing the classical composition inspired to popular music with archaic instruments and modern technology. In 1998 they cowrote the soundtrack to the film “I Giardini dell’Eden” (Gardens of Eden); in 1999 the album Best of Agricantus was realesed in the States with the label “World Class”, who distribute it not only in the States but also in Canada, South America, Australia and Japan. In just a few weeks it rose to the top of American and Australian radio charts. In 1999 Agricantus published in USA the album “BEST OF Agricantus”, with World Class label, which distributes more than that in the USA, in Canada, South America, Australia and Japan. In same year the band released “FAIDDI“, a collection of some of their songs, rearranged and reinterpreted live, while, in 2000 Agricantus sign the soundtrack of the movie “Placido Rizzotto”, directed by Pasquale Scimeca. In February 2001 Agricantus released “ETHNOSPHERE“, a virtual journey through Tibet and the Mediterranean through a description of landscapes composed of light and shadow, day and night, introspection and extroversion, inspirated to Eastern philosophies. In February 2002 he released “JAMILA“, a single produced by a collaboration between Agricantus and guitarist Francesco Bruno. Since 2001 Agricantus join forces with more international labels for released important compilation like “George V”, “O ‘Challe” or Wagram, labels which distributes them around the world, including them in the so-called Nirvana Lounge (2001) with the song “Hala Hala”, Buddha Bar IV (2002) with the song “Amatevi” (first Italian song included in this compilation), Siddharta vol 1 (2003) with the song “Orbi Terrarum”. This collaboration leads to record the event live Agricantus and Dj Ravin in concert who participates in prestigious international festivals such as “Roma incontra the World 2003”, “Festival delle Vile Tuscolane 2005,” “Palermo Kals’Art 2005”. Agricantus have given concerts in Europe, Brazil, Israel and Syria. They were guests of the International Festivals such as “Le Printemps de Bourges”, “Arezzo Wave”, “The Europennes nuit” at Strasbourg, “Womad” in Palermo and “International Festival of the Medina” in Tunis. Various were the formations that have passed until 2008, when the band decided to stop for a few years.
In October of 2012, Mario Crispi and Mario Rivera, both historycal founders of the group, will meet again and, finding himself in agreement to reprise the artistic project Agricantus according to the initial mode of engagement, artistic, musical, emotional involvement, and collegiality. Adhering to this artistic project friends and historical artistic collaborators like the important soundtrack composers duo Pivio & Aldo De Scalzi, Giuseppe Panzeca, (member group for many years), the drummer Giovanni Lo Cascio, already involved in other musical projects, NEMAS (Nello Mastroeni) composer of Kuntsertu (other sicilian band), Massimo Laguardia, founder of the group and tambourine player, and Enzo Rao to electric violin, an ancient musical friendship of Palermo (togheter involved like special guest). In 2014, join the band line-up, the mandola and mandocello player Giuseppe Grassi from Salento (Puglia).This project is supported by the Compagnia Nuove Indye (CNI), historical Agricantus label that has produced all official albums, and, for this occasion, CNI suggests the involvement as new lead singer of the group: Federica Zammarchi, a good and interesting singer/musician from world of jazz, rock and “frontier music”.
With the new formation, in 2013 November Agricantus releases the single “Omini” (men, in sicilian language), produced by Paolo Dossena and Gino Magurno, a video with Pietra Montecorvino, Federica Zammarchi, Roberta Alloisio Roberta, Roberta Albanensi, realized with the collaboration of Blob, Amnesty International, Legambiente. in 2014 March 21 Agricantus publish the video/single Nsunnai, before the participation at the big concert on May 1 in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome,were the band present “Turnari,” the second single and title track of the homonimous CD, last release of the band published in 2014 May. Both Nusnnai and Turnari videoclips are made with the drawings and the animation of the brilliant videoartist Gabriel Zagni. The album Turnari was very well received by critics nationally and internationally through the publication of flattering compliments and is currently ranked in 16th place (September 2014) in the World Music Chart Europe.
