L’Alba likes to say that the Corsican musical tradition is not frozen in time but, quite the opposite, is in constant evolution and movement. The music of L'Alba, timeless and wide open to the world, takes on an ever-more Mediterranean orientation in its new album À Principiu. Once again, L’Alba’s work sets it at the heart of the Corsican musical landscape: while preserving the heritage of polyphonic voices, the group is now absorbing new influences with a palette of sounds borrowed from the world’s regional cultures such as North Africa, Italy, Greece and Portugal.
Guiding L'Alba's creative process is the wish to accompany their songs with original arrangements carrying Mediterranean influences while remaining faithful to ancestral cultural tradition. The desire to work in this direction began with an awareness of the similar vocal identities of the peoples of the Mediterranean basin, notably in terms of melisma and more broadly in terms of aesthetics. Characterized by compositions that breathe a wholly positive energy, À Principiu sets out to visit a wider range of time and place, from North Africa to the Eastern Mediterranean, taking on accents that alternate between traditional and contemporary. The voices harmonize with instruments such as harmonium, guitar (acoustic or electric), violin, clarinets, flutes, mandolins, bass and percussion, and the monodies and polyphonies sing a musical dialogue inspired by the movement of peoples and their cultural exchanges.
À Principiu, the group’s fifth album since turning professional in 2005, features prestigious guests (the Senegalese-Moroccan drummer and percussionist Mokthar Samba, the Zimbabwean singer and guitarist Louis Mhlanga, the Corsican guitarist Fanou Torracinta) as well as very talented instrumentalists and singers from the island who have joined the collective for the occasion. Some of them, beguiled by this new approach, have become full-fledged members. À PRINCIPIU, meaning "in the beginning" in Corsican, takes the group to the beginning of a new artistic and human adventure.
L’Alba: Antoine Chauvy: guitar; Eric Ferrari: bass, guitar; Ceccè Guironnet: vocals, clarinet; Sébastien Lafarge: vocals, guitar, harmonium; Ghjuvanfrancescu Mattei: vocals, guitar; Petrughjuvanni Mattei: vocals; Nicolas Torracinta: guitar, saz.
Guests: Benjamin Dolignon: vocals; Mario Evangelista: mandolin; Louis Mhlanga: vocals, guitar; Mokhtar Samba: percussion; André Tomasso: soprano sax; Fanou Torracinta: guitar.