Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vinicio Capossela e Gianmaria Testa

Capossela - Che coss'e l'amor Capossela - si e spento il sole

A friend gave us compilations of two Italian singer-songwriters to listen to: Vinicio Capossela and Gianmaria Testa. Both are good and are definitely worth checking out. Capossela’s music makes me think of (and I’ll borrow from his web site’s biography) a “circus artist” – in a good way – with songs populated with “demons and ghosts.” There are hints of Luis Prima definitely. Travelmarx favorites: “Che coss’è l’amor?”(What is love) and “Si è spento il sole” (If the sun were turned off?).

Testa’s music is (at least to my American ears) a little more serene, intimate, introspective. However, it does share common elements with Capossela: bits of bossa nova, jazz, and is very lyric-driven. The last element is what always stands out for me for both artists and Italian artists in general, that is, how important words are to the song. Even if I don’t always understand the meaning of the words, the power of the voice, not electronically mangled as is fashion in modern songs, grabs you as, well, human. Travelmarx favorites: “Per Accompagnarti” (To go with you) and “Biancaluna” (White moon?). Some samples of Testa on YouTube. Testa’s instrumentation reminds me a bit of the group The Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

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