voice, effects, keyboards, programming
Federica Zammarchi born in Tuscany in 1973, and after earning a degree in Philosophy (with demo-ethno-anthropological thesis) at the University of Siena in 2000, she is dedicated to music, making it a profession. In January 2009 he released his first album titled “Fires’ n Pyres”, released by Dodicilune (Koine KNE002). The second album, “Jazz Oddity”, is a tribute to the music of David Bowie with arrangements in a jazz / rock, recorded in December 2010 She has a degree in Jazz at the Conservatory of Music in Frosinone, under the direction of Ettore Fioravanti, with a thesis entitled “the Jazz and the Ladies Composer: the creative side of the women of jazz, from Bessie Smith to the present day”, obtaining the highest marks. She has studied with Mark Murphy, Bob Stoloff, Maria Pia de Vito, Paolo Fresu, Uri Cane, Cinzia Spata, Gianluca Renzi, Giovanni Tommaso, Enrico Pieranunzi, Norma Winstone and many more greats of contemporary jazz scene. Along with the study of the voice, Federica Zammarchi studied composition and arrangement, which deepens with Pierpaolo Principato, Bruno Tommaso, and Giancarlo Giancarlo schiaffini Gazzani. Federica has collaborated and still collaborates with musicians such as Ettore Fioravanti, Marco Siniscalco, Aldo Bassi, Emanuele Smimmo, Antonio Jasevoli, Enrico Zanisi, Mark Valeri, Paolo Recchia, Gianluca Renzi, Danielle di Majo, Gino Woods, Zsolt Kovacs, Marco Bonini, Fulvio Buccafusco, Ermanno Baron, Mark Valeri, Stefano Cantarano and many others. She has participated in numerous festivals and events such as the Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival (Palazzo Valentini Award) and the Rome Jazz Festival at the House of Jazz (Dividing the stage with the great British singer Norma Winstone). She teaches at the “Saint Louis College of Music” in Rome and at the music school “Artidee.” In January 2013, Federica joined the Agricantus project, as singer, musician and arranger.
Vocal, archaic wind instruments
Born in Palermo (Sicily), his first real involvement in music began in 1976, showing from the very start an interest in archaic wind instruments from all over the world. Historic founder in 1979, composer and versatile flautist of the band Agricantus, he has completed research into ethnomusicology, both with the Sicilian Ethnophonic Archive, the Folkstudio of Palermo, the Institute for Folk Traditions of the University of Palermo, and the Museum of Folk Traditions of Nuoro. In order to deepen his musical research he has visited many regions of the world, Africa, Middle East, Asia Minor and Brasil meeting many musicians, history and atmospheres, making important musical experiences and elaborating musical concepts and compositions. In addition to Agricantus productions, he composes music for dance shows, (Roberta Escamilla Garrison), for theater, for sound design for environment (the exhibition “Form: the city and its past ” by Massimiliano Fuksas at the Coliseum in Rome), for movie soundtracks (“Jung”, by A. Vendemmiati and F. Lazzaretti, presented at the 57th Venice Film Festival 2000 and winner of the IDFA in Amsterdam, “Afghanistan – Side Effects” by A. Vendemmiati and F. Lazzaretti). His the solo project “SOFFI” with whom he produced the homonymous CD (2000). In 2008 he produced the CD FolkaLab, result of collective musical experience developed by him in Palermo, In 2009 he produced the second solo CD, Arenaria, a musical jouerney in Sicily, while in 2010 it produces the CD of the original soundtrack of the documentary film “Left by The Ship” by A. Vendemmiati and E. Rossi Landi. In 2011 he published the CD “Insulae” along with saxophonist Sardinia, Enzo Favata, a mix of archaic instruments Woodwind and saxophones and clarinets. In 2012, Mario Crispi along with Mario Rivera takes over the artistic project Agricantus, producing in 2013 the single “little men” and in 2014 the single “Nsunnai” and the single and the CD “turnari.”
Vocals, bass, laptop, programming
Born in Palermo in 1963, he participated, in 1979, at the foundation of the group Agricantus. With it he plays an intense artistic activity until today. In the early 80s, alongside with the music performed with Agricantus, he brings to the world of contemporary theater, collaborating with the German director Werner Eckl and his theater company EXIL84. After the productions of the 90s made with Agricantus, he experiences the first approaches to electronic music, from trip-hop to jungle, producing his first single “Roots’n’Bass”, where remixing different artists: Lester Bowie, John Trudell and Dissidenten. Encounter with Pasquale Scimeca, in 1999, came into being her experience of film actor in the films “Placido Rizzotto” and “The undesirable.” Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Renato Giordano, creating the music of his operas. With the partnership of Paolo Dossena and the Company’s New Indye, between 2003 and 2005, publishes “Bonora” Marcello Murru, “The Way of Thirst” by Nuklearte, “Goddess” Island and “Stari Most” with “Stefano Saletti “& Piccola Banda Ikona. Among his major collaborations: Gabriel Cohen (whose signature with the original file soundtrack of the movie “Night Bus”) and Piccola Banda Ikona (with which he made numerous tours in Europe and Canada). At the end of 2012, he was met again with Mario Crispi resumed at full pace the creative and performative Agricantus.
