Sunday, December 29, 2013

NAPLES' MUSICAL TRADITION

Naples is right up there with the likes of Vienna and Paris when it comes to an influence on the course of classical music. In its case, it was playing a part at a much earlier stage.
The very word 'conservatory' for a school of music goes back to Naples in the 16th Century, when Spain was the power in the area. In conjunction with the church, homes were set up to protect, or 'conserve', unmarried mothers and their children, and orphans too. Music was an important part of the curriculum in these conservatories, and singers would be trained to take their part in the various religious ceremonies.
When music as commercial entertainment began to develop, these schools were well-placed to move into that environment, and it was only natural that they would evolve into more specific centres of excellence.
The proof of that is in the roll call of famous names who'd have gone to study – Scarlatti, Pergolesi, Cimarosa.
When the French took over Naples in the early 1800s, the various schools were made into one. By then, the city's Teatro San Carlo was well-established as one of the continent's leading houses. The oldest opera house in Europe, San Carlo predated La Scala in Milan by more than 40 years. La Fenice in Venice would be more than a decade further behind.



Friday, December 20, 2013

TECHNAPOLI

I wanted to ask you about your region in Italy, as a few techno stars come from there. What do you think is so special about that part of Italy?
Joseph Capriati: Napoli is the capital of techno in Italy, the most important techno artists in Italy come from there; Marco Carola, Marc Antonio, Davide Squillace, Gaetano Parisio – everyone is from Napoli, a lot of people don’t know this. They were there from the early Nineties making techno, and people only discovered them a few years ago that’s the funny thing. Right now though Napoli is finally getting the recognition it deserves around the world, it’s TechNapoli now. Our style of techno is influenced by funky bass and happy grooves, that’s why we call it ‘Funk TechNapoli’ because it’s our kind of techno.
I’m very proud to be from Napoli because there’s a real, proper scene and it’s getting close to what they have in Detroit and Berlin. We just need a few more years to show people what we’re all about but we’re getting there – it has to be respected as one of the capitals of techno. There is not a lot going on in the commercial end of things, everyone has their own studio and nobody helps us to make tracks. There is a strong spirit in Napoli and we’re like a big crew, we share things and this makes me very proud to be from there.

Friday, December 6, 2013

BORGO GIARDINO

“A garden will save us”,  Franco Dragone - creator of Cirque du Soleil – is convinced. Dragone was born in Cairano, Italy an endangered southern Apennine village of about 290 inhabitants located between Campania, Basilicata and Puglia.
His idea was taken up by the last inhabitants of Cairano and a working group coordinated by Angelo Verderosa, and in early June ”Borgo Giardino” was initiated as part of Cairano 7x 2011.
The main idea of  ”Cairano 7x” is to revive and live in marginal places such as Cairano in the southern Apennines and to introduce new creative ideas that recognize shared values ​​through communication of ’paesologico’.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

THE STORY OF SAN MICHELE

It was said that in Axel Munthe’s one major book there were enough plots and short stories to fill the rest of most writers’ lives. 
It became a beloved classic, variously described as amazing, horrible, hilarious, romantic, pitiful, enchanting, and possessing that strange simplicity of mind which is often the attribute of genius. 
In 1887, he began to restore the Villa San Michele on Capri, and found himself doing much of the work, cajoling local residents into giving him a hand. His experiences form the basis of the book that outshone anything else he wrote, The Story of San Michele. With just a charcoal sketch drawn on a garden wall to guide them, Munthe and his helpers rebuilt the house and chapel over five summers, their often hopeless-seeming project leading them to buried skeletons and ancient coins, and to some very funny encounters with a cast of eccentric villagers. 
The book is simply written but passionate, dream-like, and redolent of a hot Italian summer – and it also contains discussions with animals and supernatural entities. His son continued his mansion-remodelling legacy.