DH: As a begin could you please tell me a little bit about you and your artistically development. How did CORDE OBLIQUE start out? Which musicians are involved?
R.P.: Of course, my musical feeling changed from the beginning till now, I started as Lupercalia in 1999 with interests focused above all on medieval art and music, I wanted to give visions of my artistic tastes and involve people into them. Now I’m also concerned with contemporary art, fotography, and not only medieval stuff, so I try to express my actual feeling with sound. Lupercalia had a strange feature, it was nominally a band: at first made up of me (Riccardo Prencipe) and the violinist Pierangelo Fevola, at that time we released “Soehrimnir” with the World-Serpent, it was a full-instrumental album. Then I started wishing a lyrical voice to add to my songs, then I met the soprano Claudia Florio, and Pierangelo left the band. Now I understood I like to have lot of different voices and musicians to collaborate with and the better thing was to give a different name to this project made of me as multi-instrumentist, director, but also with the help of different collaborations, then I changed name from Lupercalia to Corde Oblique and I started this new adventure with the help of this wonderful staff.
DH: Your music combines aetherical and ethnical sounds and creates a dark romantic atmosphere. What are the reasons for you playing such music?
R.P.: Hard question, it’s like asking someone why he listens to a kind of music in particular:) I can’t know it, it’s simply the music that more meets my feeling, there are no specific reasons for that, just istinct.
DH: There can be heard some very fine guest musicians on the album. How do you get in contact with Catarina Raposo and Allessandra Santovito?
R.P.: I “met” Catarina Raposo thx to the band Dwelling, when we released Florilegium I visited the site of this band, also featured by EQM, I listened to them through the web and I was very surprised about the quality of their music, I also dedicated one of my track to them. After some time they travelled to Italy for some concerts, then we met here in Italy, I’m very glad about her work and I hope we will collaborate again in the future and for some concerts too, the problem is the distance. About Alessandra Santovito, I know her since we made part of a sampler for the label Energeia, we are friends since 1999 and I appreciate her voice very much, she has a very seductive and melodic sound.
DH: If you could describe your music in your own words, which images, ideas and visions do you personally have when hearing Respiri?
R.P.: I just think to places I visited, the sense of the trip is very important for me. I’d like to bring the person who listen to my music into the place I come back with my mind as I wrote the song: one of them is dedicated to the city of Paris, I always dedicated more than one song to the cities (both big and little). Into “Respiri” I choiced Parigi because I visited it and it was the first song I wrote as I came back from there, I’m very glad about this track, is melancholic and make see, that’s the importance! Moreover Luigi Rubino (from Ashram) plays a piano line very great. In the album you will also find a track dedicated to the medieval umbrian town of Assisi and one to a Town here in my region named “Winds of fortune” dedicated to Caserta Vecchia.
DH: There are a lot of very fine melodies on the album. Do you love making music with melodies?
R.P.: I’m satisfied just when I find my perfect melody, I’m always in search for it. I find melodies improvvising with my guitars and the better ones are the ones improvvised and not so much thought, feeling is the best way to do things, thinking is the worst one! As I said a melody is good (in my opinion) just if it brings you into an atmosphere that is just your, and just your.
DH: Your new album is called "Respiri”. Can you tell something about the release. Where did you record the album and how long did it take to record it? How did you get in contact with your label Ark Records?
R.P.: I used the word “Respiri” (in english: “Breaths”) because I liked keeping breaths during the recording, usually they are deleted from the audio songs in the studio, but I decided at the end of keeping them, because I think they are the true! When a musician plays he breaths a lot and that is the reality, if I’d have removed them it would have been a false thing. “Respiri” was recorded in a very good studio in the country of Striano (near Neaples), we also used countries’ background for some songs, recording something with the microphone outside, I can say I’m very very satisfied about the work of Andrea Sosto, he gave me the sound I wanted. Moreover I also searched to give to the songs a more istinctive touch with little improvvisations. About the ARK records I Knew Corrado Videtta and asked him to collaborate to the album, then he singed in the track “Eventi”, and also worked on the text I gave him, it’s one of the track I most like in the album, during the recordings ARK proposed me of releasing the album and I was so happy about it, they’re doing a very good work with promotion, and I know they’ll continue in this good way.
DH: On the album there is a song called "My Promise" that I like very much. What is the song about? About what topics are in general your songs? Are there any songs on the CD which had to be written for this album?
R.P.: well, I like it too, hehe. Yes it’s a very good song, because it’s both melodic and powerfull too, the co-presence of these two features is something I like a lot, moreover two extremes sides of the music, the rythmic and the melodic one, works much more better together. As you can listen from the album the songs are about lot of different topic: there’s the calm song, the melodic one, the rythmic one, some with piano, some with the clarinett and so on... the variety of tunes is like the variety that a painter reach using much different colors. Moreover on “My promise” there’s the great contribution of Caterina Pontrandolfo that made the vocal line, she has a great voice, both ethnic and ethereal, while and Alfredo Notarloberti made the violin line.
DH: There is also a very fine booklet with pictures from famous photographers. How do get in contact with the Kenro Izu for this project?
R.P.: I know the production of Mr. Kenro Izu since lot of time, from photografic magazines, art’s book and so on. I contacted him by E-mail and he asked to see the grafic project (realized from the agency Amorevasaturo) and listening to the album, then he was a very nice person with giving me the opportunity of using an his photo. But I wish to underline also the work of the other photografers, like Lucia Patalano. Neaples don’t support his artist, but this city will have to learn to do that, I hope!
DH: How do you create a song? Do you write the song all together or is there one person who writes all the songs? How important is your work as musicans for yourselfs?
R.P.: I write the most of all songs and lyrics, as Lupercalia I wrote both the arrangement, lyrics and vocal lines, but this time I also tried to co-operate with my guests, also in this sense. Some of them infact did the vocal line, I wrote the text and the music thinking the best track to be sang from each one, knowing their styles, other times I also wrote the line for them, it depends from the track, however I liked this way of writing the music and the text for them and them let often them free of choosing the best melodic line for their own, it’s a thing that make them feel free to express. For the first time I wrote also parts for piano and clarinet, it was a new experience for me, I had never wrote music for these instruments, but I found it very productive and I’ll continue including them for the new album (that I already have in mind).
DH: Do you play concerts in Germany this summer and are there further projects for the future planned (new releases, sampler contributions, ...)?
R.P.: I hope so very much! Maybe we’ll come back in Holland in August, we love playng there, they have a great neo-folk scene. I wish to say to All organizers that we’re opened to play over Europe, so don’t hesitate to contact us! About news I can just say that I have the essence of a new album already in my mind, and lot of lines are yet ready, moreover some songs of “Respiri” have just been used as soundtrack for the DVD-documentary "Palermiti-colori e luci nella collina" (a film by Fabiola Giancotti, Milan 2005), showing how much this music well fits as soundtrack.
DH: Thank you very much for this interview and go on having fun and success with Corde Oblique. Your famous last words to our readers please:
R.P.: Thank so much for supporting us, I wish that curiosity will increase in as much people as possible, the world need our curiosity to be more beautifull! Join us to: www.cordeoblique.com www.arkrecords.net
“A moment is like a kiss wich the time gives to itself”
Interview: Andreas Ohle