Vanessa Tagliabue Yorke: an amazing voice, especially a person of truly exceptional artistic caliber that is already talk about, able to articulate some original compositions starting from "contradanze" by Manuel Saumell and Ernesto Lecouna, brilliant Cuban composers of the nineteenth century.
Contradanza: a brilliant Cd in its conception and realization! Completely inspired by the places and people that have seen the birth, accompanied and then lost forever Bas Jan Ader, Dutch artist active in the seventies of the twentieth century, who died mysteriously at sea during a performance which he entitled "In search of a miracle." A musical project fulls of creative ideas and really unusual sounds: the harmonium Galvan, the Theremin, the Philicorda, the Susaphone, Shells, Trombone, Percussion African ... Of note the presence of a cast of musicians very special : we mention Mauro Ottolini with all his highly original set of tools, and the great American pianist Ethan Uslan, three times winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest Peoria IL - US.
From Liner Notes
“This is a musical project that tries to express a very special story which touched me; every track represents a small part of it. I imagined the society, the places and people which knew, welcomed, loved and then lost Bas Jan Ader, a Dutch artist and performer who worked in the seventies and disappeared in a performance that he called “In search of the miraculous”. Contradanza is full of musical and literary quotes symbolizing most of the themes tied to Bas jan Ader’s work. It is my own attempt to understand him, follow him trough the sea, and giving him a last goodbye, before he arrives that mysterious place which can only be reached in solitude. Contradanza is a style of musical composition common in Cuban popular tradition and it was very common in the Nineteenth Century. Cuban Contradanzas were composed for piano only and were meant to be danced, although many examples exist of Contradanzas for piano and coloratura soprano voice. These have a kind of similarity to our Lieder repertoire from the same period. Two great composers: Maniel Saumell and Ernesto Lecuona were especially important inspirations for me. To them I owe the structure and musical ingredients I needed to complete this project. I wrote original lyrics to their themes and I arranged the songs to underline the susprising modernity of the rhythmic structures they used in their music. I decided to also include a tribute to Stephen Foster’s songs, since he was the most influential white american composer of that period, and I felt his voice was needed to reinforce this choral farewell I was preparing. His music is enormously important to early jazz culture which I love and he contributed to the great innovations which were to follow.
Bas Jan Ader disappeared in 1975 during a solitary trip on his small boat “Ocean Wave” three weeks after he set off from the United States attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach the United Kingdom, during the performance he entitled “In Search of the Miraculous”. His deserted vessel was found off the coast of Ireland on 18 April 1976 but he is still missing.
Drawing connections between Bas Jan Ader and popular music of the Nineteenth Century is my attempt to underline how romantic his work and existence was, and to reaffirm the power of his message as an isolated and profound man facing human Nature seeking a Miracle.
Bas Jan Ader allows himself no distractions, he doesn’t try to trick or manipulate us with mannerism or smart advertising intuitions just to evoke things which are difficult to confront. Bas Jan Ader used his very life as the raw material for his work of art: he didn't use just his body, or his public image.
Bas Jan Ader tied his very existence to his work and it is this commitment which fills it with significance”.
(Vanessa T. Yorke)
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