I had many scores to settle, personal questions, because this, differently from previous works, is not a mythological, fantasy or history based record. I had to focus on the inabilty to be sincere, on how we hide ourselves behind shadows and on how we stumble between them to find another person. Another person who exists as tension or separation and who makes our shadows bigger. But this is not a melancholic record; tears, if tears must be, have been dried by the time so that you can build on them.
On the musical side, this album has been conceived in a philological way. Piano and voice on their own, in the center, and around them a series of different instruments: some of them are inconsistent (glasses, theremin, saw, toy piano, strings’ reverb), other are fantastic (Mighty Wurlitzer, optigan, mellotron) and others are coral (brasses).
When the record was quite ready, we flew to the United States. While travelling, I read Sherwood Anderson’s «Ohio Tales»: that Biblical America, rural and made of small villages and hidden passions, a kind of «Spoon River» of the living, pushed me into writing a song in motel rooms, while going West. I called it «La faccia della terra» (The face of the earth), because when you are alone, you usually say «alone on the face of the earth». Once I got in Tucson, the song has been recorded like this, with one take only, with Calexico and their checked shirts. The sound and the literary register of this song are quite different from the others: there is rust, guitars and dust, and the lyrics are about loneliness and people named after biblical characters.
The songs are all written by me, except from the last one, «Non c’è disaccordo nel cielo» (There is no disappointment in heaven), that refers to an old hymn written by Frederick Martin Lehman in 1914. My lyrics are not the exact translation of the original, but they are my own way of feeling that topic. A heaven for everyone, that will perhaps welcome us all, or will be found empty. But it is where all the tears shed when we were better.
- Il gigante e il mago – 6:50
- In clandestinità – 5:20
- Parla piano – 4:47
- Una giornata perfetta – 4:20
- Il paradiso dei calzini – 4:00
- Orfani ora – 4:50
- Sante Nicola – 4:40
- Vetri appannati d’America – 4:47
- Dall’altra parte della sera – 4:13
- La faccia della terra – 5:20
- Lettere di soldati – 5:47
- Non c’è disaccordo nel cielo + Da solo tutt’quant (ghost track) – 16:16
Musicians: Vinicio Capossela (piano, mellotron, melodica, wood-dobro National guitar and voice), Zeno De Rossi (drums), Enrico Gabrielli (small clarinet, alto sax, low clarinet, flute, Eko tiger organ), Frank London (trumpet), Matt Darriau (saxophone), Enrico Allorto (basso tuba), Giulio Rosa (basso tuba, cimbasso), Cameron Carpenter and Anthony Coleman (Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ), Glauco Zuppiroli (double bass), Alessandro “Asso” Stefana (guitars, lap steel guitar, ghost guitar, tubular bells, autoharp, choir), JD Foster (small bells, choir), Vincenzo Vasi (glockenspiel, toy piano, whistle, choir, theremin), Raffaele Kohler (trumpet, flicorno soprano), Luciano Macchia (trombone), Edodea Ensemble (strings quartet), Vincenzo “Cinaski” Costantino (beginning whistle), Pascal Comelade (toy piano and other toy instruments), Gianfranco Grisi (cristallarmonio, concertina), Ursula Knudson (sega musicale), Fabrice Martinez (violin), Joey Burns (double bass, classic guitar), John Convertino (drums), Martin Wenk (trumpet), Jacob Valenzuela (trumpet), Mario Brunello (cello), Gak Sato (heartbeat). Strings scores written by Enrico Gabrielli.