A World Music Magazine


Massimo Donno talks about the music of Viva Il Re!

Viva il Re! brings together songs from my recent albums;: Amore e Marchette, with its gypsy-swing sounds, and Partenze, with its Mediterranean sounds. In Viva il ReI" we reinterpret some of these songs through the musical lens of a traditional marching band.

The album represents a journey to the South, from which we leave but must always return to. The concept of travel finds its centrality throughout the narration; this way the South itself stops being simply a well-defined physical and geographical place. It becomes a metaphor of landing and departure, which symbolically embraces Africa, Latin America and the East. Migration, in all its most minute details is the central theme of the album.

The sounds of the south of Italy, of Salento in particular, and of the Mediterranean at large, are knitted together with the sounds of a symphonic marching band. The banda is a tradition really rooted in Puglia, and particularly in Salento, an area located in the South of Puglia. I listened to this music as a child, during the celebrations of Saint Nicholas, the patron of this region of Corigliano d'Otranto. My passion for the bands increased over the years and I decided to take a new look at his songs, considering not only a means of diffusion of symphonic music but also as a new reading of modern songs.

"Long live the King!" speaks of all those forms of distraction that contemporary society puts before us, stealing our attention from real, essential things. The risk of these distractions is the progressive loss of roots, of memory, and of stories to be told and heard.

"Tienimi la mano" was presented in a different version on Partenze with an arrangement by Riccardo Tesi. It's a song about the relationship between a ruthless businesman and his psychoanalyst. The businesman, who has always has the sole objective of being at the center of the business world, neglecting his family, friendships and all other human relationships. At some point in his life he finds himself alone, asking for help, But he will remain alone, condemned by the greed that has always characterized him. - Massimo Donno

Editor's note: We will have a full review of the album late in June

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