This is a story made of rock, of notes marked by the sound of the Arbëreshë language, of the south and of young people pleasantly poised between tradition and evolution.
In the beginning there was a basement. It was the 1991 when Gigi Fabbricatore (vocals and acoustic guitar), Angelo Conte (bass and vocals) and Francesco Canadè (electric guitar) began to play some instruments left there, in that basement, by other boys. The game could only evolve into a real musical project, with well-defined contours, considering that the background of it all was Santa Sofia D'Epiro. Seat of the arbëreshë, Albanians who arrived in Italy between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, Santa Sofia D'Epiro embodies the magic of the South combined with the "Balkanism" that the arbëreshë hold so proudly to pass on from generation to generation.The musical adventure Peppa Marriti Band defines the fundamental values of the members of the band starting from the name of the band. In fact "Peppa Marriti" was the nickname of Deacon Athanasius, carpenter of Santa Sofia d'Epiro, who died at 50 years alone and abandoned by everyone because of his problems with alcohol. The idea of not letting his name die with him was a need dictated by the desire to give voice to the marginalized, as Angelo Conte reveals in an interview.
The band often changes training over the years. The first phase that goes from the 1991 to the 1996, with Gigi Fabbricatore on the item, is marked by the important participation in the Arezzo Wave. The second phase that goes from 1996 to 2000, is characterized by a close collaboration between iPeppa Marriti Band and Spasulati Band, instead the third phase starts in 2000 and lasts until today.
The band's current line-up is as follows: Angelo Conte (Bobo) / Voce & acoustic guitar, Demetrio Corino (Dhimitri) / Bass & vocals; Antonio Castrovillari / Electric guitar; Paolo Imbrogno / Keyboards; Sergio Toscano / Battery; Pino Murano / Violin. Except for the violinist, none of them is a professional musician. They are boys who are divided between family, children, work and their deep passion for music.In the 2005 comes their debut album "Rockarbëresh". The passages contained appear to be a marriage between the Arbëreshë language and rock, as the title itself suggests. 10 the songs that can be downloaded from the band's website www.peppamarriti.com : "E Para" (The first: song about emigration); "Ohj Manu Chao"; "Nje Petrit" (A Sparrowhawk); "Ruajta" (I looked); "Shkò mbë shpi baby" (Row home, baby!); "Vjershet" (Traditional songs); "Nat-dit" (Night-day); "Vaite" (You are gone); "Shahàli" (The jackal); "Rrini mirë ... if jam and vemi" (Goodbye ... we are not leaving). Four years later, in the 2009, the same line-up, the CD "Këndo!" (Canta!) Is released. Distinguished by the inclusion of two texts in Italian, the CD includes: "Vashez" (Girl); "Jam and see me uri" (We are starving); "Kendo!" (Sing!); Dance; "Dheu im" (Terra mia); "Illy Ditese" (); Buhua; "Mos më harrò!" (Don't forget me); "Na Vekkiarella"; "Dub Dabby" and "This life."
Themes and sounds
The basic idea of Peppa Marriti Band is to combine the roots of rock with the arbëreshë tradition and culture. Rock is of American origin. His choice and not another musical genre was dictated by two reasons. The first is the personal musical journey of the members who founded the band, who grew up with J.
Cougar Mellecamp, Springsteen, in addition to the classic rock '60' is 70. The second reason is that rock is seen as the necessary innovative force to ensure that a culture like arbëreshë does not die beyond contemporary fashions. From the musical point of view the instruments that dominate have little to do with the arbëreshë culture: interweaving of electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboard, etc. The reference to the Balkan sounds is made through the violin and the melancholy that pervades some songs.
Another fundamental point of contact with tradition is the resumption of the motifs of the so-called "Vjersh", bivocial or polyvocal forms of traditional songs which served as background to everyday moments (marriage, work in the fields etc.), without forgetting the fundamental theme of the nostalgia for the mother country, despite the fact that 500 has now passed years since the arbëreshë for the first time settled in the Italian territory. In fact the debut album "Rockarbëresh" opens with the song "E Para" which addresses the theme of abandoning one's own land in a melancholy way but without victimhood: "Let's go comrades singing / Let's go on without regrets / Thinking about our women / who mourn our lot every evening ". Always set on melancholic themes are "Nje petrit" and "Rrini mire se jam e vemi". The first sees in the sad condition of the bird that has lost its nest the perfect description of how man can feel in a world without values. The second is a greeting song for the bride and groom that was once sung during the wedding ceremony by the guests. "Vajte" is a touching modern funeral song: "you have brought poetry with you and you have no more pains! … you went!". Inherent in the theme of love are the visionaries "Nat-Dit" and "Ruajta".… .You are gone! These tracks are counterbalanced by more pressing sounds like "Ohi Manu Chao!" (Which Pino Cacozza, songwriter of Arbëria, defines "la piùarbëreshë as a whole, in content and purpose"), "Shahàli" or "Shkò mbë shpi baby", a tarantella that has a party as an action scene and he who invites his lover to "get away" at home because too many prying eyes. Finally, "Vjershët" is a partly traditional text, partly revisited, which appears to be a ballad and has nothing to do with the ancient Vjersh.
At 4 years after the debut album, in the 2009, “Këndo” comes out, a cd that unlike the first one turns out to be more conform to the canons of rock. The song that gives the title to the album, written by Angelo Conte, is an energetic exhortation to bring out one's self: "Do not be afraid and do not be afraid / talk to your heart / and tell that of your pain". "This Life" and "Na vekkiarella" (popular text of the sixteenth century) are singer in Italian, precisely the second is sung the Cosenza dialect. In the past, "Mos më harrò" and "Danza" are fished out, nursery rhymes of which the first was sung by grandmothers to their grandchildren, keeping them on gymnastics, "Lule lule", traditional text sung in gospel, and "Dub daddy". Others partially retain the original text and are partly written by Angelo Conte, such as "Vashëz" (a piece that tells of love for a girl). From the good arbëreshë tradition, "Dheum im" could not be missing: "This is my land / my mother and my father gave me / for 100 years". Others have a Mediterranean flavor, such as "Jam and vdesmi urì". Finally, "Illy dites" and "Buhuà" (duet) are taken from the collection of poems of "Bluezjana" by Gigi Fabbricatore.
Right now the PMBs are thinking of enjoying the present and the deserved success. The summer will keep them engaged in concerts within and beyond the Italian borders. The 4 and 5 June will be in Avellino at the 4th edition of the SIAE Award for Demo. The 12 June will be playing in Modena at the event "City ports" organized by Albania News. They will close the summer with a concert in Kosov
or the 30 August. Their dream is obviously to be able to play one day in Albania.
The road that will follow in the future is always that of rock mixed with the arbëreshë culture, although they do not exclude some even more ethnic sounds. The PMBs represent an excellent innovation, not only in the musical field but also in the cultural field, having managed to find the right way to convey an ancient culture. Not only do they allow people who are light years away from the arbëreshë culture to come into contact with it and its peculiarities, but they also represent an excellent example for those who think that the only possible culture to be absorbed is the contemporary one.
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