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Band World Folk


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The best kept secret in music


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CD AUCCALAMMA (The Mouth Of The Soul), 2003. Recorded by Dwight Carroll at Pandingo Studios, Altadena. Produced by Roberto Catalano, Enzo Fina, and Dwight Carroll. Roberto Catalano and Enzo Fina, executive producers.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Musicantica (pronounce it accenting the first "a"), was born in Los Angeles in 1994 first as a trio, then a quartet. Permanently a duo since 2000, Musicantica features multi-instrumentalists Roberto Catalano from Sicily, and Enzo Fina from the Salento (the "heel" of the boot). At the start of our project, the idea of presenting the other side of the coin of Italian music intrigued us. For Americans, the Neapolitan repertoire and opera are the pre-eminent genres that come to mind when thinking of Italian music. However, there is a lot more to learn about Italian music. The cultural aspects of the peasantry of our country, especially the South in which we grew up, is what Musicantica is all about. The oral tradition of the peasant world inspire us. The music that is at the heart of what we do is the "pizzica pizzica." The pizzica pizzica is a energy charged, trance-like dance. It was integrant part of an ancient ritual that used music and dance to cure those who believed to having been bitten by the tarantula spider. In order to get rid of the venom, folks refused the official medical science sending, instead, for the musicians. The "bitten" person, most often awoman, danced for hours, sometimes for days, to the percussive sound of the pizzica. Most often there was no real bite but only the consequence to the exhaustion from harsh life conditions that afflicted these poor people for centuries.
Our audiences find the music we perform compelling, involving, and uplifting. We often affirm that, at one time or another, we are all being bitten by the poison of life therefore we bring music that is gratifying, fun to be exposed to, music that makes people feel good. And we really do. For instance, once we were invited to perform at a graduation party in San Pedro, CA. Among the guests there was a woman who danced intensely to the music for twenty minutes straight. We will never forget her greatfulness for having helped to relieve, at least momentarily, whatever weight she was carrying inside.
Sound details and experimentation are our delight and one of the strongest feature. We come on stage with about 30 instruments some of which are native to Italy, others hail from other areas of the Mediterranean, while a few more are made by us. We change instruments for each song thus making the listening experience varied and interesting. Furthermore, we sing strictly in our respective dialects, a characteristic that enhances and complements our overall sound effect. Our audiences have come to love our vocals despite not understanding exactly what we are singing about. Interestingly, they instinctively get the sense, the feeling, and the honesty that permeates the music. In many ways, we are returning the experience. What we mean by this is that, while growing up, we did not understand what the Beatles, or Dylan, or the Stones, or James Brown were saying, but we absolutely loved their sound, the rhythm, and the feel.