“The new bishop of the best Italian and European Jazz”
[A. Bazzurro, All About Jazz IT]
"Very special and original instrumentalist; fantastic."
[Franco D’Andrea – Premio Gaslini]
First solo album by clarinetist and composer Federico Calcagno, "Urlo d’Ebano" features seven original compositions orchestrated for clarinet septet -except for the suite "Seven Virtues of Bushido" for solo instrument- formed by four clarinets and three bass clarinets, all played by Federico Calcagno.
Recorded during the Coronavirus second wave, this work represents a cross-section of this specific historical period, denouncing how the cultural-performative sector has not been given as much attention as it was instead ensured to the main economic industries and to religious, political and sports activities in our society.
This musical adventure is in fact a creative response to a specific time in which live performances are denied to audiance and music makers. Not by chance, "Urlo d’Ebano" is a “studio”project that cannot be reproduced in a live concert by a solo instrument, unless seven different clarinet players put their forces together.
The tracks can be organized in three subgroups, following a compositional logic. The first subgroup features four pieces which are characterized by clear written structures and contents: "Perseverance", "Parallalel Events", "Escapeless" and "Cybernetic Brotherhood". The second subgroup includes two tracks – "Pentaweb" and "Labyrinth Music", which involve the use of graphic notation, while the "Seven Virtues of Bushido" suite represents the last subgroup, composed by seven different short solos.
Here are some additional informations about every track:
During 2017 Federico Calcagno wrote Labyrinth Music for an improvised music workshop at L.U.M.E. in Milan – an important social centre for underground culture. The graphic notation of this piece clearly represents a labyrinth of different musical contents, in which interpretation and improvisation are essential. The performer starts on the first box – which contains long notes – and the piece ends whenever the player arrives to the very last box- if he’s able to resolve the labyrinth !
Perseverance is undoubtedly necessary to survive, to continue to follow your dreams and believe in your ideas. It applies also to every human being who is a part of the collective consciousness. This idea of perseverance is expressed by the repetition of specific rhythmic cells and harmonic figures.
"Pentaweb" – or "Pentangelment"– is a construction of five interconnected pitch groupings, so-called webs, which together form a pentagram on paper. The graphic score determines the pitch material and the movement from note to note and from web to web. All the rest is improvised.
"Parallel Events" describes similar phenomenons which happen at the same time in multiple universes, or in alternate realities. Every melodic line is related to the other ones and independent at the same time. The listener is free to follow the “reality” of a single line or to observe the whole movements from a detached point of view.
The track starts with a bass clarinet duet, and features other line-ups (quartet/quintet) without reaching the full density of the clarinet septet. This composition is dedicated to the people who suffer from an excessive use of technology for remote learning, smart working, live streaming events.
Sometimes it’s easy to loose track and be without loophole inside a “living labyrinth”. It was the feeling of the composer when he started to write this piece based on the rhythmic pattern 7 + 6. "Escapeless" tries to find a way to evolve into something else without extraordinary success.
SEVEN VIRTUES OF BUSHIDO
Bushido was – for many still is – the code of ethics and behavior of the legendary Samurai warriors. It was a strict code to which every Samurai was, morally, obliged to adhere: Justice, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honor and Loyalty. Since we live in the contemporary consuming society it’s not so easy to follow Bushido, but this code can still be the key to reinforce our spirits to this day. Musically, every code is expressed by an instant composition played by solo clarinet and solo bass clarinet.
Federico Calcagno is a clarinet and bass clarinet player, composer and improviser from Milan, Italy, and currently active
between Italy and The Netherlands.
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