Menhir is the new discographic production by italian quartet New Landscapes, released and published by italian label Visage Music.
New Landscapes is a chamber ensemble that explores innovative expressive potentialities: a new classic, aware of tradition and breathing contemporaneity. Over the years New Landscapes has composed new music and has related to various, different spaces and audiences, interacting with cultural and institutional realities: Museo d’Arte Orientale - Ca' Pesaro, Venezia; Fondazione Benetton – Casa Cozzi, Treviso; Candiani Groove, Mestre Venezia - Fondazione Save Venice, Venezia; Cubo Unipol - Cubo, Bologna; Dolomiti Contemporanee – Villaggio Eni, Borca di Cadore; Electro Camp - International Platform for new sounds and dance, Forte Marghera, and many others.
Menhir is a concept album, a test of the maturity, coming after the live recording of Rumors (Caligola Records), collaborative work of musical production of Walking Sounds – Tracks from Iraqi Kurdistan to Italy (Caligola Records) together with Mshakht, an ensemble made up of Syrian, Iraqi, and Kurdish young musicians, and the recording of the sound track composed by Sergio Marchesini for L'ordine delle cose (Azzurra Music) a movie directed by Andrea Segre, presented at 74ª Mostra internazionale d'arte cinematografica di Venezia.
The ensemble starts its activity as a trio in March 2015 and is originally formed by three musicians (Silvia Rinaldi, Luca Chiavinato, Francesco Ganassin) with an impressive background of concerts all over the world, tens of discographic productions and international collaborations in different areas: ancient music, world music, jazz, contemporary music. Since the beginning of 2019 it is a quartet: Sergio Marchesini, pianist, accordeonist and soundtrack composer, joins the ensemble. Menhir features also on six tracks the international guest star Marco Ambrosini on nyckelharpa.
The cd has been recorded in May 2019 by sound engineer Francesco Franz Fabiano, and is published by Visage Music, an italian label originally born thanks to some musicians of Banditaliana, in particular saxophonist and producer Claudio Carboni.
The original idea, and the title of the album come from tone of the most important symbolic object in the Stone Age. CD's liner notes are minimal and meaningful, referring to Walkscapes - walking as an aesthetic practice, a book by Francesco Careri pointing out the extremely topical symbolic value of the areas where menhir are erected and planted in the land. These areas didn't belong to any village or population. The historian Fulvio Jesi, in his book Il linguaggio delle pietre, says that menhir were also called “dancing stones”, suggesting the idea of an alive entity, and rituals, dances, and songs, music.
The connection between sound, music and menhir fascinates the quartet and gives the impulse to new compositions, exploring the possible bonds between tradition and the contemporary, imaging new sonic landscapes.
Tracklist presents nine new compositions by the musicians of the ensemble and some interesting transcriptions and re-compositions of music coming from very different repertoires: an energetic Watusa by Sun Ra, a lyric and intense Lonely Woman by Ornette Coleman, the poetic density of In darkness let me dwell by John Dowland, and, as last track of the cd, The dream by John Cage.