In memory of Carlo D'Angiò (*1946 Napoli - 5 settembre 2016 Napoli)
When did your interest in music started?
It started when I was very young. At 13, my father gave me a guitar as a present for graduating at school. However, from the age of 5, I used to listen to the radio and play at being the orchestral conductor. Everybody thought “this child is strange” because instead of playing with toy guns like other kids, I preferred to conduct music.
So when my father asked me what I wanted as a present for the school graduation, I chose a guitar.
Since then, I learned by myself, especially singing, I was always singing.
I believe we all have a musical instrument in our body, and that’s our real voice.
What are your favourite memories about music?
As part of my training, I listened to all genres of music. In classical music, I really like Bach and Mozart.
One of the most important part of my journey was to come across black American Blues music and one of the most influential album was “The Routes of Blues”. There are no famous people on this record, just ordinary artists who sang while working.
Another important discovery was southern Italian music, from which I learned a few ways to sing and invented melodies and rhythms.
Music is basically the creation of a melody and a rhythm. In Mediterranean music, melody and rhythm are not fixed, they become fluid. When you sing, you can get close to the rhythm, but you are never exactly on the beat. You have to be a bit slower or faster and it is the same for intonation too. So it sounds like you are out of tune all the time, but it is not. Middle East and Mediterranean music use any sound within the musical intervals.
On the contrary in the West, you have this tradition of splitting music into semitones and intervals.
It might sound like a mess for our ears, but it is just different ways of making music.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
There are 2 aspects of my work as a musician.The first aspect is as a composer, although I do not compose music, but my songs are the combination of a poetic element with a musical one. I have always followed this process.The second aspect is performing and singing. I can sing songs written both by myself and by others.As mentioned earlier, I started singing when very young, although later, Roberto De Simone became my maestro and taught me some basic techniques of breathing and intonation. From there, I developed my way of singing and my way of expressing myself through singing
Can you give us a brief history of your bands?
When I was in high school, I set up a trio with the Bennato brothers.
Eduardo Bennato became a rock singer. I also later worked with Eugenio Bennato in traditional popular music.
We did some pop music for Paul Hanka and Neil Sedaka.
Then I heard Roberto Murolo and I became passionate about Neapolitan music. I began to study this music.
With Eugene Bennato, we did a show called “Gospel Time”, a show for the Black Freedom movement in America. A show in Italy about Black culture in the world, which took its root from gospel music. For this concert, we put together a first band. Then we met Roberto De Simone. He later became a very important musician, not only in music but also as a major opera and theatre director. When we first met him, he was working in televised transmission. He really liked what we were doing and we set a project called “Nuova Compania de Canto Popolare”. We did folk revivals. We started researching music, travelling in Southern Italy to collect testimonies from farmers and fishermen. Ethnic music, which we would then incorporate into the concerts.
Then Eugenio and I went ahead with another band called “Musica Nova”. It started with ethnic folk music and we went on composing new traditional music. We crossed a border that allowed us to create a new Italian traditional music.
How do you deal with mistakes during a performance?
I use mistakes to do something different from what I usually. This way, in the end, it is no longer a mistake, but it is a way of doing things differently. That out of tune or out of time note becomes an excuse for doing a piece differently. Errors in live music can turn out to be interesting.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Nervous is not the right word.
For me, it is a mixture of emotion, energy and concentration.
The idea of having to do something in public brings out a strong emotion which gets transmitted through singing. People are attracted, captured by the strong feelings that is carried from the stage to the audience.
What makes a good session?
I have collaborated beautifully with many artists and very often with instrumentalists. Lately, I have enjoyed working with a saxophonist who comes from a different background of experience, from jazz.
But I only collaborate with people with whom I feel closeness. When we influence each other, important things come out of it, musically.
But if it sounds too mechanical, I’m not interested.
How often and for how long do you practice?
I practice very little. Even months can go by when I do not play very much, then I feel like playing for a while, I do not have any set rules.
Do you teach music?
