Interview with Marco Cappelli (April 2019)
Hi Marco, welcome back to the blog neuguitars.com. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chat togheter. But it’s all your fault. You always have a lot of things to do ……
It’s called “the art of survival” in a world that is less and less suitable for musicians who dreamed of making just studying a job from an early age (laughs). You can’t imagine how many are the “camurríe” (nuisances -cited Montalbano) to make this circus run here …
Let’s talk about crime stories. Your research, I speak of course of the Marco Cappelli Acoustic Trio, seems to follow a precise and well-delineated line: first “Les Nuages En France” inspired by the writer Fred Vargas in 2011, then “Le Stagioni del Commissario Ricciardi” in 2013 where you could vent all your “Neapolitan” and now this new “Norwegian Landscapes” inspired by the stories of Jo NesbØ. What do these three crime writers have in common and why have they so decisively marked your music?
These three authors have in common the choice of a non-cryptic literary genre in which the main outsiders move with an “odd” and “unaligned” view of things, as well as a “not very standard” way of proceeding, and therefore surprisingly difficult. predictable. This perfectly describes the music of MC Acoustic Trio, its reference aesthetics, its artistic path between meetings and visits in New York where we live. They are also authors who favor the quality of psychological analysis of characters and situations with the density of the narrative plot, compelling but never an end in itself.
At the end of these readings you can keep more the memory of the character than the stories put together around them. Somehow we look alike.
Why these five years of space-time distance between the last two records?
The last record was in fact recorded a few years ago and remained in the drawer to wait. This is due in part to chance and laziness, and partly to the loss of a healthy economy around the world of records’ labels: a problem with which all musicians come to terms, finding different solutions. I waited for the proposal of a record label worthy of this name.
Why did you choose the Da Vinci Classic? First the Mode Records, then the Tzadik, why these continuous label changes?
I see that you sink your finger in the wound, you love the splatter (re-laughs) … at the beginning I would have liked it to be relased by Tzadik, like the previous record. Unfortunately Zorn has contracted a lot of the exits and, if people insist on not buying records, even tycons like him have to deal with reality. Besides, why should people buy what they can listen to almost for free on the net? I trust in a moderate return to the cult of a vintage object like the CD as CD players disappear from the houses and the kids won’t even know what we’re talking about. Then perhaps the fetishist niche of our small slice of the market will have a wave of pride and will buy some copies. But today the physical cd is produced almost with the same spirit as a business card. Have you ever bought a business card? When I saw that it would not go out with Tzadik I started looking … and I received a number of answers including the negative, the uncertain and the indecent.
So the record ended up in the drawer, until I pulled it out by accident, meeting the interest of a label like Da Vinci that takes this work very seriously.
This time, however, two other people joined the trio, well known in the environments that matter: DJ Olive and Oscar Noriega. Did you had already worked with Dj Olive at the time of “IDR” …
I am proud of the precision with which you follow me and many of my colleagues! But I have to reproach you on the name of the DJ: with IDR (Italian Doc Remix) he was DJ Logic!
Seriously, the music inspired by Jo Nesbø required a veil of light electronics to emphasize an important dark-Nordic component in the narrative of the Norwegian car. This is due to the choice of DJ Olive – an artist able to “play” the turntables like few others – as well as the visionary contribution of Oscar Noriega’s clarinets. Also it was a musical curiosity that I wanted to take away – even to experiment with the now solid sound of the trio – and that seems to me very successful.
What are your next projects?
Talking about new explorations and stimulating collaborations, the Acoustic Trio is collaborating with the Sixteen Camels Band (https://sixteencamels.com), playing as a rhythm section of this extraordinary group led by composer keyboardist Daniele Del Monaco with the singer Fay Victor. I point out this video, it’s worth listening to it / watch it: https://vimeo.com/sixteencamels/wearelost
Finally, last year as Acoustic Trio we started exploring pieces by Thelonius Monk, due to an invitation to play for his centenary of birth in a beautiful Los Angeles festival … at the concert on the memorable date – 10 October 2018 – Ken and I played in duo, because Satoshi was on tour in Japan. So I would certainly like to resume that music.
You know you can trust me… tell me. Nobody will know it: are you going to make a record dedicated to Commissario Montalbano?
Impossible: do not mess with the Sicilians … and then we made a triptych about crime stories, three is the perfect number: (laughs). Of course, if they offered me to write the music for one of the television episodes … (suddenly becomes very serious)