Chain D.L.K.: Your debut album is titled “Nessuna letargia” (“Nolethargy”). This sounded to me like a calling to action. What are someof the themes you touch upon in the album?
Recondita Stirpe: Christoff: The world is drifting, completely without a guide. Incontemporary society the post-modern man hasn’t got a kind of autonomyany more, he just survives. He trusts bad masters who simply aim atkeeping him away from reality as much as possible, and preventing anykind of action devoted to be aware of what is happening. Lethargy iswidespread and induced, but among all this torpor there are some “reawakened”, who are conscious and camouflaged among sleepers, withsolid roots and looking at the future. They are waiting, ready tosnatch their opponent just when he feels strongest. Battle is mystic,because it’s about a spiritual militia. Facing an epoch-making fightbetween those who want to live and those who want to sleep, they havealready chosen.
Chain D.L.K.: Your sound is a re-discovery of Italian musical folktradition as well as partisan songs and European melodies (let’s notforget that you live near France). What are your main references andhow do you rework that sound to make it your own?
Recondita Stirpe: Diego: The style which characterizes my compositional approach isbased on the recovery of acoustic and folk sounds of the Europeantradition which are combined with an epic and martial orchestralcarriage. In addition to the Italian political songs of ’900 that youmentioned and that (independently of guideline provenance) areinteresting for their ability to lead the song high, both the greatItalian composers who worked in cinema (such as Morricone, Gaslini,Cipriani, etc…) and the singer-songwriters from the Genoese school(such as Fabrizio De AndrË) are part of our influences. In De AndrË’smusic, the influence of French “chansonniers”‘s existentialistbackground is really remarkable.
Chain D.L.K.: The graphics of the booklet have a lot of pictures witharmed people (in one picture they look like partisans), art decoimages, etc. Overall it feels melancholic but I guess there’ssomething more underneath these images. Can you tell us more about theideas you wanted to convey?
Recondita Stirpe: All fighter pictures have been adulterated, although wetake no interest in which side they are on. The problem is thestruggle seen as fight between two different ways to see the world: aspiritual one, which respects the other; and an utilitarian one, whichjust sees in the other a way to get to an goal. Our booklet is aclan’s message: Recondita Stirpe is a bunch of people who have thesame vision of the world, a nobility which embraces values that aredifferent from those of ordinary people. A courage which doesn’t needhonors, but only facts. As with any clan, ours owns his coat of armstoo, which represent it and speak for it. Anyone who sees itunderstands that is about Recondita Stirpe.
Chain D.L.K.: Diego, you play also with two progressive bands, Il Segno del Comando and Malombra. About these ones we can talk about the Italian musical tradition but it’s more rock oriented than folk (the 70′s Italian progressive). Talking about the Italian tradition, musically and culturally, what are the most important things to you?
Recondita Stirpe: Diego: I think that each step of my artistic career has a particular meaning referring to the search and rediscovery of traditional values. When Malombra were born, we used to spend the time every day in the Genoese old town, so well described by De AndrË’s songs and we breathed deeply in his nihilistic and dissolute manner. The search for tradition was focused at the time mainly on the esoteric aspects both of our land and the rest of Europe and less interested in cultural values. Such interest came along with “Il Segno del Comando” [an Italian TV serial] , which was part of the recovery of our childhood memories (before the final crisis of the family) and of a certain mass media artistic and cultural practice, before everything got corrupted by a rampant decay. Some Italian progressive rock bands together with movie dark soundtracks represent one of the last period of real music and art prosperity of our country which was still able to blend influences partly taken from non-European cultures and create something completely Italian. We went then in search of the reasons of the crisis of values, which towards the end of the millennium was finally clear even to the most absent-minded, by approaching all the thinkers who had already foreseen it, sometimes well in advance of it. In a word we looked for those history pages which are not written in the official books. My new artistic season with Recondita Stirpe and Egida Aurea is somehow a logical consequence of the previous steps. The synthesis is even wider ranging: everything tends to the reconnection with traditional values in what concerns art and the thinking from which this art draws inspiration, giving it back a way of escape to reach the material world. In order to do that, in an age in which the breakdown of values is almost total I went further back to analyze the aesthetics of times previous to the big cultural contamination of the second part of XX century to grasp again all the shades of a way of thinking in which independently of the ideas, the beliefs had a meaning which was worth protecting. When one’s own identity was less obscure and was less threatened by degrading values.
Chain D.L.K.: Don’t you think that people have lost the sense of being Italian by embracing a generic globalization? A globalization that after all is making them lose their identity, beside their money, I’d like to say…
Recondita Stirpe: Diego: I think that the loss of the Italian spirit is the unavoidable consequence we reached because of the continuous inputs which followed one another during the late human history. Those inputs have changed the state of things causing all countries to depart from the way they need to follow in order to reach a condition of bigger national self-sufficiency, thus plunging them into a condition of “global interdependence” already theoretically discussed in the ’30 and which today has reached the apex. Even if in this context it is really difficult to go over each step which has led to the present situation, I think that it is important to underline that globalization is, more than a choice, a condition that people are forced to undergo against their will. It has not the goal to foster development but to foster business. Of course there is a problem linked to the changing of values and of the social ground that has fostered the spreading of a kind of general lethargy (highly functional to the logic of the open market) that has little by little imposed values (together with the models to which they identify) which are utterly empty and dissolute, completely functional to the loss of identity. In a period in which all moral obstacles to man’s transformation into a “hedonist consumer” have been removed, the main goal of our projects is to give a small contribution to the realization that a waking up from that lethargy is needed, as that lethargy doesn’t allow us to connect again with oneself. We strive to refine those senses which can allow us to feel the yoke to which we are subjected.
Christoff: Globalization is the real illness which grips humanity in this historical age. Every people is losing its own identity in the name of a market which only aims to create a consumer’s world, inducing needs which don’t exist, making any relationship among nations asymmetrical. Who has got everything vs who has got nothing. What are we left with at this point? Our tradition, our values, all battles which have made us what we are: in a few words, our diversity as opposed to the flatness and homogeneity of all humankind! It’s not something worthless.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the main differences with your sister project Egida Aurea? What led you to have two bands with a similar sound approach?
Recondita Stirpe: Diego: The main difference between the two projects is the approach to the lyrics. Egida Aurea’s lyrics are mainly characterized by the analysis of man and his social life, his evolution and the changes he meets as time goes by. It is a way to consider the changing of his capability to feel and answer the pressures of the surrounding world and his relation with spirituality. Recondita Stirpe, on the other hand, is the result of a pure poetical search which analyzes the inner life of modern man and the disclosure of being. The style of the compositions is different too. Egida Aurea has a preference for song structure while in Recondita Stirpe you find mainly the epic and martial orchestration of modal structure as the background for the working flow of representations which create the texts. Egida Aurea was born to try, together with Carolina, different expressive ways and also to allow me, after years in which I was the only one in charge of the musical compositions, to venture on writing texts in collaboration with Guglielmo Amore.
Visit Recondita Stirpe on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli & Marco Pustianaz]