sgt-pepper.jpgToday is Sgt. Pepper’s 40th birthday.

Forty years ago the Beatles issued their 8th album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of popular music was changed forever. You will read or hear everywhere why it was so, as every radio, newspaper, magazine, blog, TV will celebrate the event.

There are so many reasons why it was so innovative… a bunch of beautiful songs, the Beatles being at their peak as artists and riding the rising psychedelic era; the novel recording techniques — a stereo album! the phantasmagoric cover; the unifying concept that runs through the whole album; the absence of interruption between the tracks; the incomprehensible ghost track at the end after a long silence; the cracking, endless, final loop; the cardboard with the cut-offs (among them, the Sgt. Pepper’s moustache!)…
It was a real treat.

I own the original vinyl, pity that my brother and me actually cut all the cut-offs that got subsequently lost…
I remember going almost everyday to my local record shop to check whether the new Beatles album was finally out — Previous year’s Revolver was the very first record I bought in my life!

And then running home to play it on my rudimentary, mono record player…

It opened new horizons, it made me dream, it changed my life, too.

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The Chieftains

May 15, 2007

I love Irish music. It’s a love that came sort of late in my life, but it is nonetheless a very strong love.

Here’s a video of the Chieftains talking about their famous collaborations with rockstars, but it starts with an incredible session in Matt Molloy’s pub (Mr Molloy has been the Chieftains’ flutist since their 8th record).
Four fiddles, two flutes, pipes, harps, bodhrans and pints and pints of Guinness…

Enjoy!

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Following my latest post – alas, of some time ago – I’d like to give you another podcast of poetry reading.

I’d like to making these podcasts a reagular feature of RadioRockTO, your favourite PodRadio (TO stands for “The Original”), in a column called “La Parola e il Suono”: I have currently presented at very irregular intervals three readings (Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”, Gregory Corso’s “Bomb” and the latest, Dino Campana’s “Il Viaggio e il Ritorno”). My plan is to propose new podcasts with a regular cadence, maybe every three weeks…

This third issue of “La Parola e il Suono” is dedicated to “Il viaggio e il ritorno”, taken from Dino Campana’s “Canti Orfici”.

Campana is one of the most important Italian poets of the early XX century. Plagued by bouts of mental instability that society and medicine of that time were able to treat only by locking you in asylums, he used traveling to somehow come to terms with his nightmares.

Campana’s poetry can be vaguely referred to as symbolist: the Canti Orfici are an oneiric journey between dream and wake, with powerful language and structure, so that Pier Paolo Pasolini even made a comparison to the contemporary Cubism.

Click on the device below to hear my reading (in Italian, eh)…

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Gregory Corso’s Bomb

March 16, 2007

Poetry is word and sound, and strength.
It can open consciousnesses, change the world, change ourselves. Poetry is sheer emotion.

I have started a new column on RadioRockTo, your trustworthy PodRadio, called “La Parola e il Suono” (The Word and the Sound), where the apple of your eye i.e. the undersigned very shamelessly reads poetry: the first issue was dedicated to Allen Ginsberg‘s “Howl”; the second, available for downloading as of tomorrow, is dedicated to Gregory Corso and its renowned “Bomb”.

“Bomb” is a magnificent invocation written at the height of the Cold War (published in 1960), full of a sweet and ironical apocalyptic visionary, an explosion of onomatopoeic images that proclaim an empathic and endless love for a mankind so irremediably and stupidly self-injurer.

Now I’d like to experiment with WordPress audio possibilities: I will try to insert below the podcast containing the reading of “Bomb”. The podcast is about 15 minutes long and is, alas, in Italian: I don’t trust my English pronunciation that much…

I’m still here…

February 15, 2007

No, I didn’t disappear, it is just that I’m very busy with my job (including traveling around…) and with podcasting, which takes quite a lot of my time…

But pretty soon I will post a piece of one of my podcasts, thx to the new audio facilities offered by the WordPress guys!

See you very soon!

RadioRockTo, your trustworthy internet PodRadio bursts with activity. Every day there is a new one-hour podcast, brought to you by the 12 “official” DJ podcasters, which are, in strict alphabetical order: Franz Andreani, Marco Artico, Flavia Cardinali, Gianpaolo Castaldo, Gianni Ciaccio Giampiero Crisanti, Massimo Di Roma, Michele Luches, Stefania Modugno, Stefano Santoni, Fulvio Savagnone (aka Avatar DJ Flux), Aldo Semunuk).