Giovanni Lo Cascio
He was born in Rome in 1963,and he began to study music in 1969 with Maestro Vincenzo Ricciuti. From 1976 he studied drums with Ivano Nardi and Roberto Gatto and solfeggio with Maestro Peverini. From 1983 to 1985 he attended courses at the Berklee College of Music in Boston USA In Boston he studied drums with Ed Uribe, Gary Chaffee, Joe Hunt, John Ramsey, Tommy Campbell and others. He studied Ethnomusicology at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome. He has worked for film, theater, dance, television and radio in many different occasions. He has created soundtracks for films, documentaries and television advertising. He has given concerts in France, England, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Jordan, Czech Republic, the United States and the Vatican has played neiFestivals of Umbria Jazz, Music Gaia (Thessaloniki), Cairo Opera, Enzymes, overruns, Santarcangelo Theatre and numerous festivals of jazz, rock and ethnic diversity. Has carried out intense didactic teaching at the University of Terni Jazz, Timba Percussion Center in Rome. He has written several textbooks for schools and articles for music magazines. Since 2005 he is head of the laboratory musicaleJuakali Drummers in Nairobi, Kenya. Juakali Drummers is a project Dulcimer Fondation pour la MusiqueAMREF for the recovery of street children through music. where he studied in depth the battery, harmony and arrangement. Teaches Music for the Cinema at the Rome University of Fine Arts. In 2009 he started a musical collaboration with Mario Crispi, before participating in the project Arenaria, and then, in 2013, entering in Agricantus line up.
Giuseppe Grassi was born in San Vito dei Normans in 1988 and is dedicated to the music from the mid-90s. He studied ethnomusicology at the University “La Sapienza” of Rome Processing dissertation on the traditions of the “Barbary” (the music of the barbers of Apulia) and Mandolin studied at the Conservatory of Padua. He plays the mandola with Mimmo Epifani, leader of the traditional music of Puglia, also in his latest record productions (Mosse Mosse). In 2014 he joined with Agricantus, participating in the recording of the album “turnari” and the band’s concerts.
Discography (main production)
|1993||“Gnanzù!” – CNI –||Italy|
|1996||“Tuareg” – LUDOS/CNI –||Italy|
|1998||“Kaleidos” – LUDOS/CNI –||Italy|
|1999||“I Giardini dell’Eden” O.S.T CNI –||Italy|
|1999||“Best of Agricantus” – CNI/World Class||USA-Canada-Brazil|
|1999||“Faiddi” – CNI –||Italy|
|2000||“Placido Rizzotto” O.S.T – CNI –||Italy|
|2001||“Ethnosphere”- CNI- Milan –||Italy-France-USA-Canada|
|2005||“Habibi” – CNI||Italy|
|2007||“Luna Khina” – RaiTrade||Italy|
|2014||“Turnari” – CNI||Italy|
|1995||“Viaggiari” – LUDOS/CNI –||Italy|
|1997||Hale Boop Souvenir – CNI||Italy|
|1998||Amatevi – CNI||Italy|
|2002||Jamila – CNI/Il Manifesto||Italy|
|2013||Omini – CNI/Blob||Italy|
|1989||“Tonight: live at the festival” – Shamrock –||Austria|
|1993||“Arezzo Wave European”Rockfestival”-||Italy|
|1994||“Les decouvertes du printemps de Bourges”||France|
|1995||“Canti Sudati”- Il Manifesto/CNI||Italy|
|1995||“Parla!” – Radio Tandem||Italy|
|1996||“And the World’s is all Yours” – Polygram||UK|
|1996||“Olis musica della nuova era”||Italy|
|1998||Disco del Mese di Repubblica “Mediterraneo” –||Italy|
|1999||“La notte del Dio che balla” – CNI –||Italy|
|1999||“Fango” – CNI –||Italy|
|1999||“Quinchos” – CNI||Italy|
|2000||“New Millenium Ethnic” – Paradoxx –||Brasil|
|2000||“An Italian Odyssey” -Putumayo –||USA|
|2000||“Mediterranean Cafè” -MCI –||UK|
|2000||“Cous Cous Summer” -BMG||Italy|
|2000||“Canzoni per l’ambiente”-Specchio-LaStampa||Italy|
|2001||“Nirvana Lounge” – George IV –||World|
|2002||“Buddha Bar IV” – George IV –||World|
|2002||“Music Bazaar” -BMG||Italy|
|2003||“Siddharta Vol.1” – George IV||World|
Discography – last release
After 18 months of gestation Agricantus, led by founders and members historical Mario Crispi and Mario Rivera, resumed own journey between the sounds and the atmospheres of “other cultures”.
