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When did your interest in music started?
It started when I was very young. At 13, my father gave me a guitar as
a present for graduating at school. However, from the age of 5, I used
to listen to the radio and play at being the orchestral conductor.
Everybody thought “this child is strange” because instead
of playing with toy guns like other kids, I preferred to conduct music.
So when my father asked me what I wanted as a present for the school graduation, I chose a guitar.
Since then, I learned by myself, especially singing, I was always singing.
I believe we all have a musical instrument in our body, and that’s our real voice.
What are your favourite memories about music?
As part of my training, I listened to all genres of music. In classical music, I really like Bach and Mozart.
One of the most important part of my journey was to come across black
American Blues music and one of the most influential album was
“The Routes of Blues”. There are no famous people on this
record, just ordinary artists who sang while working.
Another important discovery was southern Italian music, from which I
learned a few ways to sing and invented melodies and rhythms.
Music is basically the creation of a melody and a rhythm. In
Mediterranean music, melody and rhythm are not fixed, they become
fluid. When you sing, you can get close to the rhythm, but you are
never exactly on the beat. You have to be a bit slower or faster and it
is the same for intonation too. So it sounds like you are out of tune
all the time, but it is not. Middle East and Mediterranean music use
any sound within the musical intervals.
On the contrary in the West, you have this tradition of splitting music into semitones and intervals.
It might sound like a mess for our ears, but it is just different ways of making music.
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Where do you get your inspiration from?
There are 2 aspects of my work as a musician.The
first aspect is as a composer, although I do not compose music, but my
songs are the combination of a poetic element with a musical one. I
have always followed this process.The second aspect is performing and
singing. I can sing songs written both by myself and by others.As
mentioned earlier, I started singing when very young, although later,
Roberto De Simone became my maestro and taught me some basic techniques
of breathing and intonation. From there, I developed my way of singing
and my way of expressing myself through singing
Can you give us a brief history of your bands?
When I was in high school, I set up a trio with the Bennato brothers.
Eduardo Bennato became a rock singer. I also later worked with Eugenio Bennato in traditional popular music.
We did some pop music for Paul Hanka and Neil Sedaka.
Then I heard Roberto Murolo and I became passionate about Neapolitan music. I began to study this music.
With Eugene Bennato, we did a show called “Gospel Time”, a
show for the Black Freedom movement in America. A show in Italy about
Black culture in the world, which took its root from gospel music. For
this concert, we put together a first band. Then we met Roberto De
Simone. He later became a very important musician, not only in music
but also as a major opera and theatre director. When
we first met him, he was working in televised transmission. He really
liked what we were doing and we set a project called “Nuova
Compania de Canto Popolare”. We did folk revivals. We
started researching music, travelling in Southern Italy to collect
testimonies from farmers and fishermen. Ethnic music, which we would
then incorporate into the concerts.
Eugenio and I went ahead with another band called “Musica
Nova”. It started with ethnic folk music and we went on composing
new traditional music. We crossed a border that allowed us to create a
new Italian traditional music.
Please tell us what composing means to you?
Composing is something which depends on many factors.
Sometimes inspiration comes from having heard or seen something like a
story. Very often, you are not even looking for it but it’s like
the music finds you, it just comes to you suddenly and it then follows
you, it is just in your head all the time.Usually, when you look for
something to compose, you cannot find anything. Then unexpectedly, you
wake up at night and something happens by itself, without any reason.
In arts, there is no reason it is something you have inside and comes
out like a volcano, magma is compressed and all of a sudden, it
explodes. You just don’t know when. I think artists are not
constantly artists, only at times and for short periods. It may happen
that you have nothing to express for a long time, and then you feel
something important, something emotional. It is not always, sometimes
there is something, sometimes there is nothing.
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How do you deal with mistakes during a performance?
I use mistakes to
do something different from what I usually. This way, in the end, it is
no longer a mistake, but it is a way of doing things differently. That
out of tune or out of time note becomes an excuse for doing a piece
differently. Errors in live music can turn out to be interesting.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Nervous is not the right word.
For me, it is a mixture of emotion, energy and concentration.
The idea of having to do something in public brings out a strong
emotion which gets transmitted through singing. People are attracted,
captured by the strong feelings that is carried from the stage to the
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What makes a good session?
have collaborated beautifully with many artists and very often with
instrumentalists. Lately, I have enjoyed working with a saxophonist who
comes from a different background of experience, from jazz.
