Il Parto Delle Nuvole Pesanti
Il Parto (Storie di Note, 2004)
There is always a good story behind a CD. Often times the story is hidden from us and perhaps a band’s best kept secret while other times, the story emerges after many years. For instance, in 1987, I was working on a compilation album project of Seattle bands and I met the inventive musician, Amy Denio. Well, it turns out around the same time, Amy had saved up her earnings and traveled to Southern France to attend a “really cool” music festival. She met an Italian musician, Salvatore and while this story is absent of the wayward American woman musician being wooed by an Italian (it’s not a romantic story), Salvatore was featured in one of the most graceful songs coming out of Seattle during the late
80’s. It was one of those songs that arrived seeming out of nowhere with its refreshing Mediterranean air and truly exotic sound for the Seattle of that time.
It’s been almost 20 years since my ears first caught wind of that song and I still haven’t forgotten its beauty. Flash forward to the new millennium and once again, Salvatore with his ten-year old band, Il Parto and Amy meet again. The results of this reunion can be heard on Il Parto’s Il Parto Delle Nuvole Pesanti.
Il Parto hail from the Calabria region of Southern Italy. They reside in Bologna where they perform ‘music populare’. Their original and yes, inventive songs are influenced by the region, but I think most people hearing these rambunctious tunes will be dancing to hard to decipher origins. How best to describe Salvatore and his bandmates’ music, I’m not sure. Imagine an Italian Lo’Jo sans the African influences, (Cantare) or Tom Waits’ Tango to You’re Sore splashing across the page. The lead vocals which are gruff and understated are enhanced by a variety of musical genres from circus to Italian folk to something a few inches short of a tango.
Plenty of guest musicians including Amy (who contributes, vocals, saxophone and clarinet), create a large family atmosphere. Traditional percussion, accordion, guitars, bass, drums, piano, strings and other instruments are lusciously employed here and each song represents its own universe. This CD
would be perfect for stomping on grapes or any festivity. Listening to these songs might cause people to jump on the next plane to Italy or at least eat Italian cuisine while listening to these fresh sounds.
There is another story that goes along with Il Parto. This story doesn’t have a happy ending yet. Recently the group’s instruments and equipment were stolen from their van. Please visit the band’s web site, http://www.partonuvole.com for more
details. The site is in Italian so you will need to use a translating program such as Alta Vista’s Babel Fish or the help of a friend fluent in Italian. If you want to make a donation to the band, please contact Salvatore De Sienna through the site. These musicians need to raise 5,000 Euros to get back to their music. So lend a hand if possible and pass the word onto others in your music community. It would be wonderful if the instruments and the musicians were reunited and also wonderful if complete strangers befriended these Italian musicians by making donations; getting these guys back on their musical feet. Who knows, after an encounter with the musicians, you might just compose Salvatore Parto II.
To learn more about Amy Denio’s many recordings, visit http://www.amydenio.com.
Patricia Herlevi is a former music journalist turned music researcher. She is especially interested in raising music consciousness. She is looking for an agent and publisher for her book Whole Music (Soul Food for the Mind Body Spirit). She founded and hosts the blog
The Whole Music Experience and has contributed to World Music Central since 2003.