“A rose is a rose is a rose”. In the famous verse by Gertrude Stein, an inescapable truth: everything ends in itself; even words when we are not able to use them to persuade, to be understood or to enchant others. This is not the case with Daniele Celona. Coming from Turin but with Sardinian and Sicilian origins, he is a refined poet and multi-instrumentalist, an independent diamond in the Italian landscape of indie songwriters, which often lives of past legacies; he is able to be a marvellous presence in the here and now. The total absence of platitudes in his songs makes them able to attack the establishment and orchestrate complex and breath taking plots; giving voice to different characters in only one track. With a cinematographic taste, he unveils incredible masterpieces using different points of view and attention to detail.
Much has already been written about his fist two, multi award winning albums: 'Fiori e Demoni' and 'Amantide Atlantide'. However, the evening at Barlumi Libri in Savigliano (Cuneo, Italy), was about analysing them in an unprecedented way. By combining a live set with a discussion about the literary quality of his lyrics, we were able to discover something more about the creative processes that leads to their writing. The evening of 14th October engaged the singer in conversation, during which it was possible to listen to some of his songs and to talk in more detail about different aspects of his works.
Celona explained that he comes from classical music studies background and that he started feeling the need to ‘speak his mind’ during his secondary school years. His music career, after a long period of silence, started again thanks to his collaboration with the band Nàdar Solo. By observing them behind the scenes, he developed a strong nostalgia for the stage and a new awareness about the potential of his voice. A potential he was able to find again thanks to a self-taught research, which remarkably distanced himself from the current vocal standards, which seem to aim only at homologated tones.
The sequence of songs taken from his works, also allowed us to discuss about such peculiar tracks as: ‘Ninna Nanna’, where the hastened prosody and the use of the spoken word style (somewhere in between music and words) converge towards an extraordinarily evocative result and become the pillars of his work. ‘Ninna Nanna’ was inspired by a compelling historical moment for the island of Sardinia menaced by the nuclear referendum in 2011, and it is to be considered the forerunner of the song-theatre we often find in his discography. Another song called ‘Sud Ovest’ is also symbolic of his close relationship with the island (link below). He chose the track to promote the release of his second album in 2014 with a video presented at the Milan Film Festival, where Celona plays the part of a survivor, moving in a future made of abandoned mines, burnt camps and ruins, directed by Mauro Talamonti.
During his recent and unusual tour, Celona presented a new song called ‘Maelstrom’, where he played guitar and piano, and was accompanied by Marco Di Brino on base and saxophone. This new piece is a wonderful business card for his new album, which according to him, will be a transitional work where dreamlike and fantasy atmospheres will be the excuse to examine those controversial dynamics of interpersonal relationships that are very dear to his heart.
The evening ended with a real gem for the audience. Celona read a chapter from a book he has been writing for some time, called: ‘Camice giallo’, which – we hope – he will be able to publish in the near future. However, the first event to put on the calendar is next spring, as his third album will be released.