Mauro Durante & Justin Adams: Still Moving! (In Spite of Everything)

17.07.2021, by Luca Testoni

The odd (but very well matched) couple formed by Mauro Durante & Justin Adams continues their live performances on the road. While waiting for their album “still moving” to be released by Ponderosa in October, you will be able to see them play live on Saturday, July 17th at the church of Sant’Ambrogio in Trezzano sul Naviglio, and on the 28th as part of the Colline Mediterranee festival in Salerno.

«We met for the first time 10 years ago. It was on the Night of the Taranta, and I was working as an assistant to Ludovico Einaudi, that year’s Concert Maestro. A special chemistry was born right away between Justin and myself. As we played together, I immediately understood that his approach to the trance-like rhythm of the Taranta was not so different from the approach of those who, like me, work to bring folk Salentine music around the world».

Mauro Durante, a violinist and drummer, as well as the frontman of the amazing Italian folk ensemble known as Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, uses these words when he tells the story of his first meeting with Justin Adams, the British guitarist, producer and composer who collaborated with Robert Plant when they both played with the Sensational Spaceshifters.

Since that night, Durante and Adams have formed a solid partnership. So much so that Adams, who is partly responsible for the success of Tinariwen, worked with Mauro Durante to co-produce “Meridiana”, the latest album by Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino. The record, released last May, was enthusiastically received in Italy and even more so abroad.

«We had vowed to do something together, just me and him», Durante explains. «In January 2020 Justin came down to Salento, and soon after I traveled to England to meet him. After that, the pandemic put a stop both to our recording sessions and to a possible summer tour. We met again in October of last year and recorded our album in a studio near Bath, in a single session, live and uncut».

The album, slated to be released this October under the Ponderosa recording label, is called “Still Moving”.

«In spite of everything that happened, we are still moving» explains the Canzoniere’s excellent poly-instrumentalist who, in 2007, took the mantle from his father Daniele to carry on the innovation and oral heritage of the “land between two seas”.

«We liked the idea of putting those two words together. ‘Still’ conveys a sense of calm, while ‘moving’ is the exact opposite, expressing a primal need for motion, for travel. People travel to learn, but also because they are sometimes forced to leave their native land to escape inhumane living conditions».

The duo are now scheduled to play a series of dates in Italy, offering a sneak peek of their new record’s tracks.

What can we expect from them?

«Without a doubt it will be a unique performing experience, born from the union of two very different musical histories. The link that joins them together is our mutual love of transcendental music».

Wistfulness, suffering and joy will thus be evoked by the music and melodies created from the merging of electric guitars, violins, frame drums and voices.

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