“Moresche e altre invenzioni” is the groundbreaking album that Maria Pia De Vito and the 20 voices of her Ensemble Burnogualà, are releasing with Parco della Musica Records. Accompaniment is provided by instruments proper to jazz music (piano and double bass) and ancient and traditional ethno-popular instruments (kora, accordion, balafon, bagpipe). Among the many guests on the record are Ralph Towner and Rita Marcotulli. After extensive creative research work carried out around the Flemish composer’s “Moresche” Orlando of Lasso (16th cent.) and performances at prestigious festivals and unconventional venues, Maria Pia De Vito and the Ensemble finally come to this recording work with unreleased and totally innovative material in the Italian and international music scene.
The experimentation on singing and voice of Maria Pia De Vito, an internationally award-winning singer and composer, has always embraced different fields of action. Artistic director of the Ravello Festival’s Jazz Section, but also a professor of singing at several Italian conservatories and colleges, De Vito calls the Ensemble Burnogualà, which she founded and directs, a “community of researchers” with whom she shares much of her creative inquiry. The result is material of great rhythmic and contrapuntal richness, with interludes, spaces and soundscapes in which Africa, Renaissance Naples and improvisation mingle and meet in the contemporary.
Sparkling in the repertoire are carnival cycles whose protagonists are African slaves and freedmen portrayed in serenades, courtships, dances, bickering, in a language that cleverly mixes fragments of comically mispronounced Neapolitan dialect, words and phrases in Kanuri, along with imitations of instruments and animal verses to which are added inspired moments of vocal improvisation. Ensemble Burnogualà’s scope ranges from late Renaissance polyphony to contemporary composers such as Vince Mendoza, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, and Diederik Wiessels, to Brazilian composers, for a jazz-derived practice of voice and improvisation applied to material of the most diverse historical and geographical origins.