Contributing to the ever expanding soundtrack of Ghost Amber is musician, composer and sound artist Maria Marzaioli, who also features in the film. Her work is centred around improvisation and she also uses sound to explore our relationship with landscapes, encouraging the re-evaluation of mundane or familiar spaces through soundwalks, maps and field recordings.
She performs with Slum of Legs, whose self titled album has been nominated by Loud Women for their Hercury award this year, and also plays violin on the Porridge Radio album ‘Every Bad’ which has just been nominated a Mercury Prize.
YOU&TH is her solo guise and her debut release on Endless records, ‘Two Neapolitan Songs’, draws on her southern Italian heritage, subverting traditional expressions of romantic longing to unsettling effect and conjouring the quiet intimacy of a rainy afternoon’s violin practice.
In describing these recordings Maria says ‘This record is my interpretation of two Neapolitan songs. I came to know these songs through my Dad and they are a much loved and important part of my cultural heritage. For those that understand Neapolitan, apologies for any poor pronunciation.
‘Te Voglio Bene Assaje‘ was first published in 1839 (Sacco) but was already known and sung widely by the Neapolitan masses. It became a sort of unofficial anthem of Naples and is still much known and loved today. The lyrics are from a romantic tradition of unrequited love, which in this case includes cursing the loved one for not loving you back, ignoring their feelings and blaming them for all your lovesick maladies! I’ve chosen to present the song in a manner which I hope the behaviour expressed in those lyrics would be viewed now, as something that’s actually pretty creepy and not romantic at all.
‘Catarí’ (1832, di Giacomo/Costa) describes the changeable weather of March, the sun that unexpectedly warms you, sudden downpours, storms that give way to sun again. A bird sits frozen on a branch, waiting for the sun to come out, breathing the scent of spring violets. A man wonders: ‘Catarí, what more do you want? You have my heart!’ She is the changeable weather of March and he is the bird on the branch. A violin practices the tune over and over, with field recordings of weather and birds.
Although the vinyl version has sold out, the digital incarnation is available here.