Le migrazioni musicali della cantastorie Etta Scollo: trenta anni di canzoni nomadi tra i generi e le culture

Dagmar Reichardt

Abstract


For decades the Italian singer and songwriter Etta Scollo, born in Catania in 1958, has been living in Germany after moving from Sicily to Turin, then to Vienna and touring for an intense period through the US and Europe – always coming back, though, to her home island in terms of creating music as well as of performing in public on site. In her musical work, the absence of a place is paradoxically intermingled with a strong attachment to it, as her compositions oscillate between classical music, jazz, and avant-garde pop. While telling personal stories and composing a transmedia-related mix of  stylistic devices and poetic elements, Scollo’s work displays an extraordinary openness with regard to other genres and cultures.
By recalling the migratory past of the Sicilian island and Catania –birthplace of the romantic composer and father of the bel canto Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), of Sicilian folk songs (including the cunti, the tarantella, etc.) and the traditional use of special instruments (such as scacciapensieri, ciarameddu, tambureddu, guatrara, etc.) – Scollo not only intends to highlight the suffering of Sicilian people, but also points out their unfailing poeticity and authentic aesthetic potential. Focusing on a total hybridity and transmitting a genuine and dynamic transcultural movement, her suggestive songs can be analyzed productively by referring to the nomadism first envisioned by the French poststructuralists Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (Teatrise on Nomadology, 1986 [1980]). Scollo’s texts describe and sing about an intriguing poetry of displacement and mobility, rooted in history and future-oriented at the same time. From this narrative and its empathic and syncretistic ethos emerges a musical oeuvre that is highly intellectual and spans thirty years of prolific performance to this day. Its stylistic integrity is based on various crossover devices and pastiche techniques which profess a
different, postmodern freedom and deal with dislocation, musical migrations and with shifts into a global world, without homogenizing or reducing cultural values.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15203/ATeM_2018.2696

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