Drawing from the passion and poetry of influences and experiences all around the world, this is a globetrotting sound that with a soft caress draws out the beauty and truth from it’s varied instrumentation and rhythm. Over the course of the album we are taken on a journey and every destination serves up an unforgettable memory with a slightly different flavour.
World music as a genre is so horribly vague and unclear it what it actually means. At its heart it speaks of musicians and artists that cannot easily be assigned into another genre of box. It is filled with musicians who write their music on string, fret board, or drum skin. It takes the creativity of jazz and blends in form and structure from musical styles you may not normally be used to hearing. Passionate vocal performances, intensely well written lyricism, that sings all the more succinctly at the tip of the masterful musicianship that lies underneath.
Due Comete is the perfect example of “world music” done right. It coasts easily from sound to sound incorporating carimbo, samba, and many more traditional folk and classical elements. It isn’t just the style and music that transcends boxes and borders though, the lyrics themselves lean in to the tradition, nature, and personality of the track using different dialects and languages to best tell their story.
It begins with the merry little skip of the guitar strings on E Pro Rio Amazonas. The song takes us on a carimbo rhythm journey down the Amazon River. It speaks of the people, the food, the culture, and even lays landmarks for the trip via natural phenomena like the Pororoca.
There is a beautiful two part harmony between Lica Cecato and and old friend Donatella Castellani who shared a trip down the Amazon River together when they were 24. The song is fuelled by their friendship and obvious connection as they dance with one another down the waters of their adventure, it is a celebration.
There is a bittersweet but beautiful poetry to the title track Due Comete and it is the thematic paintbrush that the album uses to create these perfect picturesque soundscapes. It is a song that follows the creation of this album and the narrative follows Lica Cecato and Stefano Scutari who have danced around each other in their respective musical pursuits for years but it was the necessity and stillness of the lockdown that saw them finally come together to create such spellbinding music.
As you would expect from the title track it is a raw and pure example of what each can do and shows off their talents to their fullest. The guitar work is soulful and dextrous as each string sings in perfect accord with Cecato‘s operatic and passionate vocals. It is a mark of the albums masterful song writing skill to take the hardship and not only channel it into personal growth and music experimentation, but to directly inspire the albums muse track and the obvious jewel in its crown.
With introductions made, track 3 Como Num Cinema tackles the albums more political, powerful, poetic, and prophetic song writing. It is a song that transcends borders itself in terms of rhythm, style, and soul, but the lyrics themselves are a heaven song that reaches out to the gods themselves to try and make a more beautiful tomorrow a reality today.
“I dream of a world without broders, no one is a foreigner anymore, we don’t have to drive ourselves apart”, it is an epic in both sound and lyrical depth and the soft and subtle vocal delivery only helps to sell the tender soul at its heart. Even without translation the music speaks of this universal connection and kindness.
Toda Estacao takes us on a slow samba saunter through the seasons and skilfully uses the passage of time and circumstance to stamp out the different but equally passionate chapters of a romance. The sensuous vocals whisper these sweet verses into your ear and fill the sound and song with the heartbeat rhythm that is echoed in the strings.
Where there is love, there is also art and Gioia! La Mia Nave is a wickedly clever song that uses humour to tell the story of an artist that has to create, even if they don’t know what it is they have in their hands just yet. It is poetic, charming, and incredibly well written, it brings to mind Fellini films as well as the Commedia dell’Arte archetypes in the way it builds, and peoples its story.
The soft and sexy Argentinian tango of Nossa Milonga Brasileira uses the percussion of the dextrous fingers dancing along the guitars body and strings to conjure a sensual embrace with the sultry vocals that is as tender and subtle while also consuming and fiery.
Ha Uma Inteireza is another song that gets cosmically poetic in terms of scope, it isn’t just about breaking down the physical borders we draw on maps but also about connecting with the earth beneath our feet. It speaks of humanity, longing, and the meditative art of connection with our soul and surroundings.
Translated as ‘Far’ in English Lontan is written in the Venetian dialect. Its elongated open vowels accented to fit with the Italian canzone form. It is a love song or classical ballad that doesn’t focus its amorous intent on a single being or person but rather to the entire universe.
It follows on from Ha Uma Inteireza in theme and feel but adds a different flavour and it is an another excellent example of Cecato and Scutari paying homage to classical form and musical styles from different regions around the world. Like forms in poetry the restrictions and rules imposed by following a certain format require an artist to ruminate and really relish each line, it can be restrictive, but can also give your words the wings they need to soar. On this track it is certainly the latter and it once again shows of the graceful beauty of Cecato‘s voice.
Young love in the vein of Romeo & Juliet is the theme of Namorar. With the bubbling ecstasy of the guitar work there is this fizzy fuzzy obsessive hold in the musicality that captures and captivates the ear, while the vocal work easily conjures those teenage feelings of pure and all encompassing passions.
John & Yoko continues on in the theme but rather than young love it instead speaks of the longer lasting and more romantic side of it. It is the only song written in English and gives a chance to those with a language barrier to taste how rich and poetic the lyricism of everything that has come before is.
By diving into the story of this famous love it can play not only with the inspiration and tenderness that their love shared with the world, but also with what the concept of love truly means and how it can differ from person to person.
Is there anything more nourishing than simply waking up, opening the window, and being filled with that intangible and beautiful joy and belief that it is going to be a good day? Bossa Waltz doesn’t dive deep into anything too profound or prophetic but rather delights in the simple pleasures. Musically it has this euphoric build that tickles you from your feet to your head imparting this feel good feeling as it takes you on its journey.
The album finishes with Amor De Elevador, a song soaked in the easy elevator jazz vibes you might expect to encounter in a fancy hotel. The lyrics are filled with a cheeky wit and wink, it is a flirtation that flourishes into a forever love and delivers a happy ending not only for the album but the song as well.
Musically it has much more depth that simple parody and again we are allowed to submerge ourselves in the sumptuous skill of Scutari’s deft guitar work and Cecato’s fantastic vocal range.
This is an album made with passion, masterful musicians that through play and practise make art that speaks not only of the journey that brought it to the listener, but of the universal truth of creativity that we all can share. It is inspirational and nourishing music that feeds the soul, heart, and ear. It moves your feet just as easily as your mind, and it is all too easy to get utterly lost in.
Lica Cecato is one of those rare and fearless creative souls that not only pours themselves passionately into their art, but helps to uplift and share their talent with others around them. Through collaborations like this we expand and explore and projects like this deserve global and critical praise.
Visit Lica Cecato’s website to purchase the album and help fund this spellbinding artists continued expression and explosive creativity.
Words by Matt Miles