Echoes and semiotic ghosts. JAR’A by Paolo Angeli on #neuguitars #blog
The covid did not stop Paolo Angeli. He did not stop his vitality, his creativity, his desire to play and explore. This year he produced a new record, JAR’A, a conceptual album, full of folds, with an almost baroque architecture. When I started listening to him I picked up, almost by chance, a book by him, “Canto in Re” (2006), a book dedicated to the exploration of traditional Sardinian music, accompanied by a rich box of 4 CD’s historical recordings . The book bears a dedication “… a dip in the recent past with … remote emotions!” And it was there that I understood “JARA”, well…I think I understood a record made 15 years after this book.
Paolo Angeli has always been able to adapt to a complicated equilibrium: on the one hand, expressing a strong desire for innovation and modernity, on the other hand, keeping the roots with his land of origin alive and solid. A balance game on which he was able to create a musical career always carried out at high levels and which allowed him to establish himself as a creative and original artist. All his records, his music, his own creative thinking are based on this dualism, which he has always been able to manage effectively. From this point of view Angeli is not a revolutionary artist. A revolutionary aims to erase the past, to free himself from the weight of the past to put modernity in its place. Angeli is a mediator. A hybridizer of sounds and narrations. JAR’A represents the last piece of a mosaic in continuous recomposition and movement. It’s a complex, layered album, invaded by echoes and ghosts, in which the accumulation of information reaches the density of a black hole. There are no overdubs and this makes it slightly disturbing: how many narratives is this man able to carry on simultaneously, on different levels, at the same time and in the same place, this man? How many layers does he manage to overlap without losing sight of the texture of the fabric of the stories he is telling? Hearing semiotic echoes and ghosts is already an oddity, but if you like it it’s even worse. And if you even find them reassuring, it’s the end. A point of no return. A point that Paolo Angeli continues to move forward every time he adds a new narrative to his artistic path. JAR’A is not a set of songs, but a suite that represents queues of past dreams that open a gap in the present and carry us forward, towards a new tradition and translation of what we do today and we will be tomorrow.
A little note. While these notes are released on the blog, “Canto in Re” finally comes back to life, the 4-disc box set edited by the musician Paolo Angeli dedicated to the world of traditional singing “a Chitarra” of Sardinia and containing very important historical recordings (from the late 1920s to the 1930s) linked to the 78 rpm productions of Desole, Cossu, Porqueddu, De Lunas and Punzirudu and to the great work done by the Nuraghe label and the Mario Cervo Olbia Archive with the great Gallura interpreters Mario Scanu and Ciccheddu Mannoni (years ’60). Through the collaboration between ISRE Musica with the important digital record distributor Believe, since June 2021 the discs produced by ISRE Istituto Superiore Regionale Etnografico in 2005 are again available in their digital format, in over 240 countries around the world.
You can listen to Canto in D here: Canto in re by Various Artists (backl.ink)