“Return”, Reunite, reborn, resume, retrace …
Collect fragments of his past, shaping materials to build a new future.
How long in a natural rhythm that “back” renewed each time, Agricantus borrows the “universals” of the seasonal cycles, made up of the equinoxes and solstices, full moons and new moons of which are repeated incessantly, similar to themselves, but always different and, then, renewed. Agricantus starts from here, in a collective dimension that the band sees it as a recovery of their human past, artistic and values, together with friends and old and new travel companions.
Here, then, a new and important contribution by Federica Zammarchi (voice – electronics), Giovanni Lo Cascio (drums – percussion) and Joseph Grassi (mandoloncello – mandola) and, as guests and collaborators, Massimo Laguardia, Giuseppe Panzeca, Enzo Rao, Pivio & Aldo De Scalzi (famous and award-winning soundtrack composers) and Nello Mastroeni.
Turnari is, therefore, an intense team work which, not surprisingly, come to be produced by Paolo Dossena and Compagnia Nuove Indye, historicals producer and record label who have published and promoted in the World all the successes of Agricantus .
The album, whose songs are written entirely in the Sicilian language, blend styles, sounds and atmospheres of varying musical backgrounds, creating in perfect continuity with the past, the musical syncretism so dear to us and that has characterized the Agricantus productions over time. Compared to past productions, in which technology and electronics contributed, through sampling, to give a panorama of sound coming from other cultures, Turnari is entirely played by the musicians involved. In this way, each musician was given the opportunity to fully express their knowledge of techniques and musical forms of many world music learned in all travel they have done in all these years around the world. The texts speak of an inner dimension of awareness of the importance of joining forces to overcome the difficulties, the natural wonder of love, the courage to face the sacrifice, and the rebirth of the time as an opportunity.
Discography – past production
Tuareg – 1996 – CNI- Italy
Was in fact recorded in the desert of Mali with nomad musicians and instruments. The result is an exceptionally refined record wich grows and grows on you as you discover all its precious colours and hidden sounds. Tuareg refers to a member of nomadic people of the central and western Sahara and along the middle Niger from Timbuctu, to Nigeria. Tuareg also took 6th place in the World Music Charts Europe, a confirmation of the interest this CD has raised Europe-wide. The large amount of requests which are arriving from all over the world (thanks also to their reputation as an excellent live band; the energy of their performances and the enchanting beauty of the Agricantus sound never fail to impress) are confirming a general opinion that Agricantus are indeed an important revelation on the international world music scene.
Hale-Bopp Souvenir – 1997 – CNI – Italy
Features Fadimata Wallet Oumar, spokeswoman for the true Tuareg culture; she was born and grew up in Timbuctu, Mali, she has also worked with the group Zap Mama. Agricantus met Fadimata in Mali and she helped to develop their knowledge of Tuareg music. The challenging aspect of Agricantus project consists in blending different cultures, mixing them with archaic and electronic sounds in order to make our contribution to the preserving of sounds that have accompanied man trough time and should not be lost.
This CD was recorded at the time that the Hale-Bopp comet was entering into its phase of maximum luminosity and visibility from the Earth. Tha passing of the comet was an event as unique as Agricantus meeting the Tuareg people and Fadimata Wallet Oumar meeting Rosie Wiederkehr.
Ethnosphere – 2001 – CNI- Italy
Agricantus, one of the most perceptive groups on the international world music scene, introduce their new album entitled “Ethnosphere”. In “Ethnosphere” you can feel the poetry and spirituality of Tibet, in this way the group wish to contribute to the diffusion of the culture of a country which fights to preserve its own identity.Once again listeners are taken on a musical voyage, this time not towards the desert of Mali, but Eastwards, towards the Buddhist temples perched high on the mountains of Lhasa, towards a deeply rooted spirituality which is felt the world over through the teaching of Buddha.
Calura – 2002 – CNI- Italy
This Agricantus production underlines the innovative use of a new sonority between rock & ethnic jazz.
