Gianmaria Testa Takes on the City
The soothing songs of Gianmaria Testa can make anyone feel as of they were his closest friend. His low voice has that power; to transport the listener into another realm, where he enchants you with small secrets about a life you feel you’ve been a part since the beginning.
His music does not pretend to be something it’s not. Its beauty exists in the simplicity of his poetic lyrics and soft, welcoming beats. Born in the north of Italy, near Cuneo, in 1958, Testa is like your favorite relative, who tells you a new story about his past each time he comes to visit. His latest CD, “Vitamia,” or “Mylife” in English, is a journey through the artist’s life, as he ponders the moments that make up the whole of his fifty-five years. Testa owes the inspiration for his work to a friend who once told him, “Try to measure your life in days instead of years. You’ll see how it changes your perspective.”
Taking this into account, Testa had begun entertaining the idea of this disc at the age of eighteen. The idea eventually grew past this young age, and Testa decided to name the CD in a way that would reflect his life as a whole. He chose instead to title one of his songs “18 mila giorni” or “18 Thousand Days,” recalling the advice which first sparked his vision for the work.
Although Testa sings in Italian, up to this point he has made his greatest artistic impression in France, where his first three CDs were produced. Today he is a renowned artist in all of Europe, and will soon enthrall American listeners as well, as he is scheduled to perform at Joe’s Pub in New York on Saturday, May 4th, 2013. Whether concert goers are long-time fans, or have only recently become acquainted with his music, the event will certainly draw a crowd of anyone looking to enjoy an evening of personal lyrics, accompanied by evocative melodies that impart a sense of familiarity on its listeners.
Perhaps it is Testa’s attention to the daily occurrences of life, or the almost tangible images and sounds of nature that his music is founded on, that appeal most to his audience. “Vitamia,” which was released on the artist’s birthday in 2011, was recorded within a week’s time, the priority of the CD being its “live” feel, an aspect of the music that adds to the effect of the artist seemingly revealing to the audience a private view of his world.
Many of the album’s songs will certainly invoke a sense of nostalgia in its listeners, one that is owed to the fact that Testa’s music often serves as a reflection on his life. He contemplates how the past affects the present and the future, not only his own, but also those of his country and society at large. His attention to society’s fate is reflected in the track “18 mila giorni,” dedicated to Italian novelist Erri De Luca, who he claims had “sought at some point to imagine a different future.”
“Vitamia’s” eleven tracks were produced in very close collaboration with the artist’s regular musical companions: Claudio Dadone, assistant in track arrangement and pre-production, Giancarlo Bianchetti on guitars, Nicola Negrini on double bass, Phillipe Garcia on percussion, and Roberto Cipelli on piano. Several songs, such as “Lele,” feature the talent of guest musicians like violinists Mario Brunello and Carlo De Martini, accordion player Luciano Biondini, as well as Gianluca Petrellam, who enhances songs like “Cordiali saluti” and “Di niente, metà” with the creative and intimate tones of his trombone.
The album was produced by Paola Farinetti and is distributed by Egea Records in Italy and by Harmonia Mundi in the rest of the world. It is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and BN.com, along with the rest of Testa’s albums.
Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette St., New York, NY. Tickets are $20.00. To purchase, call 001 212-967-7555 or click HERE.