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The harmonic symbiosis between  well-established memories and inevitable present experiences, is the formula from which the expressiveness of the Isola originates, and the concert is only the natural synthesis of this journey…

Ethnic music of  strong expressive value and theatrical flavour, it communicates  the rhythms most connected to the earth and the most rarified atmosphere of dreams.  It is a poetry of instruments, of sonority exquisitely acoustic and of electronics which are alternated and wed  with  entertainment and elegance in a distinctly charming fashion.

During the concerts, stories and legends intertwine to inspire dance or sober listening  with a communicative energy that leaves a key to understanding this language even to those who may not speak it.  The Italian language and the Sicilian dialect become a single voice: sometimes purely melodic sometimes recitative, sometimes determined to the point of  prolonged emotional extension.

The research done by the group Isola among the roots of the Mediterranean culture, outstretches to welcome the sacredness of the places, which is hidden behind the traditions and customs of the people, in order to get to the feelings and emotions of the inhabitants of the single, great island called Earth.

This research has resulted in three record productions.

The first, “St’isola" (This Island), produced in 1997 by the Jasad B Cultural Association in conjunction with department of culture pro tempore of the local government, which printed the first 1000 copies of the record: contains 10 tracks whose themes concern the stories, legends, traditions and customs of the people of the South.

The second, “Mundus Imaginalis”, was produced in 2000 by CNI, Compagnie Nuove Indye, of Rome (www.cnimusic.it) which is also the distributor.

This work, in which the acoustic coexists with the electronic, includes 9 tracks which represent a voyage to an interworld suspended between the real and the imaginary, where dreams are combined with reality and the sacred with the secular.

The third, which was produced in 2004 by CNI, Look Studio and Elikonia of Rome, is entitled “Dea” (Goddess), the ancient phrase meaning  “woman much loved”; there are 11 tracks concerning the delicate, complex and magical feminine world; from “Lucy”, the oldest woman on earth found in Africa and here ascended to the level of Eve first-born daughter, first mother and female archetype; through the Mediterranean colours and flavours of “Ars Culinaria”, and through the sensual instinctiveness of the  “Lupa”, a character taken from the novel by Verga of the same name; to “Veronica”, inspired by a painting by Migneco (“La Veronica of Calabria”) in which a woman shows the sheet soiled with blood from the loss of her virginity after the first night of marriage, here seen as a symbol of the oppressive conditions of women in too many parts of the world.  

From the stories collected in this magical land of Sicily, or sometimes invented, IOLANDA VACALEBRE, the group vocalist who is the composer of the words and the music, creates the literary structure of the tracks from which  the harmony, the melody and the rhythm is woven. 

The music and most of the arrangements are by NICOLA RUSTICA, who, together with Iolada Vacalebre founded the group Isola in Messina in 1995.  The following year, GIOVANNI CRISPINO, polinstrumentalist, composer and arranger, joined the group.  He associates to his knowledge of bow and plectrum instruments , an extensive knowledge of computers and technology.

The trio avails itself of the collaboration of professionals dealing in musical scenery which gives life to different atmospheres and various versions of the concert. The complete formation, with GIORGIO DI BELLA (drums, percussion) and FABIO SODANO (flautes).    


Biographical notes:

The musical group Isola was selected first among the twelve groups chosen at the 10th edition of the  “Arezzo Wave Festival” in 1996 out of a total of  965 Italian groups.  It was also included in the medley produced by BMG, with the track “Panagia”, which tells the story of a ritual still in use today in a community in the area of Messina, in which a  sorceress drives the fire of St. Anthony (better known as herpes zoster) away from the body of a patient;

The group is also present in French medleys (Italia Nuove Indye) produced by CNI; in the medley  “Le Regine della Musica” produced by Fabbri Editori and distributed by RCS; in the medley "Antologia della Musica Siciliana" (Anthology) produced by Recording Arts in October 2006 with international distribution.

Isola was invited in September  2002 to represent the island of Sicily in a concert during the fifth Italian stopover of “WOMAD”, the multiethnic festival  created by Peter Gabriel and organized all over the world.  


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