“Mamma Sirena” (AnimaMundi, 2015)
Italian band Officina Zoè celebrates the Mediterranean Sea and recreates the traditional trance music of Salento in southern Apulia, Italy. The material featured in their new concept album Mamma Sirena includes a mix of traditional songs and originals minted by vocalist and songwriter Cinzia Marzo, who has spent time researching the region looking for traditional songs.
The album’s music and songs revolve around topics related with the Mare Nostrum (the ancient name given to the Mediterranean Sea) that is an essential part of daily life in Salento: mermaids, fishermen, mariners, explorers, dreamers and cultural exchange with other Mediterranean civilizations.
Gifted with a wonderful voice, Cinzia Marzo delivers a set of songs with a traditional flavor where she mesmerizes the listeners with trance-like vocal techniques and contemporary folk musical arrangements of pizzicas (traditional dances from Apulia).
The CD covers features an illustration of the self-biting fish “uroboro” (a creature that also appears as a serpent and dragon) taken from the 8th Century “Missale Gelonese.” The booklet includes song lyrics, some dialogue of sirens taken from Maria Corti’s novel “Il canto delle sirene“ (Bompiani, 1989) and illustrations of Medieval mermaids.
The Officina Zoè lineup includes Cinzia Marzo on vocals, flutes and percussion; Lamberto Probo on tammorra (tambourine), cucchiari (spoons), tamburello (tambourine), scalmi, vocals; Donatello Pisanello on diatonic accordion, guitar and mandola; Giorgio Doveri on violin and mandola; Luigi Panico on guitar and vocals; Silvia Gallone on sonagli (bell tree), tammorra, tamburello, Calabrese lira, vocals and scalmi. Guests featured include Francesco Probo on electric guitar and Ottavio Marzo on vocals.
“Mamma Sirena” is an enthralling album by one of the finest Italian world music ensembles rooted in the musical traditions of southern Italy.
Purchase the digital download version of Mamma Sirena
CD available from www.suonidalmondo.com
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.