Review of Marco Cappelli, Yun Mu (2001)


I looked for this record far and wide for more than two years before I could get it requesting it directly to the author. This rarity is a real pity because this recording is a true concentration of rich and intelligent ideas.
Particularly interesting is the Book of Head’s interpretation: inside the cd we can find ten of the thirty-five studies created by Zorn and this was the first time that another guitar player recorded them. Compared to the more “downtown underground” edition premiered by Marc Ribot, I think that Cappelli’s version presents richer and more dynamic versions, maybe because the diverse classical background of the Italian guitarist. Equally amazing is Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich with a very special and unusual version: Cappelli chooses not to slavishly follow the original structure of the score and to record it using not only the acoustic and classical guitar (here modified by adding other strings free to vibrate in “sympathy”) but also a rich repertoire of folk instruments granted in order to add an “ethnic” sound, with a flawless and, at the same time, respectful performance.
“Fabrica de Carillon-Nana” by Claudio Lugo is the shortest piece and perhaps suffer its positioning between Zorn and Reich. Five minutes in which the guitar is used in an unorthodox, harmonics, pizzicato, strings blocked shots in a harmonic and percussive unity that resonates like the delicate and mechanically precise gear of a music box hidden inside a Faberge egg. The nine minutes’ length of the music that gives the title to the cd, Yun Mu by composer Junghae Lee, and thirteen minutes of Napoletap by Giorgio Tedde, close this cd. Ttwo different pieces that I think share a sense of deep intensity. “Napoletap”, as explicitly stated by the title, refers to the matrix of the Neapolitan folk music by putting it in a sound environment where the guitar is “processed” electronically and where it seems to me are given to the guitarist many possibilities to expression himself and manage the sounds.
A really nice record, for the choice of repertoire, for the interpretations’ qualities and thanks to Marco Cappelli’s technical and artistic skills.