Amazing contribution of Lutte Berg, eclactic guitarrist, who gives to the tracks an “energic” & “hot” sound.
“Pinseri” and “Orbi Terrarum” are occasions for trips among elecktro, drum’n’bass and ethnic, while “Jamila” , launched on occasion of the Emergency campaign, underlines the contribution on the part of Agricantus to all those people fighting for peace.
|1994||Le Printemps de Bourges – Bourges –ArtRock – Saint-Brieuc||FranceFrance|
|1995||Festival Internazionale di musica Rock Arezzo Wave||Italy|
|1996||Agricantus in Tour||Italy|
|1997||Le Nuit Europeennes – StrasbourgInternational Music Festival Arezzo Wave –International Festival of Arts“Sete Sois Sete Luas”-International 1th May to San Giovanni – RomeAgricantus in Tour||BelgiumItalyPortugalItalyItaly|
|1998||Neapolis International Music FestivalFestival de Musica Mundial Brasile Saõ PauloInternational 1th May to San Giovanni – RomeIntercultural Festival “Crossroad” – Galilea –||ItalyBrazilItalyIsrael|
|1999||Agricantus in TourFestival della Medina – TunisInternational Music Festival “Roma incontra il Mondo”||ItalyTunisiaItaly|
|2000||International 1th May to Tor Vergata – RomaAgricantus in Tour||ItalyItaly|
|2001||Taormina Teatro GrecoAgricantus in Tour||ItalyItaly|
|2002||International 1th May to San Giovanni – RomeInternational Festival of Verdura – PalermoIntercultural Meetings Palazzo Azem – DamascoAgricantus in Tour||ItalyItalySyriaItaly|
|2003||Internat. Music Festival “Roma incontra il mondo”(guest Dj Ravin)Agricantus in Tour||ItalyItaly|
|2004||Auditorium Parco della Musica – RomaInternat.Music Festival “Roma incontra il mondo”Agricantus in Tour||ItalyItalyItaly|
|2005||Festival delle Ville Tuscolane (with Dj Ravin) ItalyFestival “Kals’Art – Palermo” guest Dj Ravin Italy||ItalyItaly|
|2014||International 1th May to San Giovanni – RomeAgricantus in Tour38a Edition Internat. Festival of Bigpipes – Scapoli (IS)Teatro Palladium Ossigeno Festival – Rome||ItalyItalyItalyItaly|
“This CD (Faiddi) is very professionally performed and well-produced disc, with excellent sound. Is an intriguing blend of various parts Mediterranean folk, Euro-pop and World Beat.”
“On Best of Agricantus, the Italian electro-folkies do a highwire act over Mediterranean folk streams and pumping rhythm loops, trawling fragments of African and Middle Eastern sound in their wake. This tight, chant-groove brew takes them into Deep Forest territory, but they’re applying modernism to roots rather than appropriating exotica.”
“Max” – Massimo Cotto
“Always on the move, Agricantus’ caravan abandons the sand of the desert and follows the compass Eastwards, towards the mountains of Tibet. Two CDs, the first one with a more spiritual and trance slant, the second more ‘physical’, two sides of a soul diary which is nourishing right up to the last page. They have never been so intense. A masterpiece.”
“Rhythm” – Stacy Mein –
“Bouncing out of Palermo, in the south of Italy, Agricantus roll out a few of the highlights from ten years’ worth of albums on their first U.S. release. Their name means “song of the wheat fields” in Latin, and Agricantus are down-to-earth, cultivating sounds from their native land, plus North Africa and the Middle East. While the songs are ethnic and folk-oriented. Agricantus also use programming, samples and loops. Best of Agricantus includes a Sicilian song of desire, a lullaby, a tale of a lost city and tune of gratitude…”
“The California Aggie” Beth Rose Middleton –
“…The album, a combination of Agricantus’ best work from several previous records, has a distinctive international flavor, as well as definite dance appeal. From the opening track “Com’u ventu” a song from the Tuareg people of the central and western Sahara to “Disiu”, which is Sicilian for desire and the melodic “Amatevi”, inspired by a Berber lullaby, the songs keep you moving and guessing as to their meanings which are only briefly outlined in the cover. While mildly reminiscent of dance sensation Deep Forest, who attempted to meld pygmy vocals with electronic instruments, Agricantus possesses a decidely more authentic sound from a larger variety of cultures. The songs on this album alone herald from Germany, Hungary, Albania and several north African traditions…”
“Fans of world music will find Best of Agricantus hard to classify but featuring an excellent use of cross-cultural world music intonations. The vocal and instrumental traditions of Africa and the Middle East come together in this superb collection of hybrid musical sounds which feature a strong dance beat and excellent singing. Best of Agricantus is a strong example of blended world music which uses roots traditions to produce a new multicultural style.”
