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Redi Hasa & Maria Mazzotta - Novilunio

Ponderosa Music & Art - Ottobre 2017

There are musicians that have no use for light. The shadow is their muse, the darkness is their driving force. When the night finally flicks the switch on the mirrors of reality, their interior depths become more visible and the unconscious takes over the stage.

Then there are others, whose song challenges the demons of the noonday sun, who draw their strength from timeless traditions, freeing us of evil and healing us from the burning, swelling bite of the tarantula. But everyone’s true time, the time that raises us up and charges us, refreshing itself at every new moon, when the slim crescent calls up ancient dreams and regenerates daily forces to start over once more. There is nothing like the new moon to perfectly symbolize this new beginning, the journey that begins once again, destiny that recreates itself.

NOVILUNIO is the title of the second album by REDI HASA and MARIA MAZZOTTA, the Albanian cellist and the vocalist from Puglia, who since 2010 have been reinventing the musical traditions of their places of origin. Two complementary talents who inspire each other in a perfect fusion between the sumptuous, lyrical and introspective sound of the cello, which Ludovico Einaudi cannot live without, and one of the leading voices of the rebirth of Salento’s musical heritage: luminous and magical. A combination that pays homage to its origins while engaging in creative experimentation, a symbolic union between the archetypes of night and day.

Their previous disc, URA – bridge in Albanian, now in the dialect of the Salento region – had brought together the two shores of the Adriatic, the Balkans and Puglia, the glorious Roma, Bulgarian and Montenegrin melodies, with the songs of the migrants, odes to the Virgin Mary and pagan tarantella, bringing together different eras and lost languages in a sound as beautiful as the stretch of sea that separated them before.

NOVILUNIO expands that horizon even further, tracing a new route. Produced by Alberto Fabris and recorded by the genius of sound engineering, Tim Oliver, at Real World studios, in London, it is composed of eight new songs and two renditions of traditional ballads, inverting the proportions contained in their first disc.

While in songs like 25 trecce [25 braids], an Albanian love song redolent of basil and rose, and Cu ti lu dissi, a classic tune by Otello Profazio and Rosa Balistreri about a “creaky heart”, we again experience the mastery of Redi and Maria in interpreting their musical roots, it is their original compositions that make the disc fresh and new.

The first to stand out are two songs in French: Aux souvenirs, a nostalgic waltz of dance halls and lost love, with a surprising big band finale, and the almost nursery-rhyme Contine, ironic and lighthearted. In E’ tiempu and Capufrisca, Maria and Redi’s musical roots entwine and are reinforced by two illustrious special guests, the Iranian percussionist Bijan Chemirani and Mehdi Nassouli, of the Gnawi brotherhood of mystics. And this inclusion of different musical cultures is another important new aspect of NOVILUNIO. The title track is instead an intimate song addressed to the moon, replete with delicate expectations of love, while the red and blue world is a prayer, a whispered hope for a future imbued with the colors of peace. The disc concludes with Libro d’amore [The book of love], a pizzica tarantata with traditional rhythms and unusual melodies that perfectly represents the concept of NOVILUNIO, music that heals and regenerates, discovering a new equilibrium. But before the grand finale there is Woodroom, a cello improvisation that contains all the disc’s charm, its floral freshness, the trepidation for a world that is about to bloom. Out there, it’s true, there is the English countryside, the woods, the mellow colors of autumn, the pond, the cottage wreathed in late-blooming roses, and in the window, that magician by the name of Tim Oliver, but in the sky it’s she who rules, the new moon, dousing the flames of the day and softening the darkness of the night. In listening to NOVILUNIO we feel its silent and swelling volume, the impulse to find new paths. The new paths that this disc traces, and that are dedicated to her.

1. “E’ Tiempu” - 03:53

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Claudio Prima


2. “Aux Souvenirs” - 04:20

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Bruno Bernes


3. “Capufrisca” - 03:45

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Maria Mazzotta, Mehdi Nassouli


4. “Novilunio” - 05:09

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Marthia Carrozzo


5. “25 Trecce” - 03:47

Music by: Traditional


6. “Contine” - 02:37

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Silvia Guerra


7. “Woodroom” - 02:03

Music by: Redi Hasa


8. “Cu Ti Lu Dissi” - 02:41

Music & Lyrics by: Otello Profazio, Rosa Balistrieri


9. “Il Mondo Di Rosso e Di Blu” - 03:02

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Valerio Daniele


10. “Libro D’Amore” - 06:22

Music by: Maria Mazzotta

Lyrics: Traditional


11. “Shtatë e Bukur” - 03:26 (iTunes Digital Bonus Track)

Music by: Redi Hasa

Lyrics by: Maria Mazzotta