The theme of the Florentine trio’s twelve compositions is the poetry of the Mediterranean countries, half of it by pre-19th-century female poets. As always, all of the sounds heard on the CD are produced exclusively by the three musician’s voices.
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MEDITERRANEA, TRINOVOX’ second album, consists of twelve new songs composed to poems of different origins and epochs but which all refer to Mediterranean culture. There are six female and six male poets who together cover nearly 3000 years of history. Their poems are sung – in typical Trinovox-style – using the original languages: French, Hebrew, Italian, Sicilian, Andalusian, ancient Greek, Spanish, Sardinian, Tuscan, Turkish, Latin and Arabic.
The previous CD, Incanto (1994), Trinovox’ debut album, a sort of vocal ID card for the trio, intended to show the considerable natural potential of its single members and, for this reason, it uncompromisingly avoided any overdubbing techniques. Even in the midst of these self-imposed limitations, the result was quite impressive for its variety and fullness of sound. “Only three voices, exactly what Trinovox is able to perform live” was one of the most recurrent phrases in reviews of Incanto, and those who had the opportunity to attend one of Trinovox’ concerts can verify this peculiar nature of the album.
Once the trio demonstrated its abilities within the very strict limits of a three-part polyphony, for the second album the three Florentine singer-composers wanted to give free range to their orchestral ideas and, in so doing, welcomed the most innovative techniques in overdubbing. This particular type of recording allowed Trinovox to use hundreds of tracks over the course of the album – all rigorously human voices, also in the cases of instrumental sounds which seem real, like “drums” and “electric guitars”. Among the most difficult to recreate by an all-male vocal trio are female voices or crowds singing, both found in the new album. These are believably the trio’s voices for those who are familiar with Trinovox’ timbric polymorphism and vocal versatility in Incanto.
This considerable technical feat is accompanied, paradoxically, by a remarkable musical immediacy. Indeed, in Mediterranea, rhythm and dance are the accessible protagonists in large part in the songs and constitute one of the most evident “discoveries” of Trinovox’ recent research. The conviction that the song form as means of expression should make up the chosen musical structure for the trio is re-established in the new album. Therefore, Trinovox again dedicates much attention to the quality and “sing-ability” of the lead melodies. More and more confirmed, then, is the idea: “experimentation at the service of communication”, as was written in the introductory pages of Incanto‘s booklet. Consequently, Trinovox is increasingly a propagator of the concept: “Popular Avant-Garde”.
Trinovox was founded 1991 in Florence. In 1993 they recorded their first CD, Incanto, which was released by JARO, Germany, the following year. In 1994 Trinovox won the prestigious prize for vocal music “Premio Quartetto Cetra”. They were praised for their achievements in the “fusion of world music with classic polyphony, for their choice of texts and the brilliance of their performance”. In 1995 the Bavarian Radio commissioned Trinovox to write and perform the music for the radio play Earborn (on CD: JARO 4190-2). Since 1994 Trinovox has performed in many European cities and made various radio and TV productions. Co-productions with artists and groups as diverse as Luciano Berio (classical music), Orazio Costa-Giovangigli (theater), Laura Eastman (fashion), Giorgio Gasuni (jazz) and “Momix” (dance).
The name Trinovox has Latin roots and in itself contains the artistic philosophy of this ensemble. TRINO stems from trinus, “triple”; VOX, as is well-known, means “voice” and NOVO, from novus, emphasizes the fundamental commitment to the idea of creating something “new”.
The Trinovox project has its roots in internationalism and transculturalism. The musical styles which Trinovox adopts are not necessarily tied to the epoch or geographical origin of the poem upon which the Florentine trio’s composition is based, but rather emerge from what the poetry has aroused in the composers on a purely emotive and sensory level.
Riccardo PUCCI-RIVOLA, descendant of an old Florentine family, was educated as a singer and sound technician. He has worked as vocalist in various groups and as a soloist; since 1991 he has been teaching modern singing at the “Laboratorio Musicale” in Florence; with TRINOVOX he composes, arranges and sings.
Francesco RONCHETTI received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Bologna and has worked as a teacher in Los Angeles, USA. He has published on vocal pedagogy and teaches in Florence; with Trinovox he composes, arranges and sings.
Julian SPIZZ, educated as dancer and singer (among others with Bobby McFerrin), works as a music teacher, composer and singer in Florence; he sings, composes and arranges.