Dore Stein – “Tangents Radio”
“ With Agricantus first U.S. release, the secret is out on this world music treasure. Feast your ears on an Italian group that cooks up an exotic blend of cross-cultural ingredients. Agricantus carves out a hybrid music that demonstrates an affinity between tha ethnic traditions of southern Italy and musical cultures of north and west Africa and Middle East. Electronic grooves and ancient languages create a spellbinding mix of influences and sounds. Agricantus fever is contagious. Catch it and spread the word.”
Agricantus “Turnari” – C.N.I.
Elio Bussolino – Rockerilla
Di primo acchitto verrebbe da affiliarne il suono a quell’elettropop che rimbalza agile e accattivante nella clubland globale, ma non ci vuol molto ad accorgersi che quello altro non è se non il veicolo di una musica che viene da molto più lontano. Nel tempo e nello spazio. Il segreto di Agricantus del resto è sempre stato alla luce abbagliante del sole della loro Sicilia, depositario di melodie e suggestioni millenarie che trovano nella tecnologia sonora contemporanea forme, espressioni e trame in piena sintonia con le sensibilità musicali del presente. E Turnari rilancia con coerenza e decisione quel fortunato disegno attraverso DODICI VIVIDI SAGGI DI WOLRD MUSIC ISPIRATA AlLLA CICLICITA’ DEL TEMPO.
“Turnari” Agricantus – CNI” –
Gino Castaldo, la Repubblica, 1 giugno 2014
Nuova veste per la storica formazione palermitana con la voce di Federica Zammarchi. Arriva nuova linfa per un progetto di world music che rinnova con grinta il suo profondo senso di appartenenza.
Agricantus “Turnari” – C.N.I.
Il Giornale della Musica n.316, luglio 2014, p.70
L’ultimo avvistamento è stato al concerto del 1° maggio. Prima c’era stato un silenzio discografico di diversi anni, ma che lasciava preludere a qualche ulteriore tappa di un viaggio iniziato nell’ormai archeologico 1979. Chi segue con attenzione le vicende della world music italiana in libera declinazione meridionale avrà notato che la vocalist di Agricantus è cambiata: adesso c’è in formazione Federica Zammarchi, cantante sopraffina che arriva da esperienze ben diverse dal folk progressivo: dai bordi del jazz e del rock. Poco male, perché in Turnari Zammarchi sfoggia una voce che più classicamente Agricantus non si potrebbe nelle timbriche, con tanto di approccio “yodelizzante” applicato alla densa materia ritmica che, parecchi anni fa, conquistò i cuori critici del mondo anglosassone. Un traguardo che non molti gruppi italiani del genere hanno potuto tagliare. Turnari, raccontano gli Agricantus, è da intendersi sia come “ritorno” sia come “nuovo inizio”. In formazione ora ci sono gli “storici” Mario Crispi e Mario Rivera, con Giuseppe Grassi alle mandole, e Giovanni Lo Cascio alle percussioni etniche. Ma a caratterizzare un suono “pan-etnico” che risulta immediatamente riconoscibile fin dall’iniziale “Qanat” provvedono anche amici di vecchia data: a partire dal duo ligure Pivio e Aldo De Scalzi, a chitarre e sintetizzatori. E che gioia riascoltare il violino elettrico di Enzo Rao, che avevamo un po’ perso di vista.
Agricantus “Turnari” – C.N.I.
Francesca Grispello – L’Isola della Musica Italiana
Gli Agricantus confezionano un disco di alto pregio, ricchissimo di spunti, colori, impeccabile e a tratti commosso, ma senza quella zampata di novità che ci si aspetta da un gruppo con tale storia e che è stato capace come pochi di varcare i confini nazionali.
Affiancati dallo storico produttore Paolo Dossena, Crispi e Rivera, da musicisti di razza e di gusto, hanno individuato colleghi validi come Giovanni Lo Cascio, Giuseppe Grassi e un ispirato Enzo Rao al violino. Suoni elettrici, folk e tanti strumenti per un lavoro di gruppo suonato e non campionato. Brani come Nsunnai, Turnari, Canciari e Sentimentu restano più di tutti a seminare nuove stagioni di terra e di vita.