HAPPENED TODAY - On June 16, 1852, the cellist and composer Joseph Merk died in Vienna


Giovanni Sollima was born in Palermo in 1962. After studying conservatory (cello and composition) and after interpretations with the great musicians of the period (Abbado, Argerich, Sinopoli …) he undertakes, especially in the composition, a difficult but courageous road of exploration, contamination of different genres, evolution, and modernization of the cello. And he wins.

Were we trees before we became human beings? Sollima frees the consciences, imprisoned in the roots and branches of the trees. The soul that laments its quest for freedom.

This is strange: a few years ago Enzo Gragnaniello, in his equally painful song, “Alberi”, stated exactly the opposite: “Arid and without land, we are poor /without roots we are not free/ free to make dreams / fly away “. So who is right? Who is wrong? Is this post-Darwinian evolution looking for a verse, or it’s the opposite? Answering is not easy. One more comment on the CD.

Sollima is called the Jimi Hendrix of the cello… Generic statement: who synthesizes new languages is at least unique. Parallelisms or convergences are then impossible geometries. Extraordinary CD. It explores new possibilities and opens up new paths, even if not easy to understand and practice. The songs are uneven: which is normal in the music of contaminations. The pace is remarkable, above the standards of certain contemporary music, even new age or cross-over. All the expressive cello power is released as if it were an anticipation of Fender and Gibson. Here you find “Violoncelles Vibrez”, the piece by an author still living which is perhaps the most interpreted one: written in 93, it is dedicated to the Master Antonio Janigro. And then we find four variations inspired by Luigi Boccherini. “Three Raga Song” and “When we were trees” are the “central body” of the CD and of the idea that anticipates it: the plant world, the trees, the wood, and the acoustic dimension of the cello.

So a hypothesis of evolution that flips through the score: were we trees? In a song improvisations on the voice of Patti Smith accompany pagan litanies of the last universal religion: rock music. Then all the others, no less than the first ones.


We are trees

– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, Violoncelles, Vibrez!
– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, LBFiles: I. Concerto – LBFiles: II. Igiul – LBFiles: III. Fandango del Signore Bouqueriny – LBFiles: IV. Boccherinero
– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, Yet can I hear
– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, Tree raga song
– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, When we were trees: Resonance wood (La foresta dei violin) – The architect – Leaves postcard – The dangerous prevelence of imagination – Nyagrodha – The family tree (Vivaldi)
– GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, La tempesta (The Tempest) for cello solo

Performers: Giovanni Sollima – Moninka Leskovar, cellos – Kaleidoscop Solistenensemble (dir. Julian Kuerti)
Label: Sony Music 
Released: May 09, 2008

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