But I only collaborate with people with whom I feel closeness. When we
influence each other, important things come out of it, musically.
But if it sounds too mechanical, I’m not interested.
How often and for how long do you practice?
I practice very
little. Even months can go by when I do not play very much, then I feel
like playing for a while, I do not have any set rules.
Do you teach music?
No, it is impossible to teach music.
How do you balance music and everyday life?
I have another job, I’m a mechanical engineer, I have always done two things at the same time in my life.
On one hand, there is an artistic side and on the other hand there is something very concrete, very real.
One part of me is anchored to the ground, the other is in heaven.
That’s the way I am, my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.
Your music influences even young generations, how important is it for you to transmit traditional music?
I often meet young people on the streets who play my pieces. For me, it is a thrill to heat someone young playing my music.
I feel the tradition of folk music is alive thanks to the contribution
to music made by Eugenio and I, through the Nuova Compania di Canto
Popolare. We have saved traditional music. Without us, it could have
What are your dreams and ambitions?
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I do not have many dreams, not even a lot of things to achieve, it is rare that I set up a goal and try to pursue it.
It simply occurs to me to do something such as releasing a new album.
But between the time the idea comes to me and the time I achieve it, it
can take several years, a long time.
You are based in Naples. What does it offer you?
I was born and have always lived in Naples. Although I know it can be a
bit hard, I would not want to live in a different place. And
Naples is by the seaside, I need the sea, I need to feel close to the
sea, always. I cannot live without the sea.
When it comes to design, what do you like?
I like design when it is essential, very pure, clean lines and no frills.
You are fond of Bag’n Dath products, why?
I have ‘reconciled’ with bags. I do
not usually carry a bag, I keep everything in my pockets. I
stopped using bags as I used to lose everything regularly. But I like
these bags, the lines, the design, the quality of the materials and the
purity and simplicity of the models, they are strong and great!
Finally, would you please tell us about your future projects?
I definitely want to do something in theatre, a work from my poetry and
my songs. I would like to do a concert for more intimate places, like
© Bag'n Dath
Carlo D'Angiò is Neapolitan born musician and aircraft engineer
who lives and works in Naples, Italy. In his mid-sixties he formed the
group Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (NCCP), the famous group of
folk music. In 1972 left NCCP and formed Musicanova with Eugenio
Bennato. The sound was Italy's southern traditional music to
lighten the new sounds of the time. He involved in a wide variety of
music industry and influenced many artists and musicians over the
generations. His works are actively carrying on creating music, this is
2011 Viva il Sud! ( Lucky planet) Double CD
Photography © Luigi Sauro
CD1: Songs composed by C D'Angiò
CD2: New live performance from New Society of Folk Song and Musicanova
2004 Musicanova Collection (Lucky Planet)
1981 Festa Festa(Fonit Cetra)
1980 Brigante se more (Philip Records)
1979 Quanno turnammo a nascere (Philip Records)
1978 Musicanova (Philip Records)
1977 Garofaro d'ammore(Philip Records)
Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare
1975 Tarantella ca nun va 'bbona (EMI Italiana)
1974 Li Sarracini adorano lu sole ( EMI Italiana)
1973 NCCP ( EMI Italiana)
1972 Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (Rare)
1971 Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (Rare):re-release 1975: Lo Guarracino (Dischi Richordi)
2008 Grande Sud (C.o.r.e./Edel)
2007 Sponda Sud (Taranta Power Radiofandango/Lucky Planets)
2007 Nel CD Sacco di Fuoco
2004 Nel CD A Sud Sud! (Lucante)
2004 Nel CD Pizzica la Trantula 2 various authors sing the song Nannarè ( Blond Records)
1997 Mille una notte fa (Italia Promotions)
1989 Le città di mare (Lucky Planets)
1989 Cavalli si nasce – film “Calalli si nasce” (Cinevox)
1986 Eughenes (Cinevox)
1985 Dulcinea – film “Don Quixote” (Cinevox)
2007 Suoni e rumori
2006 A Sud di Mozart
2005 Tango e vai" (A' cantina 'e zì Teresa) nello spettacolo Trittico di Aterballetto
Music for Film and TV
1992 Lo speriamo che me la cavo
1990 La sposa di San Paolo
1988 Cavalli si nasce
1985 Don Chisciotte
1980 L'eredità della priora
And he has done many other works in the past.