This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

“My story is that of a frontier man and musician. 
Homeland for me is any place where East and West, the two halfs of my heart,
can be free to love each other.”

Fabrizio Piepoli’s voice is a flowing universe, with a strongly ‘melismatic’ style that allows several notes to be sung to one syllable of text. His light tenor voice allows him to dip down to the low, bari- tone register sounds while also reaching up to the acute mezzo-soprano ones. He has a sophisticated voice that continuously plays with its own identity, with the masculine and the feminine, and with the East and the West.

The battente, or ‘beating’ guitar typical of Southern Italian tradition, the Arab oud, and the Turkish saz, often filtered through effects and loop machines, are the instruments that accompany Fabrizio Piepoli’s singing. All this put together with the passionate tale of his roots is what breathes life into a new sound: the TARABTELLA, where Apulian  tarantella (from Gargano) meets the tarab of the Arab melody, the joy of dance, and the ecstasy of listening.

Beyond being a presentation, or a programmatic manifesto of composition and inspiration, Fabrizio Piepoli’s words are poetry, paths, and visions. His new album Maresia (Zero Nove Nove – Self / Believe) is a Mediterranean itinerary, a project in which his versatility as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, as an author and scholar of musical traditions of the Mediterranean, and as a bewitching interpreter emerges definitively. Ten pieces that perfectly represent Piepoli’s musical horizons. 

“In Portuguese, the word ‘Maresia‘ means the sea foam that vaporizes in the air when the wind whips the crest of the waves. It is the sweat of the sea playing as it tries to chase itself. It is a race with open arms embodying a waltzing, tarantella-like gait, which communicates a wingspan sense of expansion and an oceanic joy. Maresia is the incessant mixing of languages, stories, and people of the past, the present, and the future. My song is a dream and maresia”.

The rhythmic, three-note gait of the tarantella, the rediscovery of Marisa Sannia and Amalia Rodriguez, and the dialogue between the Gargano tarantella and Portuguese fado all animate and define this valuable, intricate album made up of melodic pathways. What further embellishes it is research into the Carpino singers and a love for traditional Arab and Turkish instruments, as well as the Arbëreshë tradition and migration songs.

“These songs are part of a fluid history that expresses something new each time. I gathered sounds, words, gestures, and memories into my hands, threw them in the air, then they fell back onto me, all mixed up. My past, the part that continues to speak to me even now, I chase after and disintegrate, mixing it with other elements like voices in the streets of a market, and then it reappears again, telling me things I still do not know yet”.


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