Our friend Francesco Cauli, God blesss him, hosts on his server a streaming of our podcasts, so you can also listen to us at this URL: http://62.110.175.189:9100/listen.pls

In addition to the daily podcast, you can also download some periodical columns of more thematic subjects, structured as shorter podcasts.
At the present the available columns are, still in alphabetical order:
Buongiorno Rock Compact 2007, by Aldo Semenuk, that comments almost daily the news or simply the thoughts occurred to Aldo when waking up in the morning.
Il Korriere Kosmico, by yours truly, which presents news about events, concerts, tours, records and books issuing, and everything else in the world of music and audio-visual arts in general, all selected according to my very personal taste.
LivePod, by Perez, that provides emergent Italian bands with a showcase that includes interviews, live and recorded music, etc.
La mente che cancella, by Sergio De Vito (ex Epsilon Indi), an extraordinary mix of voices, sounds, noises and music that builds every time a new sonic organism.
Piccola radio dell’aria, by Gianni Ciaccio, that comments political events, with special attention to what happens in the Third World, to globalisation and environmental issues.
Prova d’orchestra, by Franz Andreani, that presents classical music with an in-depth comment.

Finally, in the hope of wetting your appetite, here follows the song list of my podcast, which will be available for download tomorrow 13 January and the day after tomorrow:

The Gladiators, Bellyfull, from Trenchtown Mix (1974, Virgin)
Sínead O’Connor, War, from Throw Down Your Arms (2005, Rocket Science)
Ben Harper, Diamonds on Your Side, from Diamonds on Your Side (2003, Virgin)
The Band, I Shall Be Released, from Music from Big Pink (1968, Capitol)
Cressida, Cressida, from (ehm…) Cressida (1970, Vertigo Records)
Robert Wyatt & Friends, Sea Song, from In Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8 September 1974 (2005, Hannibal)
Rachid Taha, Barra Barra, from Made in Medina (2000, Ark21)
Various Artists, Kaninba, from Mandekalou 2 (2006, Syllart)
Oumou Sangaré, Saa Magni, from Oumou (2003, World Circuit)
Devendra Banhart, Ay Mama, from Niño Rojo (2004, Young God)
Joanna Newsom, The Book of Right-On, from The Milk-Eyed Mender (2005, Drag City)
Midaircondo, Could You Please Stop, from Shopping for Images (2005, Type Records)
Andriy Kyrychenko, The Scope of My Perception, from True Delusions (2005, NexSounds)

See you all on www.radiorock.to, then!

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Go and Ski in Pragelato 2

January 7, 2007

pragelato1.jpgThis year too the Go workshop of Pragelato has been a success for AGI, that has been organising it for many years.

We had 15 players from Milano, Roma, Torino, Treviso, Varese, Venezia, Edinburgh, Valence, plus 10 non-playing guests. A lot of people for the most attended workshop of the last three years. Pity for the lack of snow… (last snowfall: 8 December).

pragelato2.jpgOur teacher was Li Jingrui 6 Dan from China (that’s the nominal EGF ranking, as he has played only three tournaments in Europe; actually his playing level is almost professional: among other things ha has played at two stones with Fujisawa Shuko…). Li Jingrui lives in Münich and studies chemistry.

The teaching level was therefore quite high: we discussed fuseki, recently fashionable joseki, positional judgement and thickness assessment to inform the strategy. Then games were commented: Li’s games, professional games and our games: Li made a running commentary of a game of Emiliano and me, played in front of everybody else.
Maybe it was the embarrassment, but somehow we managed to play a decent fuseki that deserved Li’s praise. Pity that I had to resign too soon, as Emiliano captured a group of mine that I had neglected in order to take a lot of profit elsewhere… Ah, the greed of Xmas season!

Days were very well organised: true skiers woke up at dawn (notwithstanding having gone to sleep pretty late…) in order to go to Sestriere’s ski runs, where they made use of artificial snow blasted from snowguns…

pragelato8.jpgWe hapless non-skiers woke up veeeery late instead, and then went cross-country skiing on Pragelato runs, the very same of past Winter Olympic Games; or just for a walk, or a dive in the swimming pool of the hotel we were staying in, the Casa Alpina Don Barra. Or even to play a little go, just not to be too obsessed… :-)

At 17:00 Li started his lesson, until dinner at 19:30. After dinner we played go until we fancied, as we had a room reserved for our group only, equipped even with a stereo to play a little music…

pragelato7.jpg

To sum up, a great occasion to breath clean air in the middle of beautiful mountains and imposing landscapes rich of historical events (Val Troncea, the very narrow valley where the cross-country ski run goes, has been the theatre of important episodes of the Italian Resistance against the nazi-fascists), to train our bodies first and then our minds playing go, and finally to deservedly celebrate with appropriate evening libations…

Those who weren’t there now know what they have missed.
See you next year!

P.S.
Click on the FilmLoop below to see a selection of pictures. Marchetto has made available the movie of two (as of today) lessons: you’ll find them at the URL below:

Lesson of 27-12-2006
Lesson of 28-12-2006

Lessons are in English; the file is about 290MB and will be available for downloading for a dozen of days.

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