No, it is impossible to teach music.
How do you balance music and everyday life?
I have another job, I’m a mechanical engineer, I have always done two things at the same time in my life.
On one hand, there is an artistic side and on the other hand there is something very concrete, very real.
One part of me is anchored to the ground, the other is in heaven.
That’s the way I am, my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.
Your music influences even young generations, how important is it for you to transmit traditional music?
I often meet young people on the streets who play my pieces. For me, it is a thrill to heat someone young playing my music.
I feel the tradition of folk music is alive thanks to the contribution to music made by Eugenio and I, through the Nuova Compania di Canto Popolare. We have saved traditional music. Without us, it could have been lost.
What are your dreams and ambitions?
I do not have many dreams, not even a lot of things to achieve, it is rare that I set up a goal and try to pursue it.
It simply occurs to me to do something such as releasing a new album. But between the time the idea comes to me and the time I achieve it, it can take several years, a long time.
You are based in Naples. What does it offer you?
I was born and have always lived in Naples. Although I know it can be a bit hard, I would not want to live in a different place. And Naples is by the seaside, I need the sea, I need to feel close to the sea, always. I cannot live without the sea.
When it comes to design, what do you like?
I like design when it is essential, very pure, clean lines and no frills.
You are fond of Bag’n Dath products, why?
I have ‘reconciled’ with bags. I do not usually carry a bag, I keep everything in my pockets. I stopped using bags as I used to lose everything regularly. But I like these bags, the lines, the design, the quality of the materials and the purity and simplicity of the models, they are strong and great!
Finally, would you please tell us about your future projects?
I definitely want to do something in theatre, a work from my poetry and my songs. I would like to do a concert for more intimate places, like theatres.
Carlo D'Angiò is Neapolitan born musician and aircraft engineer who lives and works in Naples, Italy. In his mid-sixties he formed the group Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (NCCP), the famous group of folk music. In 1972 left NCCP and formed Musicanova with Eugenio Bennato. The sound was Italy's southern traditional music to lighten the new sounds of the time. He involved in a wide variety of music industry and influenced many artists and musicians over the generations. His works are actively carrying on creating music, this is never stopping.
2011 Viva il Sud! ( Lucky planet) Double CD
CD1: Songs composed by C D'Angiò
CD2: New live performance from New Society of Folk Song and Musicanova
2004 Musicanova Collection (Lucky Planet)
1981 Festa Festa(Fonit Cetra)
1980 Brigante se more (Philip Records)
1979 Quanno turnammo a nascere (Philip Records)
1978 Musicanova (Philip Records)
1977 Garofaro d'ammore(Philip Records)
Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare
1975 Tarantella ca nun va 'bbona (EMI Italiana)
1974 Li Sarracini adorano lu sole ( EMI Italiana)
1973 NCCP ( EMI Italiana)
1972 Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (Rare)
1971 Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (Rare):re-release 1975: Lo Guarracino (Dischi Richordi)
2008 Grande Sud (C.o.r.e./Edel)
2007 Sponda Sud (Taranta Power Radiofandango/Lucky Planets)
2007 Nel CD Sacco di Fuoco
2004 Nel CD A Sud Sud! (Lucante)
2004 Nel CD Pizzica la Trantula 2 various authors sing the song Nannarè ( Blond Records)
1997 Mille una notte fa (Italia Promotions)
1989 Le città di mare (Lucky Planets)
1989 Cavalli si nasce – film “Calalli si nasce” (Cinevox)
1986 Eughenes (Cinevox)
1985 Dulcinea – film “Don Quixote” (Cinevox)
2007 Suoni e rumori
2006 A Sud di Mozart
2005 Tango e vai" (A' cantina 'e zì Teresa) nello spettacolo Trittico di Aterballetto
Music for Film and TV
1992 Lo speriamo che me la cavo
1990 La sposa di San Paolo
1988 Cavalli si nasce
1985 Don Chisciotte
1980 L'eredità della priora
And he has done many other works in the past.