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PICCOLA ORCHESTRA AVION TRAVEL
En un momento en el que Internet parece haber roto las fronteras mediáticas, la música italiana sigue siendo (excepto contadas y comerciales excepciones) una desconocida para el público hispano. Grandes artistas italianos no han actuado nunca en nuestros escenarios y sus discos apenas se ven en las tiendas, incongruente situación que ha llevado a que una banda con casi dos décadas de vida, la Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel, sea poco menos que desconocida en el país.
La situación podría comenzar a cambiar: hoy y mañana (22.00 horas) el grupo actuará en el Espai de la Generalitat presentando su último disco, titulado Cirano.La Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel comenzó a funcionar en 1981 como grupo de rock progresivo y en esa modalidad ganó el Festival de San Remo en 1987.
Pero las nubes de cambio cubrían Italia y la Travel decidió dejar las progresías de lado y centrarse en la canción popular de la mano de Lilli Greco (descubridor, ente otros, de Gianni Morandi y Paolo Conte). Su disco Bellosguardo, de 1991, fue la sorpresa que les puso en la cresta de la ola. Desde ese momento, la Travel ha repartido su tiempo entre sus discos (todos ellos aclamados por la crítica), la creación de bandas sonoras (por ejemplo, para Mario Monicelli), la composición de operetas (La guerra vista della Luna, en 1996) e incluso la fabricación de éxitos de ventas para el tenor pop Andrea Bocelli. Todas esas experiencias tan dispares han confluido ahora en Cirano, disco producido por el siempre sorprendente Arto Lindsay.
Avion Travel are Fausto Mesolella, Peppe Servillo, and Domenico Ciaramella.
The original line-up of the group Avion Travel from Caserta was formed in 1980. After a decidedly rock debut and a shift toward pop in the second half of the 1980s (with the band winning the rock category of the 1987 Sanremo Festival), the Piccola Orchestra first experimented with what we know recognize as the "Avion Travel" style in the album "Bellosguardo", released in 1992. The uniqueness and concentrated beauty of the album made it effectively the musical manifesto of the Piccola Orchestra and marked the beginning of the six musicians' current artistic adventure. A number of new traveling companions have joined the group to share this adventure. These include Lilli Greco, (who has formerly worked as artistic director for Paolo Conte, Francesco De Gregori, Antonello Venditti, and Gianni Morandi), whose creative mastery has spurred the group on to explore other forms of expression such as cinema and theater, as well as amplifying its effectiveness in concert.
In 1993, after meeting Caterina Caselli and signing with the Sugar label, the album "Opplà" was released, a decisive piece in the complex musical mosaic of Avion Travel, which was received to extraordinary critical acclaim. In October 1995, the band released the album
"Finalmente Fiori", the natural conclusion of a musical trilogy (with "Bellosguardo" and "Opplà"). The album established the Piccola Orchestra as an artistic force to be reckoned with and was described by critics as "59 minutes of musical magic".
The desire to explore different creative directions led to the discovery of new expressive terrain, resulting in "La guerra vista dalla luna", a single act musical opera involving the participation of Fabrizio Bentivoglio, who proved to be an invaluable working and traveling companion. "La guerra vista dalla luna" premiered in 1996 and over the following years, toured all the major Italian theaters to great success.
In summer 1997, Avion Travel went on a tour through Italy and Europe, and to France, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Germany in particular, where the Caserta based band has a large fan base. This busy concert schedule (with over 200 dates in two years) finally spawned the band's highly anticipated first live album: "Vivo di canzoni".
At the 1998 Sanremo Festival, the Piccola Orchestra entered the "big names" category with the song "Dormi e sogna", which earned them the prestigious Critics' and Musical Expert Panel Award (presided over by the British composer Nyman) for best music and best arrangement.
In January 1999, the album "Cirano" was released, produced by Arto Lindsay, the brilliant Brazilian-New Yorker who has also worked with David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Caetano Veloso, and Marisa Monte.
It was the album "Cirano" which, after a tour in Italy's major theaters and piazzas, took the Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel throughout Europe with a number of concerts in theaters in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Spain.
The Avion Travel competed in the 50th edition of the Sanremo Festival in 2000, winning the event with the song "Sentimento" and also securing the "Special Critics' and Musical Expert Panel Award" for "Best Music" and "Best Arrangement". The victory at Sanremo was followed by triumphant tours in Italy and Europe, stopping at the major cities in Spain, Germany and France.
In December 2000 the band released the album "Storie d'amore": a tribute to Italian music and, more generally, to the classics of 1960s. The criteria with which Avion Travel selected the tracks for the album from a large number of possible candidates were that they had to be musically significant and also allow room for the band to express its own style.
Presented at Paris in a special event, the album "Selezione 1990-2000", a collection representing the last ten years of Avion Travel's music, was released in France in June 2001.
On April 4th, 2003, the latest and highly anticipated album by Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel was released, titled "Poco mossi gli altri bacini", the result of a collaboration between the band and the producer Pasquale Minieri (who, over the past few years, has produced projects for a number of artists including Lucio Battisti, Claudio Baglioni and Vinicio Capossela). The album, which marked another milestone in the musical evolution of the Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel, contained female voices for the first time: with Peppe Servillo singing duets with Elisa and Caterina Caselli.
"Piccolo Tormento", one of the tracks on the new album, was also the theme tune for the soundtrack of Mimmo Calopresti's film "La felicità non costa niente", starring Francesca Neri and premiering in late January 2003. Peppe Servillo also had an acting role in the movie.
In the meantime, the music of Avion Travel was drawing growing interest abroad, warranting the release of a "Best of" album for the international market. The album "Per come ti amo", released in France in 2004 (and released in Belgium and Holland in 2005 with the title "Selezione") was a musical journey through the last ten years in the band's career. The band's musical journey now took them over the Atlantic, to perform at the Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas and in a number of famous venues such as Joe's Pub in New York, in the spring of 2005.
A yearning to explore new musical horizons led the group to embark on a number of very diverse projects: Peppe Servillo focused his energies on the Aires Tango tour, Ferruccio Spinetti started an experimental project of his own with Petra Magoni, Fausto Mesolella went on tour with the guitarist Michele Ascolese for the Chitarre Vagabonde project while Mario Tronco and Peppe D'Argenzio joined the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio.
The experiences and influences absorbed during this period of "parallel" projects brought the band back to the studio three years later for a major new challenge: an album of songs by Paolo Conte, performed by the band and recorded under the artistic direction of Paolo Conte himself, who even wrote a new track especially for the album ("Il Giudizio di Paride") and performed a verse of the song "Elisir" together with Gianna Nannini.
The album "Danson Metropoli â€“ Canzoni di Paolo Conte" was released on Friday, January 26th and contains eleven of the master musician's greatest hits. The album also marked the debut of the new formation of Avion Travel, which had transformed from a small orchestra into a quartet: with Peppe Servillo on vocals, Fausto Mesolella on guitar, Mimì Ciaramella on drums, and Vittorio Remino on bass.